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