With his 2017 release on Erato, Jean Rondeau illustrates the beginnings of the harpsichord concerto, which can be traced from the Baroque masterpieces of Johann Sebastian Bach through the early Classical period, represented here by works of his sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and Johann Christian Bach. While this celebrated musical dynasty contributed to many forms in the 18th century, the keyboard concerto was given a special, innovative treatment by the Bachs, who effectively put the genre on the map.
Since 1727, JS Bach's "Great Passion" has gripped the hearts and uplifted the minds of audiences all over the globe. Nearly three centuries after its premiere, the work has lost none of its power to evoke feelings of compassion for all those who suffer. Its mix of urgent story-telling, meditative arias and mighty choruses sets St Matthew's account of Christ's betrayal, trial and execution eloquently and emotionally.
This collection of music for Vespers by J S Bach’s youngest son includes Domine ad adjuvandum, Confitbor tibi Domine, Beatus vir, Laudate pueri Dominum and his setting of the Magnificat. Domine ad adjuvandum is a world premiere recording.
Johann Christian Bach, nicknamed the “London Bach”, was the 11th and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. Only 15 years old when his father died, he left Leipzig in 1750 to spend some time with his stepbrother Carl Philipp Emmanuel in Berlin. He later moved to Italy where he studied composition with Padre Martini in Bologna. In 1762 Johann Christian Bach became Music Director at the King’s Theatre in London. Bach stayed in London until his death in 1782. One of several operas he wrote during his first (and last) season at the King’s Theatre was the “Opera Seria” Zanaida. The Libretto by Giovanni Gualberto Bottarelli is an adaptation of Metastasio’s “Siface”, with the text for one of the arias written by Carlo Goldoni. Fashionable at the time, the opera deals with political and sentimental intrigues between Turkey and Persia. It is a story about power, blind obedience versus insubordination, and of course, love. Zanaida features nine soloists: six sopranos, a mezzosoprano, a tenor and a baritone. In the orchestral score Johann Christian Bach was one of the first to include two clarinets as well as two “tailles” (tenor oboes).
This release by Russian-Finnish pianist Anastasia Injushina and the Hamburger Camerata under Ralf Gothóni doesn't fit into any of the usual pigeonholes, and it thus has a fresh, bracing quality. Injushina plays a modern piano, but she neither gives it a consistent, harpsichord-like sound nor plays the music with the full capabilities of the modern piano in mind. Gothóni likewise his small group of Hamburgers in accompaniments that are neither Baroque nor modern. What this enables the musicians to do is depict with uncommon accuracy the musical commonalities and differences among J.S. Bach and his sons.
The 11th son of Johann Sebastian Bach and the youngest to live to maturity, Johann Christian received his early musical training from his father, than whom music has spawned no greater genius. When Christian was fourteen his father died. Thereupon he studied with his brother Carl Philipp Emanuel. Four years later he left for Italy, where he continued his studies and won a patron. Eventually he became organist at the cathedral of Milan and began to compose operas, economically the most rewarding of compositional forms in those days. In 1762 he emigrated to London, his home until his death 20 years later. The "London" Bach achieved immediate renown in England, and within two years was appointed music master to the Queen. Until his health failed, he was the co-organizer (with Carl Abel) of an acclaimed series of London concerts that took place over two decades.~ Douglas Purl
…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.
Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as 'the London Bach' or 'the English Bach', due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart. Johann Christian Bach was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth, which would perhaps contribute to the sharp differences between his music and that of his father. Even so, his father first instructed him in music and that instruction continued until his death…
Christian Hommel studied the oboe in Freiburg with Heinz Holliger and the piano with James Avery. He was a prizewinner at the Geneva International Music Competition and at the Trieste Oboe Competition and received various other awards and prizes, including the scholarship of the German Music Council in 1985, the 1987 German Music Competition prize and the 1988 prize of the Wiesbaden Mozart Society. He has appeared throughout Europe, America and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. For some years he has served as a member of the Cologne Chamber Orchestras as a soloist and ensemble player and has a special interest in contemporary music. He gives regular international master-classes, is Professor at the Bremen Hochschule für Künste, directs the German Youth Symphony Orchestra and has won awards for his recordings.