COMPOSERS: CPE Bach,JC Bach & Jcf Bach,WF Bach
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: The Bach Family
WORKS: Organ works by CPE Bach, WF Bach, JC Bach & JCF Bach
PERFORMER: Marie-Claire Alain (organ)
CATALOGUE NO: 0630-17073-2
I am sure many would agree wholeheartedly with Marie-Claire Alain when she laments conventional history’s less than fair appreciation of the Bach sons and their music, unfortunately sandwiched as their careers were between the death of their father and the advent of Mozart.
‘It is time to put aside the legends,’ she says (WF’s instability, CPE’s wayward inspiration and JC’s facile style, etc), ‘and appreciate their music without preconceived notions.’ All in all, Alain’s words prove to be an excellent introduction to an extremely worthwhile disc, captivating for its inspired angle on music which, lacking the scope and resilience of JS Bach’s music for organ, can be tossed off only too easily.
Unlike JS’s output for the instrument, the pieces on this disc show mere glimpses of their authors’ powers, but they should continue to affirm – contrary to the general overview – that organ-playing between 1750 and 1850 remained very much alive and patronised on a regular basis by many first-rate musicians. Princess Anna Amalia’s organ (the Princess was the dedicatee of CPE’s sonatas and WF’s Eight Fugues), now at Berlin-Friedrichshain, is an enticing gateway through which this music can be discovered. Andrew McCrea