Donald Macleod tells the story of the loss – and eventual rediscovery in 1999 – of much of CPE Bach’s music, following a fascinating journey.
This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod tells the story of the loss – and eventual rediscovery in 1999 – of much of CPE Bach’s music, following a fascinating journey.
From 1750, for the next 60 years the name "Bach" was almost exclusively associated with the initials "CPE". Born in 1714, Carl Philipp Emanuel's influence resonates to this day: his book on keyboard playing permanently changed the practice; his music changed the direction of travel. Bach left his life's work tidy and well organised on his death in 1788, with most works still in print. His estate was largely sold to Felix Mendelssohn's father Abraham, but by the 1800s, CPE Bach's music had all but disappeared.
The collection of CPE Bach manuscripts found its way into the library of the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, one of the most prestigious performing institutions in the Prussian capital, closely associated with the royal court. This was the finest collection of Bach family manuscripts in the world. In the face of Allied bombing in 1943, the Sing-Akademie was one of over 500 mostly private collections from the Berlin area to be evacuated. It was carefully packaged up into 14 crates and sent to a remote castle in Silesia, in present-day Poland. As the war ended, the collection was found by the Red Army and disappeared from public view for the next 50 years.
L'Aly Rupalich, Wq 117 No 27
Ana-Marija Markovina, piano
Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq 23
Michael Rische, piano
Morten Schuldt-Jensen, conductor
Heilig, Wq 217
Hilke Helling, contralto
Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max, conductor
Flute concerto in D Major, Wq 13
Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.
You are at the first episode