Hyperion presents a second volume of CPE Bach’s startlingly original and inventive keyboard sonatas. This release spans the composer’s career, taking the listener from the highly expressive manner of his early works to his mastery of the Classical style—in which he still retains the distinctive characteristics, the fantastical changes of mood and tempo which both astounded and perplexed his contemporaries.
Danny Driver proves a peerless guide to this fascinating music, performing with elegance and vigour.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788), second son of Johann Sebastian, was both revered and criticized by his contemporaries for his bold departures from conventional modes of musical expression. He perfected a highly original and intensely personal compositional style known as the empfindsamer Stil (literally, the ‘sensitive style’). As the works on this recording show, Bach’s approach to musical expressiveness found voice in frequent mood changes, abundant rests and ‘sighing’ motifs, the juxtaposition of contrasting rhythmic figures, deceptive cadences, and dramatic, rhetorical harmonic interjections. Bach became particularly renowned for his ability to improvise fantasias—seemingly free-form, stream-of-consciousness flights of fancy …….
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and harpsichordist Jory Vinikour, critically acclaimed artists of interntional renown- and also close friends-record together for the first time on this album of J.S. Bach's complete sonatas for violin and harpsichord. The artists approach these works as Bach intended: as trio sonatas with equally important roles for the violin and the harpsichord's treble and bass lines. In addition to the six Sonatas, the album offers the remarkable and ravishingly poetic Cantabile, BWV 1019a, a free-standing work that Bach originally conceived as a movement of the Sonata, BWV 1019. Cedille's audiophile engineering and the intimate acoustics of Evanston, Illinois' Nichols Hall allow the complex trio textures to blossom with detail. In all, the album sets a new standard for a body of work that Bach's son, CPE, considered among his father's finest compositions. Rachel Barton Pine is a Billboard chart-topping artist.
Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett has recorded Bach before, on both piano and harpsichord. His interpretations are not jazz versions of Bach but are played straight. In this case you might say relatively straight, for Bach's sonatas for violin and keyboard, BWV 1014-1019, were written for a harpsichord and are generally played that way; somehow the ear is jarred more by the piano here than in Bach's solo keyboard music (which Jarrett has also recorded). Jarrett fans will find the evidence of his characteristic style not in rhythmic inflections toward jazz but in his way of sustaining notes, which is never excessive.
Sharon Bezaly has demonstrated her great gifts as a flutist on a number of recordings on BIS ranging from the concertos written for her by renowned contemporary composers, including Sofia Gubaidulina and Kalevi Aho, to the classic staples of the flute literature such as Mozart’s concertos and flute quartets. Along the way there has been a wealth of imaginatively programmed recital discs, focusing on the great flute sonatas as well as the French flute tradition.
This is the final volume of Kemp English’s pioneering world premiere recording of Leopold Kozeluch’s complete solo keyboard sonatas. It is played, once again, on appropriate authentic instruments and charts just how profoundly Kozeluch’s style changed over the decades, from the charming early Sonata No. 47 for harpsichord to the three late romantic sonatas. The virtuosic Sonata No. 49, with its pedal effects and extended compass, shows techniques derived from the English Piano School and in the final sonata he encapsulates to perfection the sound world of early nineteenth-century Vienna.