Sebastian Bach’s four composer sons, J.C.F. lived the least
colorful life and achieved the least fame, spending the entirety
of his career in one city, seemingly content with a normal domestic
existence. While still a teenager, he was frequently occupied
in the preparation of the weekly cantata presentations in his
father’s Leipzig church, a duty that became more burdensome
as the elder Bach’s health began to fail in the 1740s. By 1749
he had been appointed (most likely through the influence of
his elder brother Carl Philipp Emanuel) to a court post in the
small city of Bückeburg, a position he would retain for the
rest of his life.
other members of his illustrious family, J.C.F. was not a revolutionary
genius, nor did he ever achieve national or international stardom.
His music is elegant and well constructed, and every now and
again, as in the Cello Sonata in A, we get clear glimpses of
Sebastian Bach’s influence on his son.
none of the works on this recording are particularly earth shattering,
they are pleasant enough. It would seem however that they would
be more rewarding to the players than the listeners. The standouts
are the two cello sonatas which exhibit a rich harmonic language
and a number of elegantly turned musical phrases.
those unaccustomed to listening to the lighter more transparent
tone of the fortepiano, the two trios may take some aural adjustment.
Yet, one is quickly drawn to the clarity of the instrument’s
sound, especially in the nimble hands of Sabine Bauer.
have spared us their typically long-winded and obtuse booklet
essay in favor of the concise and informative note by Peter
Wollny. As always with this label, the presentation is gorgeous
and the sound quality is above reproach.
is most certainly worth a listen and will be particularly appealing
to fans of early chamber music. This music is a nice accompaniment
for a good book and a glass of wine on a rainy night.