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C. P. E. Bach: Hamburg Concertos / Asperen, Melante Ensemble


Release Date: 10/09/2001 
Label:  Virgin Classics Veritas Catalog #: 61913   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Bob van Asperen
Conductor:  Bob van Asperen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 28 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

These six harpsichord concertos date from C. P. E. Bach's Hamburg period, the last part of his life; they were written in 1771 and published the following year. There is little to distinguish them from the earlier concertos in terms of general style. Here as usual are the fiery, wideranging themes, the dashes off into brilliant passage-work, the dramatic interruptions—all handled, perhaps, with a shade more assurance than in the earlier works but still as bold and as formidably original as he always was. In C. P. E. Bach's usual way, the movements tend to run into one another, offering him an extra opportunity for striking effects as one mood succeeds its predecessor without the more conventional composer's due notice. There are some other Read more formal peculiarities here, for example in No. 4 in C minor, where the first movement is in effect broken off while the second and third are heard, and then resumed; No. 2, similarly, alternates fast and slow music in its opening movement. I found myself enjoying the music rather more than I sometimes do with the wilful C. P. E.—the witty touches in the first movement of No. Sin G, the brilliance of No. 2 in D, the grandeur of the E flat. No. 3, and both here and in No. 1 in F the remarkably free, florid, improvisatory lines assigned to the soloist, The concertos are scored for strings, with horns in some of the quick movements and flutes in most of the slow ones.

These performances use a smallish orchestra, of 'authentic' instruments, and gain greatly by comparison with most existing C. P. E. Bach concerto discs for the lightness and the athleticism provided by the strings. Textures are bright and clear, the horns are sometimes very prominent, but I do not doubt that this fairly reproduces the balance of an eighteenth-century group. Bob van Asperen is a very brilliant soloist indeed, able to throw off the demanding passage-work with aplomb and even with enough time in hand to allow him to shape it to good effect; I specially admired his subtle timing in the expressive lines of the slow movements, for example, of Nos. I and 6. His crisp articulation and his neat, unfussy ornaments are a delight. Warmly recommended.

-- Gramophone
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concertos (6) for Harpsichord, Wq 43: no 1 in F Major/H 471 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Bob van Asperen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Hamburg, Germany 
2.
Concertos (6) for Harpsichord, Wq 43: no 2 in D Major/H 472 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Bob van Asperen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Hamburg, Germany 
3.
Concertos (6) for Harpsichord, Wq 43: no 3 in Eb Major/H 473 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Bob van Asperen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Hamburg, Germany 
4.
Concertos (6) for Harpsichord, Wq 43: no 4 in C minor, H 474 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Bob van Asperen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Hamburg, Germany 
5.
Concertos (6) for Harpsichord, Wq 43: no 5 in G major/H 475 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Bob van Asperen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Hamburg, Germany 
6.
Concertos (6) for Harpsichord, Wq 43: no 6 in C Major/H 476 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Bob van Asperen (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Bob van Asperen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melante Amsterdam
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771; Hamburg, Germany 

Sound Samples

Concerto in C minor Wq. 43 No. 4: I. Allegro assai
Concerto in C minor Wq. 43 No. 4: II. Poco adagio
Concerto in C minor Wq. 43 No. 4: III. Tempo di Minuetto
Concerto in C minor Wq. 43 No. 4: IV. Allegro assai
Concerto in G major Wq. 43 No. 5: I. Adagio - Presto
Concerto in G major Wq. 43 No. 5: II. Adagio
Concerto in G major Wq. 43 No. 5: III. Allegro
Concerto in D major Wq. 43 No. 2: I. Allegro di molto - Andante
Concerto in D major Wq. 43 No. 2: II. Andante
Concerto in D major Wq. 43 No. 2: III. Allegretto
Concerto in C major Wq. 43 No. 6: I. Allegro di molto
Concerto in C major Wq. 43 No. 6: II. Larghetto
Concerto in C major Wq. 43 No. 6: III. Allegro
Concerto in E flat major Wq. 43 No. 3: I. Allegro
Concerto in E flat major Wq. 43 No. 3: II. Larghetto
Concerto in E flat major Wq. 43 No. 3: III. Presto
Concerto in F major Wq. 43 No. 1: I. Allegro di molto
Concerto in F major Wq. 43 No. 1: II. Andante
Concerto in F major Wq. 43 No. 1: III. Prestissimo

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