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The Belligerent Flautist

Donald Macleod tells the story of CPE Bach's career as harpsichordist at the court of Frederick the Great.

The Belligerent Flautist

Imagine being JS Bach's son, growing up in a gigantic shadow with a great weight of expectation on your shoulders, and trying to earn a living as a composer. These days, almost inevitably, the career of Carl Philipp Emmanuel, Johann Sebastian's second son - and those of the other Bach children - are almost entirely obscured by the reputation of their father. But CPE Bach is the man of whom Mozart said, "he is the father, we are the children. Those of us who know anything at all learned it from him".

This week, Donald Macleod discovers that there's more to CPE Bach than his famous name. In Monday's programme, CPE finds a job at the court of the famously belligerent Frederick the Great of Prussia. When Frederick wasn't busy annexing parts of Europe, he liked nothing better than to play the flute, so an important part of CPE Bach's duties was to provide pieces for the king to perform, and to accompany him when he did. Music in the programme includes the Concerto for Flute in D minor, and an organ sonata written for Frederick's equally musical sister, Anna Amalia.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 3 Mar 2014 18:30

Music Played

  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Symphony in C major Wq.182`3

    Orchestra: Academy of Ancient Music. Director: Christopher Hogwood.
    • L'OISEAU-LYRE : 417-124-2.
    • L'OISEAU-LYRE.
    • 1.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Sonata in D major Wq.70`5 for organ

    Performer: Marie‐Claire Alain.
    • ERATO : 0630-14777-2.
    • ERATO.
    • 13.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Concerto in D minor for flute and strings [original version of Wq.22 for harpsic

    Performer: Konrad Hünteler. Orchestra: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. Director: Ton Koopman.
    • ERATO : ECD-75536.
    • ERATO.
    • 1.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    March in D major for keyboard, attrib. J S Bach (as BWV.A.122) [Anna Magdalena N

    Performer: Gustav Leonhardt.
    • RCA : GD-71969.
    • RCA.
    • 1.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Fantasia in F major Wq.59`5 for keyboard

    Performer: Gabor Antalffy.
    • C.P.O. : 999-100-2.
    • C.P.O..
    • 5.

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