W. F. Bach: Concerti & Trios / Wienand, