Cpe Bach (1744-1788)

Episodes

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01CPE Bach and the Nazi Hoard20190701

This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod tells the story of the loss – and eventual rediscovery in 1999 – of much of CPE Bach’s music, following a fascinating journey.

From 1750, for the next 60 years the name "Bach" was almost exclusively associated with the initials "CPE". Born in 1714, Carl Philipp Emanuel's influence resonates to this day: his book on keyboard playing permanently changed the practice; his music changed the direction of travel. Bach left his life's work tidy and well organised on his death in 1788, with most works still in print. His estate was largely sold to Felix Mendelssohn's father Abraham, but by the 1800s, CPE Bach's music had all but disappeared.

The collection of CPE Bach manuscripts found its way into the library of the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, one of the most prestigious performing institutions in the Prussian capital, closely associated with the royal court. This was the finest collection of Bach family manuscripts in the world. In the face of Allied bombing in 1943, the Sing-Akademie was one of over 500 mostly private collections from the Berlin area to be evacuated. It was carefully packaged up into 14 crates and sent to a remote castle in Silesia, in present-day Poland. As the war ended, the collection was found by the Red Army and disappeared from public view for the next 50 years.

L'Aly Rupalich, Wq 117 No 27
Ana-Marija Markovina, piano

Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq 23
Michael Rische, piano
Leipzig Kammerorchester
Morten Schuldt-Jensen, conductor

Heilig, Wq 217
Hilke Helling, contralto
Rheinische Kantorei
Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max, conductor

Flute concerto in D Major, Wq 13
Il Gardellino

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

Donald Macleod tells the story of the loss - and later rediscovery - of CPE Bach\u2019s music.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

02A Very Modern Composer20190702

This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod explores contemporary angles within CPE Bach's life and music, as well as his life at court in Berlin.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was many things in his lifetime: composer, virtuoso harpsichord player and improviser extraordinaire, author, businessman – publishing his own music – biographer – of his father and other members of his family, and teacher. As the growing amateur tradition of music-making among the middle classes required pieces that were playable domestically, Bach was quick to appreciate the potential for him to fill the gap.

Publishing rivalled composition and performance for importance in his professional life. Much like musicians using crowd-funding sites today, Bach introduced a subscription system for his fans, in which each work's printing and distribution were financed by prepublication sales. Haydn, Mozart, Weber and Beethoven all studied Bach's Essay on keyboard playing attentively. It's a practical guide for performers, with chapters on ornamentation, performance and improvisation.

Solfeggio in C Minor, Wq 117 No 2
Ana-Marija Markovina, piano

Free Fantasie in F sharp minor, Wq 67
Andreas Staier, fortepiano

Licht der Welt, von Gott gegeben, H 811 (Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe)
Jan Kobow, tenor
Himlische Cantorey
Les Amis de Philippe
Ludger Rémy, conductor

Rondo II in D Minor, Wq 61 No 4
Christine Schornsheim, clavichord

Flute Sonata in A minor, Wq 132
Emanuel Pahud

Solfeggio in C Minor
Eugen Cicero, piano

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

Donald Macleod explores contemporary angles on CPE Bach's life and music.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201901Cpe Bach And The Nazi Hoard20190701

This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod tells the story of the loss – and eventual rediscovery in 1999 – of much of CPE Bach’s music, following a fascinating journey.

From 1750, for the next 60 years the name "Bach" was almost exclusively associated with the initials "CPE". Born in 1714, Carl Philipp Emanuel's influence resonates to this day: his book on keyboard playing permanently changed the practice; his music changed the direction of travel. Bach left his life's work tidy and well organised on his death in 1788, with most works still in print. His estate was largely sold to Felix Mendelssohn's father Abraham, but by the 1800s, CPE Bach's music had all but disappeared.

