Sunday, June 19, 2011

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - Sonata ''Württemberg'' - Allegro Assai

When you think of fathers and sons writing classical music, you think "Bach".  Bach père (Johann Sebastian) fathered five sons who became musicians of some note (not counting the apocryphal PDQ Bach).  Of those, CPE Bach was the most influential in his day.

Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven all spoke of his as a major influence, and today he's recognized as the bridge between the Baroque and Classical periods - particularly his keyboard Sonatas (most for the harpsichord).  If you ever took piano lessons, you too were influenced by his book An Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments which established fingering patterns for chords.

It's long been remarked that talent runs in families: the great mechanical watchmakers of the 18th Century mostly had sons who matched their own skills in that High Tech venture of the age.  If it's true that mastery of a subject only comes after 10,000 hours of practice, then it's best to start when you're 3 years old, at your Father's knee.  Who knows, you too might grow up to be Chamber Musician to the court of Frederick the Great.

Today's Sonata was one of the pieces that established his reputation independent from his father.  It was dedicated to the Grand Duke of Württemberg.  It combined his father's almost mathematical precision, but you can hear the beginning of the emotional influences that would ultimately lead to the Romantic composers like Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

1 comment:

Guffaw in AZ said...

Oh, c'mon! I LOVE PDQ Bach!
And, the original.