Johann Christian & Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach: Keyboard Concertos

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The four concertos on this disc were at one time all thought to be by Johann Christian Bach, the "London Bach" whose concertos were rearranged by the child Mozart and influenced his musical growth greatly. Two of them have been assigned to Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, of the Saxon town of B├╝ckeburg, instead, making this disc timely as well as generally useful; fortepiano recordings of music by these two Bach sons, especially relevant in the case of J.C., have not been especially common. The disc is probably of most interest to serious students of music of the middle eighteenth century, but those are invited to try their hands at seeing how the musical evidence links ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The four concertos on this disc were at one time all thought to be by Johann Christian Bach, the "London Bach" whose concertos were rearranged by the child Mozart and influenced his musical growth greatly. Two of them have been assigned to Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, of the Saxon town of B├╝ckeburg, instead, making this disc timely as well as generally useful; fortepiano recordings of music by these two Bach sons, especially relevant in the case of J.C., have not been especially common. The disc is probably of most interest to serious students of music of the middle eighteenth century, but those are invited to try their hands at seeing how the musical evidence links up with the documentary findings. The music on the disc all falls under the label galant, the mid-century style that was the counterpart to the ideal of naturalness espoused by Rousseau and other aestheticians. All the concertos are in the conventional three-movement format, and the layouts of the individual movements don't follow radically different plans. Clearly, the styles are close enough that one can understand why the first and last concertos were attributed to J.C. Bach in the first place. Yet there's a stark simplicity in J.C.'s music, a tendency toward the use of unisons and carefully pared down tunes, that is missing from the two concertos by the older son, with the differences especially clear in the slow movements. The performances by American fortepianist and leader Susan Alexander-Max and her British ensemble the Music Collection are vigorous and matter-of-fact, avoiding the Watteau sweetness common to so many performances of works by these composers. It works well with the added percussiveness of the fortepiano as compared with a harpsichord, and it's easy to imagine the music getting through to an audience of not quite completely quiet British merchants or Saxon princes. The musicians have not been served well by the sound engineers, however; a British parish church generates a brittle sound quite at odds with the natural grace of the music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2008
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313047475
  • Catalog Number: 8570474
  • Sales rank: 107,615

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Music Collection Primary Artist
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