C.P.E. Bach: Symphonies - From Berlin to Hamburg

C.P.E. Bach: Symphonies - From Berlin to Hamburg

Almost immediately after the death of J.S. Bach in 1750, the formal structures of the Baroque era—toccatas, preludes and fugues, and concerti grossi—gave way to freer, more expressive symphonies and sonatas. At the forefront of the drive to the Classical period was Bach’s son, Carl Philip Emmanuel, whose symphonies are full of invention: extremes of dynamics, eccentric phrases, boundless energy, and raw, emotional power. It’s the kind of music that was known also as Empfindsamkeit, that’s to say, full of “sensibility” or emotional sensitivity. From Track 1, you’ll hear this fiery, freewheeling spirit at play. The music constantly diverts to unexpected places, thrilling one moment, serenely beautiful the next. And because this brilliantly peformed collection is programmed in chronological order, you can chart C.P.E.’s stylistic development from the Handelian Symphony in D Major, H. 651, Wq. 176 of the 1750s to the Sturm und Drang, Haydn-esque intensity of the Symphony in B Minor, H. 661, Wq 182/5, dating from around 1773.

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