C.P.E. Bach: Piano Concertos, Wq. 23, Wq. 112/1, Wq. 31

C.P.E. Bach: Piano Concertos, Wq. 23, Wq. 112/1, Wq. 31

by Michael Rische


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C.P.E. Bach: Piano Concertos, Wq. 23, Wq. 112/1, Wq. 31

German pianist Michael Rische makes no bones about his aims with this release. "The works of one of the great composers still lie in half-shadow," he writes, "but the time has come to shed more light on them." C.P.E. Bach wrote no fewer than 53 keyboard concertos, including one fascinating-sounding number for piano, harpsichord, and orchestra that someone ought to revive. Rische brings out three substantial works, underscoring his belief that they belong in the repertory by performing them on a modern piano. He gets strong support for this move from the middle movement of the "Keyboard Concerto in C major, Wq 112/1," a concerto for keyboard solo (like J.S. Bach's "Italian Concerto in F major, BWV 971") adapted from an earlier keyboard and orchestra work. Although there is no clear evidence that pianos were widespread in northern Germany when this work was composed in 1765, the movement contains no fewer than 109 dynamic markings, including some passages in which the two hands each get different ones. Rische concludes that the composer "was thinking way ahead of his instrument," although it's possible that such an adaptation was written for the clavichord. The slow movements of the two earlier concertos don't work quite as well on the piano, but they certainly live up to Rische's claims. The first movement of the "Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq 23," is remarkable for a work composed in 1748; it has a full, varied orchestra-and-keyboard exposition that comes very close to sonata form, with a development section that's longer than the exposition. The "Keyboard Concerto in C minor, Wq 31" (from 1753), is closer to the quirky C.P.E. Bach of the keyboard sonatas, and it, too, is consistently absorbing. Rische receives fine support here from the Leipzig Chamber Orchestra under Morton Schuldt-Jensen, with the balances always sensitive in what was surely unfamiliar music for most of the musicians. They get the usual top-notch engineering from the Hänssler team.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/30/2011
Label: Swrmusic
UPC: 4010276024880
catalogNumber: 98639
Rank: 120464


  1. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo in C minor, H. 441, Wq. 31
  2. Concerto for keyboard solo in C major, H. 190, Wq. 112/1
  3. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo in D minor, H. 427, Wq. 23

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