Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)


01Bach The Student20151130
01Bach The Student20151130

Donald Macleod introduces some of CPE Bach's earliest works, including two of his sonatas.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the second son of Johann Sebastian, was born in 1714 in Weimar. A prank-loving, high-spirited child, he studied music with his father before going on to read law at universities in Leipzig and Frankfurt. He went on to become a highly accomplished keyboard player, a master of improvisation, and an extremely prolific composer for the instrument.

We hear some of CPE Bach's earliest works, two of his sonatas written at just 17, and one of his first concertos. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Solfeggio in C minor, Wq 117/2

Miklós Spányi, clavichord

Sonata in F major, Wq 65/1

Sonata in A for flute, violin and continuo, Wq 146

Helianthus Ensemble

Concerto in G Major, Wq 3

Concerto Armonico

Péter Szuts and Miklós Spányi, artistic directors

Producer: Amy Wheel.

02Accompanist To The King20151201

Donald Macleod on CPE Bach's move to Berlin to work as accompanist for Frederick the Great

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach moved to Berlin in 1738 to work as an accompanist for the Prussian Crown Prince, who soon became King Frederick the Great. Though Bach went was to remain in this position for thirty years, Frederick wasn't that keen on his music! In return, Bach spoke openly to the King about faults in his flute playing.

We hear pieces written for the king; and emotion-filled piano sonatas, and a concerto composed for the amateur musical gatherings that were becoming popular in Berlin at the time. We also hear part of Bach's first large-scale choral composition. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Prussian Sonata in C minor, Wq 48/4

Danny Driver, piano

Solo Flute Sonata in A minor, Wq 132

Ashley Solomon, flute

Concerto in D minor, Wq 23

Gustav Leonhardt, harpsichord

Collegium Aureum

Magnificat (opening chorus: Magnificat anima mea Dominum)

RIAS Kammerchor

Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Hans-Christoph Rademann, director.

03The True Art Of Music Publishing20151202

Donald Macleod explores CPE Bach's venturing into the world of music publishing.

More than just a composer and performer, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach also ventured into the world of music publishing. In 1753 he produced his Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments, considered one of the most influential teaching works of the entire 18th century. Bach's instructions laid out all kinds of innovative techniques including, for the first time, the use of the thumb in keyboard playing.

We hear a sonata he published to accompany his Essay, a cello concerto, and a hugely popular symphony that would have been lapped up by his local amateur musical societies. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Sonata No 6 in C minor, Wq 63/6

Miklos Spanyi, clavichord

Cello Concerto in A major, Wq 172

Truls Mørk, cello

Les Violons du Roy

Bernard Labadie, conductor

Symphony in E minor, Wq 178

Kammerorchester CPE Bach

Hartmut Haenchen, conductor

Am neuen Jahre, Wq 194

Dorothee Mields, soprano

Ludger Remy, fortepiano.

04A Move To Hamburg20151203

Donald Macleod focuses on CPE Bach's succeeding his godfather as music director in Hamburg

Bach obtains one of Germany's most prestigious music jobs.

When Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's godfather, Telemann, died in 1767, Bach succeeded him as music director in Hamburg. Bach was happy there, composing prolifically, setting up his own series of subscription concerts, and holding popular musical gatherings at his house, alongside his day job. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Gott, sieh Dein Volk im Staube liegen; Chorus: Oh Wunder! (Die Israeliten in der Wüste)

Michael Schopper, bass (Moses)

Salzburger Hofmusik

Wolfgang Brunner, conductor

Harpsichord Concerto No. 3 in E flat, Wq 43/3

Andreas Staier, harpsichord

Freiburger Barockorchester

Petra Müllejans, conductor

Symphony in B minor, Wq 182/5

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Rebecca Miller, conductor

12 Variations of La Folia, Wq 118/9

Robert Woolley, harpsichord

Lyda, Wq 202G/2

Trinklied, Wq 202/13

Klaus Mertens, baritone

Ludger Remy, fortepiano.

05Composing Till The End20151204

Donald Macleod focuses on CPE Bach's last years, introducing some of his last compositions

Donald Macleod talks us through the final years of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, and we hear some of his last compositions

Bach remained in Hamburg for the rest of his life, and continued composing until his death at the age of 74 in 1788. In his final years, he overcame tragedy with the death of his son, aged 30, entertained many visitors with his impressive improvising, and compiled a family history.

We hear his masterpiece and swansong for double chorus, 'Heilig', and two works written in his final year - a string quartet and the Double Keyboard Concerto. Presented by Donald Macleod.

Heilig, Wq 217

Wiebke Lehmkuhl, alto

RIAS Kammerchor, Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin

Hans-Christoph Rademann, director

Fantasy in C

Christopher Hogwood, fortepiano

Quartet in D, Wq 94

Nicholas McGegan, flute

Catherine Mackintosh, viola

Anthony Pleeth, cello

Double Keyboard Concerto in E flat, Wq 47

Eric Lynn Kelly, harpsichord

Jos van Immerseel, fortepiano

Collegium Aureum.