…In short: the so-called "English Bach" is portrayed here in a very fascinating way; you only really regrets having so few comparisons to the reading of historical conductors.
Overshadowed by his father, Johann Sebastian, and his brothers Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian, the music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach provides a bridge between the high art of the first and expressive tendencies of Sturm und Drang. His Harpsichord Concertos, as performed here by Maude Gratton [of the Ricercar Consort] and Il Convito, offer a very successful synthesis of these two trends.
A tireless seeker of unfairly neglected works, Katsaris here offers an original programme on disc. This brings together for the first time five of the most beautiful concertos of the Bach family: Johann Sebastian, the famous father, and his sons: Wilhelm Friedemann, Johann Christian, Johann Christoph Friedrich and Carl Philipp Emanuel. Cyprien is here accompanied by the Echternach Festival Chamber Orchestra under the baton of the Korean conductor Yoon K. Lee.
"…Musica Antiqua convey equal vitality and character to the two most striking rarities here. JCF Bach’s double concerto for fortepiano and viola appears as a prototype symphony with important solo interjections. Melodically unexceptional, it is nevertheless stylish in a jejune way. CPE Bach – the most iconoclastic of the sons – successfully combines the prevailing keyboard instruments of the day, harpsichord and fortepiano. Fingers fly with aplomb – and no little mischief – as one is left to ponder the impact of this last Bach generation on Mozart and Beethoven, with whom there were (and are) of course many significant connections. Goebel provides a historical wake-up call." ~Gramophone
…I was not expecting this music to be especially interesting. Instead I have found delight and surprise, not so much at the playing - I always knew that the Freiburg would offer a big commitment to the music - but at JCF’s material which certainly catches and holds the attention. His ideas are lively and clearly sprung from a fresh and fecund musical imagination. This disc will add considerably to your musical knowledge and enjoyment.
…In short: an all around enjoyable and highly recommended CD!
…For fans of C.P.E Bach, this disc will be fascinating. For fans of late Baroque and early Classical music who don't already know C.P.E.'s music, it will be revelatory.