More than just a challenge to orthodoxy.. . Why should music ‘before Mozart’ now be the sole preserve of period-instrument orchestras? For some years now, Ensemble Resonanz has challenged this idea, without ever neglecting the notion of the sheer pleasure to be derived from the concertos and symphonies of the great C. P. E. Bach. Like their guest soloist Jean-Guihen Queyras, all the musicians master both styles of playing (on metal or gut strings) with dazzling virtuosity. This is the first disc on harmonia mundi to celebrate their collaboration with maestro Riccardo Minasi.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bachs interest in the organ would seem to be fairly limited, at least judging by the number of pieces he composed for the instrument. The reasons for this attitude could be personal and professional, but could also reflect the changing affections and the new sensibility of the period, since during his lifetime the organ underwent a phase of relative decline. Indeed, following the acme reached by Johann Sebastian Bach, the instrument sank into a phase of neglect in Germany during the second half of the 1700s.
A consummate artist whose approach to the cello was directed toward breathing life into the music, Paul Tortelier earned the respect and affection of countless colleagues. An enduring friendship with Pablo Casals found him playing, in the words of a French critic, Apollo to Casals' Jupiter. Like Casals, Tortelier emphasized using but one finger at a time on the string to allow free vibration. Fantasy and emotional freedom marked his performances and attracted numerous young players.