Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as 'the London Bach' or 'the English Bach', due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart. Johann Christian Bach was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth, which would perhaps contribute to the sharp differences between his music and that of his father. Even so, his father first instructed him in music and that instruction continued until his death…
When Beethoven introduced himself to the Viennese public, playing his own First Piano Concerto in 1795, the other works in the concert were the first half of this oratorio and a symphony by the same composer, who in the following year was appointed Director of Music at the court of Prince Lobkowitz. Antonio Cartellieri, although his father was an Italian, was born in Danzig in 1772, which makes him a fairly close contemporary of Beethoven's. Abandoned at 13 by his parents after their divorce he must have had sufficient talent to attract aristocratic patronage, which enabled him to study in Vienna with Salieri and Albrechtsberger. He died, however, at 35, and until now not even scholars researching Beethoven's early career seem to have taken any interest in him. (http://www.gramophone.net)
“This disc represents a major expansion in repertoire … excellently played and recorded“ (Fanfare)
The brief biographical note duplicated in each of the three booklets (these CDs were previously available separately and were recorded over several years) tell a rather sad tale of yet another famous and successful composer destined to die young, in debt, and unmourned by a hard-hearted public. That he was a close friend of none other than Mozart for twenty years of his short life draws the parallel still closer. It is too easy to see the post J.S.Bach period as one consisting of a gap followed by Haydn and Mozart. In fact the sons of Bach included several very fine musicians indeed; Johann Christian is one, with the other most significant being Carl Philipp Emanuel. These two have only to be heard to alert the listener to their importance. Sons of Bach they may have been, but clones they were not. Johann Christian is urbane, skilled and blessed with an almost Mozartian grace. Carl Philipp Emanuel is emotional and (within context) wild to the point of eccentricity ("full of forbidden dissonances", "all very disturbing", says one contemporary review). Since both were prolific composers, the journey through the present set and subsequently through everything else I could find in my collection provided many a pleasurable hour. Had I decided to carry on with the non-Bachs too I might never have got round to writing this review.
With this CD of arias by Johann Christian Bach, male soprano Philippe Jaroussky edges further afield from the Baroque repertoire in which he has made his reputation, moving into the Classical period. A 2007 album, Carestini, was devoted to arias sung by the legendary castrato, including music by Gluck (from early in his career), Handel, Graun, and Hasse, and offered some excursions slightly beyond the Baroque, but J.C. Bach wrote the solidly Classical operas seria and concert arias represented here after Carestini's death, between 1760 and 1779. While Jaroussky is fully secure in this repertoire, bringing to it his typically immaculate and imaginative musicianship, impeccable intonation, and remarkable versatility, these arias don't offer the same kinds of opportunities for the dazzling virtuosic agility that characterize his performances of Vivaldi, or the heated emotional intensity of his Monteverdi. Nonetheless, Jaroussky fans who can amend their expectations, and anyone who loves the music of J.C. Bach, should be delighted by his expansion into the music of this era. Jaroussky is the consummate dramatic singer and finds and highlights the theatrical urgency of the arias. His singing expresses his obvious affection for and commitment to this music; each of the arias is marked by passion, whether tenderly yearning, as in Cara, la dolce fiamma, from Adriano in Siria; or furious, as in Tutti nemici, e rei, from the same opera; or both, as in the concert recitative and aria, Sentimi, non partir… Al mio bene. Jérémie Rhorer leads Le Cercle de l'Harmonie in exceptionally supple, graceful, and colorful performances of this music, which Jaroussky describes as "at once so subtle and so sparkling." Virgin's sound is open, clean, and lifelike. (Stephen Eddins)
Retrouvailles importantes pour l'histoire de l'opéra que cet enregistrement de la première Clemenzo di Tito, l'un des plus fameux livrets de Pietro Metastasio, immortalisé par Mozart et Gluck. Antonio Caldara, le " Bach italien" installé à Vienne à la cour de Charles VI après une carrière à Barcelone, est un jalon musical essentiel entre Scarlatti, Porpora et les classiques viennois. Il partagera avec Metastasio, poète lauréat, le devant de la scène autrichienne pendant vingt ans. A l'écoute de certains numéros de cette oeuvre donnée le 4novembre 1734 dans des décors de Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, on comprend l'impact de Caldara comme compositeur lyrique…
This is the first complete coverage on period instruments - and very impressive it is..— Penguin Guide