Donald Macleod explores the sound of CPE Bach's music, written in the 'Empfindsamer Stil'.
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 explores the sound of CPE Bach's music, written in the 'Empfindsamer Stil'.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s music sits somewhere between the high baroque of his father, JS Bach, and the stripping back of ornamentation by Haydn and Mozart. It’s often described using the German word for sensitive or sentimental, 'Empfindsam'.
The Empfindsamer style aimed to express ‘true and natural’ feelings, in contrast to the baroque, and drew on a very wide range of cultural influences: poets, painters, philosophers and writers, in particular Laurence Sterne, whose Sentimental Journey was translated into German as Empfindsame Reise. All of that is far from the almost exclusively theological focus of JS Bach. For Carl Philipp Emanuel, music wasn’t about technical brilliance, but all about stirring the emotions of the listener. Bach believed that music should reflect human nature, and hold up a mirror to the emotional world of man. The emotions should be stirred, and this should have a cathartic effect.
Symphony in D Major, Wq 183 No 1
Marek Toporowski, continuo
Didier Talpain, conductor
Fantasia No. 2 in C Major, Wq 59 No 6
Christine Schornsheim, clavichord
Wer ist so würdig als du; Ach, ruft mich einst zu seinen Freuden, H 805 (Nun danket alle Gott)
Jan Kobow, tenor
Les Amis de Philippe
Ludger Rémy, conductor
Sonata in C Minor, Wq 78
Laurent Albrecht Breuninger, violin
Piet Kuijken, fortepiano
Morgengesang am Schöpfungsfeste, W 239
Barbara Schlick, soprano
Johanna Koslowsky, soprano
Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max, conductor
Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales