Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

CPE Bach and the Nazi Hoard

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
Leipzig Kammerorchester
Morten Schuldt-Jensen, conductor

Heilig, Wq 217
Hilke Helling, contralto
Rheinische Kantorei
Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max, conductor

Flute concerto in D Major, Wq 13
Il Gardellino

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

59 minutes

Last on

Mon 1 Jul 2019 12:00

Music Played

  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    L'Aly Rupalich, W 117 No 27 (Allegro assai)

    Performer: Ana-Marija Markovina.
    • Hänssler Classic HL00137301.
    • Hänssler Classic.
    • 9.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq 23

    Performer: Michael Rische. Orchestra: Leipziger Kammerorchester. Conductor: Morten Schuldt-Jensen.
    • Hänssler Classic 98.639.
    • Hänssler Classic.
    • 1.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Heilig, Wq 217

    Choir: Rheinische Kantorei. Ensemble: Das Kleine Konzert. Conductor: Hermann Max.
    • BRILLIANT 94640.
    • BRILLIANT.
    • 31.
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

    Concerto for flute and strings in D Major, W 13

    Ensemble: Il Gardellino.
    • ACCENT ACC24285.
    • ACCENT.
    • 1.

Broadcast

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.