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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach|CPE Bach: Symphonies

CPE Bach: Symphonies

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment & Rebecca Miller

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The 20 symphonies of C.P.E. Bach have been performed fairly often, but to have an entire concert or recording (the present release, recorded live in London in 2014, represents both) devoted to a group of them is rare. The symphonies date both from the earlier part of Bach's career in Berlin and the later phase in Hamburg, where he composed works in an explicitly difficult style at the request of Baron van Swieten in Vienna, patron as well to both Haydn and Mozart. In fact, the earlier works are nearly as thorny, and hearing five of the symphonies together brings home unusually well how radical they are, how the experimental quality of C.P.E.'s work extended well beyond keyboard sonatas and other more intimate genres. The Symphony in D major, Wq. 183/1 (tracks 1-3), is from the earlier set and is a good example; in the first movement, listeners literally are kept in the dark as to the key for much of the first movement. There are elements of the so-called sturm und drang movement in several of the symphonies, not just the one in a minor key, but the Symphony in B minor, Wq. 182/5 (tracks 7-9) is the most extreme in its emotionalism. The performances from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Rebecca Miller are excellent, with a good-sized group of period instruments used to produce a somewhat rough sound. The tempos are quick and the accents strong, emphasizing the careening harmonic corners in Bach's music and generally putting across its unsettled, radical quality. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

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CPE Bach: Symphonies

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

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1
Symphony in D Major, Wq. 183, No. 1: I. Allegro di molto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:06:00

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

2
Symphony in D Major, Wq. 183, No. 1: II. Largo
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:01:35

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

3
Symphony in D Major, Wq. 183, No. 1: III. Presto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:03:01

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

4
Symphony in A Major, Wq. 182, No. 4: I. Allegro, ma non troppo
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:04:25

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

5
Symphony in A Major, Wq. 182, No. 4: II. Largo ed innocentemente
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:03:17

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

6
Symphony in A Major, Wq. 182, No. 4: III. Allegro assai
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:04:27

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

7
Symphony in B Minor, Wq. 182, No. 5: I. Allegretto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:04:22

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

8
Symphony in B Minor, Wq. 182, No. 5: II. Larghetto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:02:33

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

9
Symphony in B Minor, Wq. 182, No. 5: III. Presto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:03:47

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

10
Symphony in F Major, Wq. 183, No. 3: I. Allegro di molto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:05:21

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

11
Symphony in F Major, Wq. 183, No. 3: II. Larghetto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:01:57

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

12
Symphony in F Major, Wq. 183, No. 3: III. Presto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:03:17

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

13
Symphony in E-Flat Major, Wq. 179: I. Prestissimo
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:04:22

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

14
Symphony in E-Flat Major, Wq. 179: II. Larghetto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:03:42

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

15
Symphony in E-Flat Major, Wq. 179: III. Presto
Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment
00:04:19

Orchestra Of The Age Of Enlightenment, Orchestra, MainArtist - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Composer - Rebecca Miller, Conductor, MainArtist

(C) 2015 Signum Records (P) 2015 Signum Records

Album review

The 20 symphonies of C.P.E. Bach have been performed fairly often, but to have an entire concert or recording (the present release, recorded live in London in 2014, represents both) devoted to a group of them is rare. The symphonies date both from the earlier part of Bach's career in Berlin and the later phase in Hamburg, where he composed works in an explicitly difficult style at the request of Baron van Swieten in Vienna, patron as well to both Haydn and Mozart. In fact, the earlier works are nearly as thorny, and hearing five of the symphonies together brings home unusually well how radical they are, how the experimental quality of C.P.E.'s work extended well beyond keyboard sonatas and other more intimate genres. The Symphony in D major, Wq. 183/1 (tracks 1-3), is from the earlier set and is a good example; in the first movement, listeners literally are kept in the dark as to the key for much of the first movement. There are elements of the so-called sturm und drang movement in several of the symphonies, not just the one in a minor key, but the Symphony in B minor, Wq. 182/5 (tracks 7-9) is the most extreme in its emotionalism. The performances from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Rebecca Miller are excellent, with a good-sized group of period instruments used to produce a somewhat rough sound. The tempos are quick and the accents strong, emphasizing the careening harmonic corners in Bach's music and generally putting across its unsettled, radical quality. Highly recommended.
© TiVo

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