Even in major keys C.P.E. Bach’s music remains unpredictable, arresting, and delightful. Consider the finale of the E major Concerto (sound clip), and consider that this music was composed in 1744, when J.S. Bach was still very much alive and active. You really can hear the emergence of a new musical style, and the difference between the father and his scarcely less gifted son. And as with the first volume in this series, the music has never sounded better than it does when played on Bach’s own preferred instrument, the piano.
Also as previously, Rische includes one of Bach’s “concertos” for solo keyboard, in this case that in C minor, Wq.43/4. It’s a remarkable piece in fourRead more movements, including a minuet, actually giving it the shape of a full-fledged sonata or symphony (in cyclical form, no less, as the finale recapitulates themes from the previous movements). The other work on the program, the Concerto in D minor, resembles one of Bach’s best known works (Wq. 23 in the same key), and like its brother concerto it immediately brings to mind the elder Bach’s famous harpsichord concerto in the same key (BWV 1052).
Rische plays all of this music with unaffected gusto, adapting the large sound of the modern piano to the scale of the music without any suggestion of inhibition, retaining a healthy range of tonal shading and touch. The Leipzig Chamber Orchestra matches him with playing of impressive precision, although we could do without the attempt to adopt “period” style in minimizing the vibrato timbre that we can be pretty sure the composer actually would have wanted. Excellent sonics make this release just as desirable as the first disc, in what we can only hope will become a major series.