One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







Classicsonline  AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Johann Christian BACH (1735–1782)
Sonata in G major, Op. 17, No. 1 [12:18]
Sonata in C minor, Op. 17, No. 2 [14:37]
Sonata in E flat major, Op. 17, No. 3 [12:28]
Sonata in G major, Op. 17, No. 4 [9:06]
Sonata in A major, Op. 17, No. 5 [9:56]
Sonata in B flat major, Op. 17, No. 6 [21:03]
Alberto Nosè (piano)
rec. Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, UK, 21-22 October 2006
NAXOS 8.570361 [79:28]
Experience Classicsonline

London-Bach, as he has been called, was the youngest of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sons. He was fifteen when his father passed away and then moved to Berlin, where his half-brother Carl Philipp Emanuel was harpsichordist to Frederick the Great. Young Johann Christian studied with his brother and it was during this time he wrote his first concertos. In 1754 he moved to Italy where he was successful as an opera composer and it was in this capacity that he was called to London where he settled. In London he met the young Mozart and was greatly influenced by him as a composer. The six sonatas Op. 17, first published in Paris in 1774 as Op. 12, clearly show his compositional style. It is easy to hear similarities between the two composers, especially the earlier Mozart sonatas. Bach’s sonatas are good representatives of the gallant style with sweet melodics and the care-free and easygoing flow of the music.
Of these six sonatas only two are written in the traditional three movements and the brevity of most of them rather implies that they might have been labelled sonatinas instead. The exception is No. 6, which is on a much grander scale, elaborated and with deeper development of the thematic material. It is also technically the most demanding. Sonata No. 2 is the other three-movement piece and it also stands out as it is the only one in a minor key, which automatically lends it a more ‘serious’ character.
All the sonatas are highly entertaining and I don’t use that word in any pejorative sense. They are well constructed and fairly simple. Dr. Burney wrote about Bach’s keyboard compositions that they were ‘such as ladies can execute with little trouble’. But simplicity doesn’t exclude musical finesse, even though music of this kind shouldn’t be over-interpreted.
Alberto Nosè is a young Italian, who has a long list of prizes in prestigious piano competitions worldwide, most recently First Prize, Gold Medal and Sony Audience Prize in Santander 2005. The year before that I heard him in Florence where I found him better suited to Scriabin’s and Szymanowski’s late Romantic-to-Impressionist sound-world than Schumann’s more sweeping Romanticism. Half a century further back in history he reaps laurels through his clarity, his rhythmic poise and his light touch. He has a formidable technique, to which his prizes are testimony and which I also noted in Florence. He has ample opportunity to demonstrate this in Sonata No. 6, where the rousing finale in particular requires fluent finger-work. He sticks rather strictly to the basic tempos of each movement and keeps the dynamics within a rather limited scope, bearing in mind that these sonatas were composed for harpsichord or fortepiano. In other words he lets the music speak and puts himself in the background. I can’t think of better advocacy for Johann Christian Bach. Next time I would be happy to hear him in Scriabin or Szymanowski but I am afraid that Naxos have already dealt with both composers.
The recording has great clarity without being too analytical.
Göran Forsling


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.