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C.P.E. Bach: Berlin Symphonies / Haenchen, C.P.E Bach Chamber Orchestra

Release Date: 04/29/2014 
Label:  Brilliant Classics   Catalog #: 94777   Spars Code: DDD 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Brilliant Classics’s generous celebration of one of 2014’s principal anniversary composers continues with these three-movement ‘symphonies’ that may not yet have the breadth or weight that later composers of the Classical period would invest in the genre such as we know it now, but still move forward from the kind of pot-pourri sinfonia that would open an opera or function as an incidental intermezzo. In this, as in so much of his output, CPE Bach stands between periods, perhaps hitherto more appreciated for where his music leads than its own qualities and quirks, which are legion: as purveyor of a new ‘Empfindsamer Stil’ or ‘sensitive style’, CPE took the application of rhetorical principles within ‘abstract’ musical narratives to Read more unparalleled heights, with an almost postmodern disregard for the niceties of formal elegance and an apparently unquenchable glee in composing the unexpected. These symphonies are full of unlikely turns, zestful energy and the juxtaposition of curious ideas.

The Dutch conductor Hartmut Haenchen has been a staunch advocate for this music through his career, making pioneering recordings that use ‘traditional’ instruments but speak the composer’s language with tremendous enthusiasm and eloquent understanding.

Other information:
- Recorded in 1985.
- The complete six so-called “Berliner” symphonies by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, whose 300th birthday is celebrated in 2014.
- C.P.E. was a figure of transition, building a bridge between the Baroque and the Classical style. His symphonies of course lack the formal structures of the classical symphony by Haydn or Mozart, but they are highly personal and original works, full of unexpected turns, surprises, jokes and “affects”.
- Dedicated and spirited performances by Hartmut Haenchen, who leads his C.P.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra in a historically informed way, the orchestra playing on “traditional” instruments.
- ‘Vigorous performances lacking neither in expressive sensibility nor in virtuosity.' (Gramophone) Read less

Sound Samples

Sinfonia in E-Flat Major, Wq. 179, H. 654: I. Prestissimo
Sinfonia in E-Flat Major, Wq. 179, H. 654: II. Larghetto
Sinfonia in E-Flat Major, Wq. 179, H. 654: III. Presto
Sinfonia in F Major, Wq. 181, H. 656: I. Allegro
Sinfonia in F Major, Wq. 181, H. 656: II. Andante
Sinfonia in F Major, Wq. 181, H. 656: III. Allegro assai
Sinfonia in C Major, Wq. 174, H. 649: I. Allegro assai
Sinfonia in C Major, Wq. 174, H. 649: II. Andante
Sinfonia in C Major, Wq. 174, H. 649: III. Allegro
Sinfonia in F Major, Wq. 175, H. 650: I. Allegro assai
Sinfonia in F Major, Wq. 175, H. 650: II. Andante
Sinfonia in F Major, Wq. 175, H. 650: III. Tempo di menuetto
Sinfonia in E Minor, Wq. 178, H. 653: I. Allegro assai
Sinfonia in E Minor, Wq. 178, H. 653: II. Andante moderato
Sinfonia in E Minor, Wq. 178, H. 653: III. Allegro

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Outstanding June 7, 2014 By Henry S. (Springfield, VA) See All My Reviews "I think that Arkivmusic's professional critics' comments on this excellent compact disk are on target, and I wholeheartedly agree that this is a recording which really deserves a listen. According the CD booklet notes, the 5 symphonies presented here, all of them in the transitional 3-movement format, come from the 1750's and 1760's, which essentially puts them close to the 'boundary' between Baroque and Classical Era works. Frankly, this is an academic consideration, and does little to suggest the sparkling energy and magnificently innovative melodies which CPE Bach brought to bear in these symphonies. The Bach Chamber Orchestra (about which the CD notes say nothing at all) is an excellent ensemble, clearly small in size but nimble and razor sharp in their interpretation. Licensed from a mid-1980's German label recording, Brilliant Classics has remastered these symphonies superbly, and the resultant sound quality is great. So go ahead and indulge yourself with this recording, part of the CPE Bach bicentennial of his birth. Highly recommended." Report Abuse
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