The collection of CPE Bach manuscripts found its way into the library of the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, one of the most prestigious performing institutions in the Prussian capital, closely associated with the royal court. This was the finest collection of Bach family manuscripts in the world. In the face of Allied bombing in 1943, the Sing-Akademie was one of over 500 mostly private collections from the Berlin area to be evacuated. It was carefully packaged up into 14 crates and sent to a remote castle in Silesia, in present-day Poland. As the war ended, the collection was found by the Red Army and disappeared from public view for the next 50 years.

L'Aly Rupalich, Wq 117 No 27
Ana-Marija Markovina, piano

Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq 23
Michael Rische, piano
Leipzig Kammerorchester
Morten Schuldt-Jensen, conductor

Heilig, Wq 217
Hilke Helling, contralto
Rheinische Kantorei
Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max, conductor

Flute concerto in D Major, Wq 13
Il Gardellino

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

Donald Macleod tells the story of the loss - and later rediscovery - of CPE Bach's music.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201902A Very Modern Composer20190702

This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod explores contemporary angles within CPE Bach's life and music, as well as his life at court in Berlin.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was many things in his lifetime: composer, virtuoso harpsichord player and improviser extraordinaire, author, businessman – publishing his own music – biographer – of his father and other members of his family, and teacher. As the growing amateur tradition of music-making among the middle classes required pieces that were playable domestically, Bach was quick to appreciate the potential for him to fill the gap.

Publishing rivalled composition and performance for importance in his professional life. Much like musicians using crowd-funding sites today, Bach introduced a subscription system for his fans, in which each work's printing and distribution were financed by prepublication sales. Haydn, Mozart, Weber and Beethoven all studied Bach's Essay on keyboard playing attentively. It's a practical guide for performers, with chapters on ornamentation, performance and improvisation.

Solfeggio in C Minor, Wq 117 No 2
Ana-Marija Markovina, piano

Free Fantasie in F sharp minor, Wq 67
Andreas Staier, fortepiano

Licht der Welt, von Gott gegeben, H 811 (Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe)
Jan Kobow, tenor
Himlische Cantorey
Les Amis de Philippe
Ludger Rémy, conductor

Rondo II in D Minor, Wq 61 No 4
Christine Schornsheim, clavichord

Flute Sonata in A minor, Wq 132
Emanuel Pahud

Solfeggio in C Minor
Eugen Cicero, piano

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

Donald Macleod explores contemporary angles on CPE Bach's life and music.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201903The Sentimental Style20190703

This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod explores the sound of CPE Bach's music, written in the 'Empfindsamer Stil'.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s music sits somewhere between the high baroque of his father, JS Bach, and the stripping back of ornamentation by Haydn and Mozart. It’s often described using the German word for sensitive or sentimental, 'Empfindsam'.

The Empfindsamer style aimed to express ‘true and natural’ feelings, in contrast to the baroque, and drew on a very wide range of cultural influences: poets, painters, philosophers and writers, in particular Laurence Sterne, whose Sentimental Journey was translated into German as Empfindsame Reise. All of that is far from the almost exclusively theological focus of JS Bach. For Carl Philipp Emanuel, music wasn’t about technical brilliance, but all about stirring the emotions of the listener. Bach believed that music should reflect human nature, and hold up a mirror to the emotional world of man. The emotions should be stirred, and this should have a cathartic effect.

Symphony in D Major, Wq 183 No 1
Marek Toporowski, continuo
Solamente Naturali
Didier Talpain, conductor

Fantasia No. 2 in C Major, Wq 59 No 6
Christine Schornsheim, clavichord

Wer ist so würdig als du; Ach, ruft mich einst zu seinen Freuden, H 805 (Nun danket alle Gott)
Jan Kobow, tenor
Himlische Cantorey
Les Amis de Philippe
Ludger Rémy, conductor

Sonata in C Minor, Wq 78
Laurent Albrecht Breuninger, violin
Piet Kuijken, fortepiano

Morgengesang am Schöpfungsfeste, W 239
Barbara Schlick, soprano
Johanna Koslowsky, soprano
Rheinische Kantorei
Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max, conductor

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

201904Reinvention In Hamburg20190704

This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod explores the sound of CPE Bach's music, written in the 'Empfindsamer Stil'.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s music sits somewhere between the high baroque of his father, JS Bach, and the stripping back of ornamentation by Haydn and Mozart. It’s often described using the German word for sensitive or sentimental, 'Empfindsam'.

