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C. P. E. Bach: Piano Concertos / Rische, Klaas, Leipzig Chamber Symphony

Release Date: 02/25/2014 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 98027   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Michael Rische
Conductor:  Hans Werner Mehling
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 58 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

There seems to be no plan at Hänssler to record all of the CPE Bach keyboard concertos on modern piano, but the three volumes that pianist Michael Rische has released thus far have been splendid, and generally superior to the competition from Miklós Spányi on BIS if only because Rische takes the composer at his word when he demands a really quick Allegro assai (Wq. 46 finale) or Allegro di Molto (Wq. 22). As in previous releases in the series, Rische offer two concertos with orchestra plus one from the group of six, Wq. 43, in the composer’s arrangement for piano solo.

Bach designed these latter works for popular consumption: they belong to his “easy” pieces, both technically (not really) and in terms of their
Read more moderate length and less weird than usual harmonic syntax. However, this doesn’t mean that the music is in any way bland or boring. Even in the brief central Adagio, only two and a half minutes long, Bach spins out a curiously affecting, consistently intriguing melodic line. Really, the man couldn’t write a boring keyboard piece if he wanted to.

Aside from the brilliant, early-ish D minor Concerto Wq. 22, the other major work is the double concerto in F major, Wq. 46, in which Rische is joined by Rainer Maria Klaas to make up a richly sonorous duo. There is only one other double concerto by Bach, specifically written for harpsichord and piano, which appears on the BIS complete cycle, but this wonderful piece deserves to be hugely more popular than it is. At twenty five minutes it’s a major work, with horns added to the string orchestra, and it would grace any concerto program.

As in previous releases in this series, the playing sparkles in the outer movements, and reveals a whole winning lyricism and sentiment in the central slow ones. Rische exploits the capacity of the modern piano fully, but always tastefully and stylishly, in the service of the music. The playing of the Kammersymphonie Leipzig is also excellent, here without conductor, unlike the earlier releases. First rate.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Concerto for Flute in D minor, Wq 22/H 425 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Michael Rische (Piano)
Conductor:  Hans Werner Mehling
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747 
Date of Recording: 06/29/2013 
Length: 21 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Concerto for harpsichord, 2 flutes, 2 horns, strings & continuo in G major (Sei Concerti No. 5), H. by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Michael Rische (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1771 
Date of Recording: 06/30/2013 
Length: 12 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in F major, Wq 46/H 408 by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach
Performer:  Michael Rische (Piano)
Conductor:  Hans Werner Mehling
Period: Classical 
Written: 1740; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 10/22/2013 
Length: 23 Minutes 29 Secs. 

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