Speaking about Johann Sebastian Bach’s second son Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-1788), Mozart said “he is the father, we are the children”. Indeed, Carl Philipp Emanuel is one of the major musical figures of this key period, the turning point between the baroque and classical aesthetics. Although he left a large body of work written for instruments of all kinds, the keyboard was always his favourite. He produced a number of collections for it, featuring numerous sonatas and freestyle works such as fantasias, a genre in which he excelled. Aline Zylberajch and Alice Piérot offer a selection of pieces for both violin and keyboard and solo keyboard, all composed during Carl Philipp Emanuel’s mature years, from the 1760s up until his death.
In honor of CPE Bach's 300th birthday, hänssler CLASSIC will be releasing an exciting series of recordings dedicated to the music of this well known but hitherto neglected Bach son during the first 3 months of 2014. At the beginning there are the so-called “Hamburg” symphonies Wq 182, interpreted with great sensitivity and bite, when necessary, by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra under the renowned conductor and former violist of the Berlin Philharmonic, Wolfram Christ. Maestro Christ sees these works as expressive pieces, open to multiple interpretations that invite the listener to experience them as almost Romantic in their gesture and content. Deciding on a fortepiano continuo instrument is not only a historically informed decision, but contributes to a perfectly balanced overall sound.
Countertenor Max Emanuel Cencic has emerged as a new star of the specialty partly through fearless programming, and this collection of Arie Napoletane, Neapolitan arias or arias from Naples, is no exception. There really isn't a "Neapolitan school." Rather, Naples was on the musical cutting edge in the second quarter of the 18th century, and the arias here represent both a classic opera seria style, in the pieces by the massively prolific Alessandro Scarlatti, and music by the composers who pointed the way toward the melodically simpler future of Gluck and eventually Mozart, like Leonardo Leo and Leonardo Vinci. These latter are hardly household names, and Cencic, offering several recorded premieres, renders a valuable service simply by finding and choosing the deliberate and sensuous arias heard here. Moreover, the album's stylistic contrasts play to Cencic's strengths.
"…But if the concerto proves too rarefied, much sturdier fare is provided in the Fantasia on Polish Airs in A major, Op. 13, and the Andante spianato and grande polonaise, two concertante works that have moments of serene beauty similar to those in the Piano Concerto No. 2, but are balanced with bravura passages for both the pianist and orchestra. Sony's sound quality is pleasantly balanced and naturally resonant." ~allmusicguide