Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Bach family is without doubt the most important extended musical family in Western cultural history. For three centuries - from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-nineteenth - members of this family were active as musicians and composers. Fourteen of them are prominent enough to be given full biographical entries in the 2001 edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. This recording features instrumental works by Johann Sebastian Bach and three of his sons who became gifted composers. The first two, W.F. and C.P.E., were the children of Bach's first wife, Maria Barbara Bach, who died in 1720. Johann Christian was the youngest son of Bach and his second wife, Anna Magdalena. The music on this disc spans a period of six decades or more, from c. 1720 to c. 1780 and encompasses both Baroque and Classical styles. In keeping with current historical performance practices, the Baroque works are recorded at a pitch of A-415 - modern pitch of A-440 is a half step higher - and the concluding J.C. Bach quartet is recorded at about A-430, called Classical pitch. These recorded performances are played on period instruments (replica or original) which were designed to play at these pitches.