J C Bach - Six Sonatas Op.5
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Label: Brilliant Classics
Cat No: 94634
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 2nd December 2013
The genius of Johann Sebastian Bach often overshadows the achievements of his four prodigiously talented sons, all of whom played a crucial role in further advancing music’s development during the 18th century. Johann Christian Bach, the youngest, was indeed among the most pivotal composers of his day, his move to Italy in 1755 precipitating a noticeable change in style that, known as the galant, looked forward to the soon‐to‐emerge Classical period.
In 1762 the composer moved to London, where he soon acquired the title “English Bach”. Among his admirers was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who studied and later arranged a number of the German maestro’s works.
Something of a keyboard virtuoso, J C Bach was the first to champion the newly invented fortepiano in concert, and his set of Six Sonatas Op.5 (1766) – the subject of this engaging release – was the first publication to mention both the fortepiano and harpsichord as performance options on the title page.
Clearly the composer wanted to showcase his multi‐faceted skills in the opus - the works not only grow in scope as the collection progresses, but also display the widest possible range of compositional manners and characters. From the singing galant style of the early numbers to the grand Baroque fugue in the last, French‐oriented, sonata (a clear allusion to the past, but a ‘modern’ take in view of the right hand’s countless doubled thirds), this collection is packed full of virtuosity, poise and bravura – a set truly befitting of a composer who would later became music master to the English royal family.
At hand to perform this delightful collection is one of today’s leading fortepianists, renowned Dutch keyboardist Bart van Oort.
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