CPE Bach • JC Bach • JS Bach

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

LABELS: Ondine
ALBUM TITLE: CPE Bach • JC Bach • JS Bach
WORKS: Keyboard Concertos
PERFORMER: Anastasia Injushina (piano); Hamburger Camerata/Rolf Gothóni

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The juxtaposition of concertos by JS Bach and his two most famous sons throws into relief the extraordinary changes in musical taste and style at the dawn of the Classical period. In CPE Bach’s D major Wq43/2, packed with Sturm und Drang fire and abrupt mood changes, the Hamburg Camerata strings are in sparkling form. Anastasia Injushina’s articulation is admirably versatile, though ornaments tend to accent, rather than simply decorate, the slow movement’s beautifully languid line.

Two concertos by JC Bach, Opp. 7/3 and 7/5, with their simple, predictable phrases, broken ‘Alberti’ bass lines, and alluring lyricism, belong to a strikingly different world, shared by the London Bach’s close friend, Mozart. It’s admirably reflected in both orchestral and solo playing. Injushina captures the elegance of fluid scales and pert ornaments. Her cadenza to the opening of No. 5 is ingenious if rather detached from the melodic context of the movement.

The contrast with Bach père is made all the more striking by placing the E major Concerto BWV 1053 at the end of the disc. The opening movement, a touch faster than many recordings, retains an elegant metrical pace. Injushina acknowledges, without aping, the harpsichord original in the stylish clarity of her touch.

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George Pratt