Recordings
Ideal landscape (1776) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1748-1778) 
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Ideal landscape (1776) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1748-1778) Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
C P E Bach - Keyboard Sonatas
Label: Hyperion Records
Released: June 1, 2010
Catalog Num: CDA67786

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.

Emanuel Bach’s music breaks dramatically away from, yet also builds upon, the early eighteenth-century style perfected by his father. His compositions mark one of the first—and among the most inspired—repudiations of the baroque aesthetic, in which a single unified mood dominates each movement. Emanuel Bach composed more than three hundred keyboard works during his lifetime—all of the works on this recording were composed during the 1740s, while in the service of King Frederick II of Prussia.

'Danny Driver, a recent addition to Hyperion's bejewelled roster of pianists, makes his superlative case for music that is as inventive as it is unsettling. Playing with imperturbable authority, he captures all the mercurial fits and starts of the G minor Sonata … It would be impossible to over-estimate Driver's impeccable technique and musicianship, and also a warmth missing from Pletnev's earlier and razor-sharp recital … This is one of the finest of all recent keyboard issues and Hyperion's sound and presentation are ideal' (Gramophone - Editor's Choice)

Top Ten Classical CDs of 2010 (NPR)

Related Links
Updated: Sep-11-2014
Back to List
Back to Top