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Posted June 23, 2011
The Symphonies, Opp. 6, 9, and 18 of J. C. Bach on this 2-CD album are performed by the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, conducted by David Zinman. Also included is the overture "La calamita de'Cuori". As was common for the time, these symphonies could serve also as opera overtures; thus, the Symphony, Op. 9/3 was used as the overture to the opera "Zanaida".
The recording quality and performance are excellent. For me, this is a fine way to trace the development of the classical music style. While each symphony is fine in itself, there is admittedly a certain sameness to them, which is especially apparent when one plays both CDs, one after the other (as when one is reviewing the disks). The symphonies would surely be appreciated more if one played only one or two at a time. They are remarkably similar to Mozart's earlier work (e.g., up to his last three violin concertos - not surprising as one can read in the accompanying program notes). However, I miss the greater emotional content found in later Mozart works (e.g., the Symphonie concertante for violin and viola) or in many of Haydn's works (even as early as the Opus 20 string quartets). On the other hand, the slow movements do have more of this quality. I also think, Bach's cello concerto (if authentic) is more advanced in this regard.
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