JC Bach: Symphonie Concertante in C, C43; Symphonie Concertante in B flat, C48; Fortepiano Concerto in G

COMPOSERS: JC Bach
LABELS: CPO
ALBUM TITLE: JC Bach
WORKS: Symphonie Concertante in C, C43; Symphonie Concertante in B flat, C48; Fortepiano Concerto in G
PERFORMER: The Hanover Band/ Anthony Halstead
CATALOGUE NO: CPO 999 845-2
Unfailingly melodious and often exquisitely coloured, the music of the so-called London Bach is one of the joys of the mid-18th century. The youngest son of the Johann Sebastian, Johann Christian worked extensively in Italy before coming to the King’s Theatre in London where for a number of years he enjoyed prosperity and success. The infant Mozart learned a great deal from him, converting three of his keyboard sonatas into concertos, and his influence remained strong in the music of the younger composer. Indeed, as we embark on another bout of Mozart-mania in this anniversary year, it is good to be reminded of the sheer quality of one of his more distinguished contemporaries.

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This CD makes an excellent conclusion to a project to record all of JC Bach’s symphonies concertantes, and also includes a version of a G major concerto for fortepiano and single strings. This last proves a real gem: even without the range of colour apparent in the two symphonies concertantes, there is a wealth of invention notably in its captivating Andante. Just occasionally the wind playing is a little edgy, but in general the performing is of a very high order throughout and is warmly and clearly recorded. Jan Smaczny