> CPE Bach - The Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 8 [KM]: Classical CD Reviews- Oct 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788)
The Solo Keyboard Music - Volume 8
Sonata in E major, W.62/17 (H.117)
‘Petites Pièces’ (Character pieces):
La Capricieuse, W.117/33 (H.113)
La Complaisante, W.117/28 (H.109)
Les Langueurs tendres, W.117/30 (H.110)
La Journalière, W.117/32 (H.112)
L’Irresoluë, W.117/31 (H.111)
Sonata in E flat major, W.65/28 (H.78)
‘Petites Pièces’ (Character pieces):
La Gause, W.117/37 (H.82)
La Pott, W.117/18 (H.80)
La Borchward, W.117/17 (H.79)
La Böhmer, W.117/26 (H.81)
Miklós Spányi, clavichord
Rec: July 1999, House of the Lukijoki Youth Association, Finland.
BIS CD-1087 [68.59]

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the most illustrious of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sons. His composing career was long and he was quite prolific, writing dozens of sonatas, concertos and other works. (According to Miklós Spányi, there are 52 keyboard concertos and 12 sonatinas, in addition to the many solo keyboard works.) This recording contains five sonatas for clavichord.

Miklós Spányi continues his monumental inventory of C.P.E. Bach’s solo keyboard music with another selection of works for clavichord, including two three-movement sonatas and nine ‘Petites Pièces’ (Character pieces). The two sonatas follow the standard fast-slow-fast sonata form, and, as often with C.P.E. Bach, the middle movements are relatively short as compared to the outer movements. We hear, as in all of the younger Bach’s sonatas, a wide variety of melodic invention coupled with vigour and energy, especially in the fast movements, which retain a clear dance-like rhythm.

But the real pearls on this disc are the recordings of the short ‘Petites Pièces’. Modelled after French harpsichord composers’ pieces (especially those by Couperin and Dandrieu) which presented character and personality traits, with names such as La Capricieuse, L’Irresuloue, etc., and another set of four pieces named after people (La Gause, La Pott, etc.), these are delightful miniatures which use melodic and rhythmic idiosyncrasies to depict people and characters. Brilliantly played by Spányi, these works (which are not world premieres, as the disc claims - Marcia Hadjimarkos recently recorded a disc of these pieces for Zig-Zag Territoires), are very different from the sonatas on this recording, showing a wider range of themes and developments.

As usual, Miklós Spányi plays with feeling and subtlety, and his clavichord has a fine sound, though there is a bit too much reverb, which makes the bass notes boom slightly. But the quality of this series is maintained in this 8th volume, and, again, C.P.E. is given the performer he deserves to make this fine music better known.

Kirk McElhearn

C.P.E. is given the performer he deserves to make this fine music better known. … see Full Review

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