“Mirthful and very pleasantly written“ stated a contemporary reviewer said about the instrumental music of Johann Wilhelm Wilms. Exactly the right thing for Helen Dabringhaus and Sebastian Berakdar, who now are presenting the world premiere of the three Flute Sonatas op. 15 by this German composer and Dutch resident-by-choice. This delightfully amazing programme is not only extremely entertaining, but also fills a gap in the history of reception between Mozart and Mendelssohn.
Born in the Bergisches Land, the young Wilms soon made his way to Amsterdam, where he rapidly made a career as flutist, pianist, organist, and concert organizer. His marriage to the daughter of a very wealthy Amsterdam art collector shows the high reputation he enjoyed. Wilms only found time to compose on the side - a pity, really, because otherwise he might have put many more of his treasures on paper!
Nevertheless: Wilms’s fame as a composer reached Schwerin, Breslau, Prague, and Leipzig, where his works were performed at the Gewandhaus and no less than E. T. A. Hoffmann took up his pen for a positive review. The fact that Wilms, as a "foreigner", composed the anthem of the newly founded Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1816 is proof of the esteem in which the industrious musician was held in his adopted country.
It is thus not surprising that Wilms also outstandingly met the demands of the salons by supplying works such as the attractive polonaise at the end of the Sonata No. 2 or the lengthy, richly imaginative set of variation in Sonata No. 3. Helen Dabringhaus and Sebastian Berakdar hit the elegant tone exactly, which with the exquisite sound technique of this Super Audio CD enriches the repertoire for the flute with a surprising facet.