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J. C. Bach: Six Favourite Overtures / Hogwood, Academy Of Ancient Music


Release Date: 10/17/2011 
Label:  L'oiseau Lyre   Catalog #: 417148  
Composer:  Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Not to be missed. This is inspiriting music, beautifully proportioned and written with great verve and adroitness, with the present performances doing them splendid justice.

Any commercial intent behind the title "Six Favourite Overtures" is not to be attributed to the record company but to the publishers of the music in 1763, at which time the overtures, if not literally 'favourites', would have been known to London theatre goers. Here 'overture' and 'symphony' are the theatrical and concert faces of the same three-movement, quick-slow-quick format, though the former was, by virtue of its function, shorter. That a recording of 1978 reappears on CD eight years later should say something about the music and
Read more the performances; that something is that they are not to be missed—nor is the splendid sound quality.

-- Gramophone [10/1986]


The year after J. C. Bach arrived in London he published three sets of works, among them this set of "Favourite Overtures". All but one of them had been heard in the King's Theatre, where he served as resident composer. Only one, the first on this disc, prefaced an opera of his own, Orione; Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6 were written for pasticcios produced at that theatre between summer 1762 and early 1763, while No. 3, as far as we know, was not known in London, making the title "favourite" seem a little optimistic (it had been written for an opera heard in Turin in 1761). Being opera overtures, and essentially products of his Italian period, they are rather lighter in content and manner than most of J. C. Bach's music. The longest of them, Oriane, takes ten minutes; the others are only six minutes apiece. Orione is the most interestingly orchestrated, with generous use of the wind instruments; in terms of content, No. 2 (La calamita de' cuori), in which the three movements follow without break, is attractive for its Andante, the source (it seems) of the slow movement of Mozart's K4 14 Piano Concerto, and No. 6 (Astarto, rI di Tiro in London, but originally composed in Naples) has a particularly lively and strongly argued first movement and a charming G minor Andante. The general manner is brisk and ebullient, with vigorous first movements full of effective figuration and resounding tuttis, tuneful and undemandingly expressive slow movements, and crisp, cheerful finales. These overtures, in short, do not represent an important part of J. C. Bach's work, and they plumb no depths; but they are inspiriting music, beautifully proportioned, and written with great verve and adroitness.

The performances here do them splendid justice. Probably Hogwood's skilful ensemble play the fast music a shade faster than the London opera band of the 1760s would have done, and perhaps phrase it more deliberately; but the music scarcely suffers from that. The actual sound they make, on their authentic instruments, must be very like what came out of the King's Theatre pit: a good 'stringy' string tone, with little sheen or sweetness, and quite often with the happy ring of open strings. The wind balance is excellent, whether it be (as in several of the slow movements) flutes or oboes along with the horns. In the first movement of No. 1 a missed bassoon entry would have justified a retake; but that is a minor cavil in a record so very enjoyable in terms equally of the music, lightweight though it is, and the performance.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [5/1978]
reviewing the original LP release
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Works on This Recording

1. Overtures (6), no 1 in D major by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
2. Overtures (6), no 2 in D major by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
3. Overtures (6), no 3 in D major by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
4. Overtures (6), no 4 in C major by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
5. Overtures (6), no 5 in G major by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: England 
6. Overtures (6), no 6 in G major by Johann Christian Bach
Conductor:  Christopher Hogwood
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of Ancient Music
Period: Classical 
Written: England 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 The AAM is the greatest April 4, 2012 By Richard H. (Glendale, AZ) See All My Reviews "Ahh yes, the London Bach. Mozart was greatly influenced by JC Bach and these works illustrate why. If you didn't know, you might think that these were written by the young Wolfgang. The period peformance by tha AAM is always spot on and I have collected many recordings by them." Report Abuse
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