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Classical - Released January 17, 2020 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
This is billed as an album of oboe concertos by C.P.E. Bach, and indeed, oboist Xenia Löffler does justice to the pair of oboe concertos featured. These are galant-style works, with elegant melodies and plenty of examples of the melodic and harmonic surprises that made Bach's eldest son so popular in the middle of the 18th century. The variegated opening movements must have been an absolute delight for audiences of the day. However, the main attraction here is the two symphonies, from the same period (ca. 1750s), and much less played than C.P.E.'s later "Sturm und Drang" works from Hamburg. These are in major keys, but they display the composer's characteristic dramatic flair. The opening movement of the Symphony for winds, strings, and basso continuo in F major, Wq. 181, grows unexpectedly out of a lengthy unison opening, a masterstroke that gives one an idea of what Mozart, who didn't admire many other composers, admired about this one. The Symphony for 2 oboes, 2 horns, strings, and basso continuo in G major, Wq. 180, has its thematic material take shape from brilliant orchestral figuration. Doubtless in passages like these, the engineering idea was to highlight the silvery string sound of the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin under George Kallweit, and the music is stirring. Yet in the slow movements, the sound is harsh. Berlin's Teldex Studio is made to sound like a church, an odd decision in that these works were probably written for private chambers. However, this on a very short list of complaints about what is generally an exciting C.P.E. Bach album and a good place to start with the composer's early career. © TiVo
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Cello Concertos - Released May 18, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After two albums which met with unanimous critical acclaim all over the world, the Resonanz Ensemble, based in Hamburg, is offering a recording dedicated to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: the Cello Concertos wq. 170 and Wq. 172, respectively from 1750 and 1753, and the Symphonie Wq. 173 of 1741. The listener will immediately note the radical difference in language between the two concertos, written after the death of Bach Senior, and the Symphony, written while he was still alive: the concertos keep their eyes firmly fixed on the nascent classical era, including the "Sturm und Drang" which still lay ahead (in this regard, the Concerto in A Minor which opens the album, full of force and melodic power, is an excellent example), whereas the Symphony takes the final throes of baroque as its point of departure. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Resonanz Ensemble offer a crystal-clear reading, conducted by their new musical director in residence, violinist Riccardo Minasi: and coolly resist the vogue – which can be quite intrusive, or even dictatorial or exclusive – for period instruments, which seems to hold that any music before Mozart (and even sometimes Mozart too) may not be played on modern instruments. Queyras, Resonanz and Minasi are all able to make use of stylistic elements gleaned from the fashion for baroque. This is a very fine album, superbly played, which really brings out all the originality of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. © SM/Qobuz
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Cello Concertos - Released March 24, 2014 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Duets - Released December 27, 2005 | Alpha

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The violin-and-keyboard sonatas of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach are as wild as his better-known keyboard sonatas and symphonies -- perhaps even wilder, for the composer fools at times between the quite conventional relationship between the two instruments. The four works recorded here have the advantage of being genuine works for violin and piano, not the piano-with-accompanying-and-almost-optional violin configuration that prevailed during much of the era of High Classicism. Bach's conceptions depend on the equality of the instruments' roles, for these works are primary examples of the empfindsamer Stil or sensitive style that had roots in various strains of philosophical thought of the time. Plenty of drama is generated as the musical lines are broken up into irregular little fragments, with each instrument taking the music off into new directions. Examples of intriguing structures are the first movement of the opening Sonata in B flat major, H. 513, with its deceptively conventional opening material that falls apart emotionally as the movement proceeds, and the slow movement of the Sonata in C minor, H. 545 (track 5), in which the piano and the violin lead almost separate existences. Each work has its own profile, and the music in general is a long way distant from the smoothly modulated textures and harmonic simplicity that was taking root in Vienna. The French team of violinist Amandine Beyer and pianist (not a fortepianist as the English translation of the notes erroneously states) Edna Stern deserves credit for giving these fascinating works an ambitious, intense recording. Beyer has the edgy, hyper quality that Baroque musicians who venture forward into the Classical era sometimes evince, but with C.P.E. Bach, hyper works just fine. Sample her flashing Baroque violin, which doesn't quite seem to match the piano used -- yet the performers chose a piano in preference to a clavichord, which was said to be C.P.E. Bach's instrument of choice for domestic-sized music. They are right that it is hard to imagine these pieces with clavichord. With a little adjustment of the ears to the duo's unusual sound, the listener can enjoy exciting performances of some very unusual sonatas. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 23, 2020 | Claves Records

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C. P. E. Bach and his keyboards für Kenner und Liebhaber allow us to enter into a forgotten world of sound where various keyboard instruments, especially those strings that are struck, mix and mingle, revealing new colours and accents. C. P. E. Bach's work explores this broad expressive palette that enables him to evoke successively, or sometimes abruptly, the affable and tender grace of the songs to the dry anguish of break-ups, joyful liveliness to sad melancholy. With three keyboards - a clavichord, a Pantalon and a fortepiano -, exceptional witnesses of this sensitive and resonant universe, Pierre Goy succeeds in unveiling to us the whole teeming, whimsical and innovative dimension of works imbued with deep humanity, born of the great art and true freedom with which C. P. E. Bach successfully combined improvisation and composition. © Claves Records
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Classical - Released May 22, 2020 | CAvi-music

