Kinship: Reincken, Bach & Muthel | Challenge Classics CC72764

Kinship: Reincken, Bach & Muthel


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Label: Challenge Classics

Cat No: CC72764

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 13th October 2017



Clavichordist Sigrun Stephan presents a cleverly realised disc revolving around Johann Sebastian Bach and his kindred spirits. The clavichord is the softest but most sensitive, and perhaps most soulful, member of the keyboard family and her thoroughly musicological approach here displays great sensitivity.

Personal and familial kinships between the composers on this album are evident throughout. JS Bach chose Johann Adam Reincken, around 40 years his senior, as his teacher: Reincken can certainly be described as a musical father, a true kindred spirit, to Bach. Johann Gottfried Müthel slots into the ensemble as a logical consequence. He was Bach’s last pupil who had participated in transcribing The Art of Fugue and who composed in a consistently new and non-contrapuntal style. In this respect, he is musically much closer to Bach’s sons Carl Philipp Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann, almost a brother to them.

The recording opens with a prelude in its original function - it leads directly into the music that follows, whilst at the same time introducing the soft sounds of the clavichord. This Bach Prelude is cast in C minor, but ends with a bright G major chord, making it a perfect introduction to what follows. A master of the fugue, Reincken’s very fine and free Suite in G could not sound more beautiful on any other keyboard instrument. The album continues with works by CPE Bach, WF Bach and Müthel as well as further pieces by Bach himself, including a Prelude and Fugue from ‘The 48’.

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