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C.P.E. Bach: Symphonies & Concertos / Cooper, Guimond, Arion Baroque Orchestra

Bach,C.p.e. / Arion Baroque Orch / Guimond
Release Date: 10/26/2010 
Label:  Early-music.com   Catalog #: 7771   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Gary CooperClaire Guimond
Conductor:  Gary Cooper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arion Baroque Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


To use that word from the 1980s, this disc features "dynamite" performances of four works by the second surviving son of J.S. and Maria Barbara Bach. Born in 1714, Emanuel Bach's life and career spanned the age of Haydn, Mozart, and even a young Beethoven, and his music, which only recently has been given a deserved respect for its independence and often audacious originality, stands as both a tribute to his father's influence and a proclamation of a new age, not only of style but of the composer's role in determining it.

There are many fine recordings of C.P.E. Bach's works in the catalog--the symphonies on Harmonia Mundi by the Hungarian group Concerto Armonico Budapest
Read more and the keyboard concerto series from Finnish period-instrument ensemble Opus X on BIS are standouts; but certainly that list must also include this release from Montréal-based baroque orchestra Arion, whose renditions of these two concertos and two symphonies get everything right--that is, they fully realize the substantial drama and emotional range inherent in these works while delivering some of the crispest, gutsiest performances you'll hear, capitalizing on the sandy timbres of the period strings, the flute's warm, wood-fired resonance, and the at-once bright and full-bodied subtlety and power of the harpsichord.

If you've not experienced C.P.E. Bach's music before, well, you've been missing some of the best music of the 18th century--but you can begin your discovery right here, and you'll certainly be surprised at, well, the surprises that Bach throws at you: the abrupt shifts of mood, of tempo, of harmony; the seamless transitions from movement to movement in the symphonies; the absolutely captivating way he builds his material to climaxes and then pulls the rug out and begins again. The slow movements of the two concertos are masterpieces of the "genre"--this Bach cannot be accused of not knowing just how to write a heart-tugging tune, or how to set it for maximum effect--and affect. And the fast movements are uniformly, irresistibly moving--in every sense of the word. There simply isn't a dull moment here, and, dare I say it?--this flute concerto isn't just well written and expertly performed--but it is really exciting!

But much of the credit here must go to the terrific playing by everyone concerned--the last movement of the flute concerto (the final track on the disc) leaves you happily breathless, delighting in the expressive technique and truly spectacular ensemble work--and hopefully with renewed (or new) appreciation for the creations of this often underrated Bach. The musicians were fortunate to have a recording team whose artistry matched their own. Don't miss this one.

– David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Sinfonias (6), Wq 182: no 3 in C major, H 659 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Conductor:  Gary Cooper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arion Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; Hamburg, Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2009 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin-de-Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 11 Minutes 02 Secs. 
2.
Concerto for Harpsichord in F major, Wq 38/H 454 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Gary Cooper (Harpsichord)
Conductor:  Gary Cooper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arion Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1763; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2009 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin-de-Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 21 Minutes 30 Secs. 
3.
Sinfonias (6), Wq 182: no 5 in B minor, H 661 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Conductor:  Gary Cooper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arion Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1773; Hamburg, Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2009 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin-de-Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 10 Minutes 06 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor, Wq 22/H 425 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Claire Guimond (Flute)
Conductor:  Gary Cooper
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arion Baroque Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1746-1747; Germany 
Date of Recording: 11/2009 
Venue:  Saint-Augustin-de-Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 24 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Notes: Version for flute and strings in D minor, Wq 22/H 425. 

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