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These two sets of pieces by C.P.E. Bach, reasonably mixed here because it's hard to hear any stylistic difference between them, were published in London in 1776 and 1777. The Linos Piano Trio calls them piano trios, but the original titles referred to sonatas for harpsichord or fortepiano (the first set) or keyboard sonatas (the second set) with violin and cello accompaniment. They were, in short, in the mode of Haydn's trios except for the last few, where the violin and the cello get a few things to do but never break out independently. The genre's origins lie close to those of the musical mass market; the trios were written for middle-class home music-makers in fast-growing London to perform themselves, and they lack virtuoso elements. C.P.E. himself called the group "a non- or half-entity," a factor that may have contributed to the trios' almost total historical neglect. This said, however, it is typical of this restless composer that he could not resist a few experimental strokes. Listen to the opening Andante movement of the Piano Trio in F major, Wq 91, which is bizarre even by C.P.E. Bach's usual standards. In general, the pieces are in the galant style rather than Sturm und Drang, and they're quite compact and elegant, giving an idea of what Mozart meant when he said that no one who had listened to C.P.E. could fail to hear how he, Mozart, had been influenced by the German composer. The Linos Piano Trio performs on modern instruments, perhaps less desirable for this repertory (the F major trio mentioned above must have had a truly chilling effect when played on an early fortepiano), but the players give a historically informed performance with no extraneous Beethovenian gestures. A nice find that will please C.P.E. fans and many others. © TiVo
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Cello Concertos - Released March 30, 2016 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Classical - Released April 17, 2020 | XXI Music

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was admired and often cited as an example by Haydyn, Mozart and Beethoven, but just like these three musicians he too struggled to find an audience for his music. As one of Johann Sebastian’s sons, he was a custodian of his father’s rather daunting legacy. The composer dates back to the beginning of the classical area but his music already seemed to show hints of romanticism. The very essence of his music and his originality has been considered as a “theatre of the soul” (Gilles Cantagrel) – the emotional staging of the music interspersed with surprises and sudden modulations, fiercely dynamic oppositions and silences sometimes heavy with anguish. Like all the artists of his time, Carl Philipp was a prolific composer and wrote nearly fifty concertos for the harpsichord, which was his favourite instrument, along with the clavichord on which he took great pleasure in improvising for hours at a time. Christian Zacharias is familiar with the composer and has already devoted several recordings to his work. For this concert in November 2019 with the Auvergne National Orchestra, who he conducts from behind his own instrument, he selected the Concerto in D minor, Wq. 23, H. 427. It is a piece which illustrates the innovativeness of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s style perfectly, particularly in the Poco Andante, whose expressive effusion prefigures Mozart’s greatest concertos. The extraordinary Rondo in C minor with its harmonic instability is featured as an encore and takes us to right to the edge of the abyss before leaving us there with its question-like inconclusive ending. A musical style that seemingly initiates and embodies the “Age of Sensibility” to which Hadyn and Mozart later greatly contributed. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released February 10, 2014 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
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Chamber Music - Released March 29, 2011 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklets Distinctions 5 de Diapason - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released October 17, 2014 | Es-Dur

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Classical - Released April 17, 2020 | haenssler CLASSIC

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Classical - Released October 14, 2016 | Es-Dur

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Sacred Oratorios - Released December 24, 2009 | harmonia mundi

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Classical - Released October 18, 2019 | Glossa

Hi-Res Booklet
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was Johann Sebastian Bach’s second and most successful son. He was a transitional figure between the Baroque and the Classicism, and greatly influenced Mozart and Beethoven, partly thanks to his keyboard sonatas. In the 18th century, the cello concerto was still a fairly new genre, and Boccherini and Haydn had not yet written their contributions at the point when C.P.E. Bach completed his, the three concertos written between 1750 and 1753. The tempestuous drama of the openings and the carefree candour of the finales stand in stark contrast to the tenderness and emotional depth of the slow parts. The renowned Belgian cellist Roel Dieltiens and the legendary Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century reveal themselves to be born raconteurs, turning this music into fascinating, colourful stories. The edition includes a beautiful essay by the popular novelist Anna Enquist, a long-time friend of the Orchestra and of the late Frans Brüggen, in which she takes her experience visiting the recording sessions of this album in Amsterdam as a departure point to explore the musical personality of Carl Philipp Emanuel, especially when seen in relation to his father’s “œuvre”. © Glossa
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Chamber Music - Released October 11, 2019 | Signum Records

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Born in Weimar, Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-88) was the fifth child and second surviving son of JS Bach and his first wife Maria Barbara. By his own account he had no other teacher for composition and keyboard except his father. Nevertheless, the majority of Emanuel’s earliest works owe more to the influence of Telemann and other exponents of the new galant style, while already suggesting his own progressive instinct. At the age of twenty-four, after seven years studying law, Emanuel decided to devote himself to music. In 1738 he accepted the position of keyboard player at the court of the Prussian crown prince – the future Frederick the Great. After nearly thirty years of royal service he left Berlin and moved to Hamburg, where he occupied the positions of Music Director and Cantor until his death. © Signum Records
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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Alpha

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Chamber Music - Released November 4, 2016 | Warner Classics

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Cello Concertos - Released March 24, 2014 | Aparté

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or de l'année - Diapason d'or - 4 étoiles Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released February 28, 1992 | Warner Classics

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography