COMPOSERS: CPE Bach
WORKS: Quartet in D, Wq 94; Sonata in C minor, Wq 161/4 (Sanguineus and Melancholicus); Sonata in A minor for solo flute, Wq 132; Trio Sonata in C, Wq 147,
CATALOGUE NO: CCS 11197
Florilegium has chosen pleasingly contrasting pieces from different periods in CPE Bach’s life. He was the second surviving – and musical – son of JS Bach’s first marriage, and the one most drawn by the notion of the empfindsamer Stil, or sensitive style, reflected to some extent in his Trio representing a dialogue between the two humours, sanguine and melancholy. This is not programme music, but a well-argued conceit in which the art of good conversation – the pauses, spontaneous fluctuations of temperament, contrasting ideas and irregular phraseology – is entrusted to two violins, played here with animation and wit.
Of the remaining pieces, the Quartet (Wq 94), is the most remarkable for its expressive individuality. The choice of keyboard – harpsichord or fortepiano – is left to the performer, and here, happily, a fortepiano is preferred to the older instrument, which is less capable of enlivening his late keyboard style. All is played with sensibility and expressive warmth. Nicholas Anderson