The Empfindsamer style aimed to express ‘true and natural’ feelings, in contrast to the baroque, and drew on a very wide range of cultural influences: poets, painters, philosophers and writers, in particular Laurence Sterne, whose Sentimental Journey was translated into German as Empfindsame Reise. All of that is far from the almost exclusively theological focus of JS Bach. For Carl Philipp Emanuel, music wasn’t about technical brilliance, but all about stirring the emotions of the listener. Bach believed that music should reflect human nature, and hold up a mirror to the emotional world of man. The emotions should be stirred, and this should have a cathartic effect.

Symphony in D Major, Wq 183 No 1
Marek Toporowski, continuo
Solamente Naturali
Didier Talpain, conductor

Fantasia No. 2 in C Major, Wq 59 No 6
Christine Schornsheim, clavichord

Wer ist so würdig als du; Ach, ruft mich einst zu seinen Freuden, H 805 (Nun danket alle Gott)
Jan Kobow, tenor
Himlische Cantorey
Les Amis de Philippe
Ludger Rémy, conductor

Sonata in C Minor, Wq 78
Laurent Albrecht Breuninger, violin
Piet Kuijken, fortepiano

Morgengesang am Schöpfungsfeste, W 239
Barbara Schlick, soprano
Johanna Koslowsky, soprano
Rheinische Kantorei
Das Kleine Konzert
Hermann Max, conductor

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

Donald Macleod explores CPE Bach's time in Hamburg and his prolific vocal writing.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201905A Bid For Posterity20190705

This week we look at CPE Bach's music and reputation in the light of the sensational rediscovery of much his archive in 1999. Throughout the week, we'll hear recent recordings of this 'new' music. In this episode, Donald Macleod relives the once-in-a-lifetime moment when the first manuscript was drawn out of a crate in Kiev to reveal the stamp "Sing-Akademie zu Berlin", and the magnitude of the treasure trove was revealed. He explores how the discovery has changed the way Bach and his music is seen in 2019.

The collection of Bach family manuscripts was thought to be destroyed or irretrievably lost. But in the late 1950s, a few choir books from the Sing-Akademie were returned from Moscow to East Berlin, suggesting the collection may have found its way to Moscow. Eventually a retired librarian in Kiev revealed that restricted music deposits at the Kiev Conservatoire had been transferred to another institution in the Ukraine in 1973.

Finally, the music was traced to the Archive-Museum of Literature and Art in Kiev. The excitement of the discovery spread around the world – the Music historian and Bach biographer Christoph Wolff said, “All of a sudden you understand the creative mind of a great composer. As an historian, I would have to say this was clearly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I don't think it will happen again. There is no other collection of that magnitude and that importance around.”

Leite mich nach deinem Willen, H 835
Himlische Cantorey
Les Amis de Philippe
Ludger Rémy, conductor

Cello Concerto in A major, Wq 172 (2nd mvt)
Raphael Wallfisch
Scottish Ensemble
Jonathan Morton, conductor

Symphony in B minor, Wq 182 No 5
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Rebecca Miller, conductor

Sonata in C major, Wq 55 No 1 (Für Kenner und Liebhaber)
Gabor Antalffy, harpsichord

Double Concerto for harpsichord and fortepiano in E Flat major, Wq 47
Michael Behringer, harpsichord
Christine Schornsheim, fortepiano
Freiburger Barockorchester
Gottfried von der Goltz, conductor

Produced by Iain Chambers for BBC Wales.

Donald Macleod relives the historic moment when the Sing-Akademie was rediscovered in 1999

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.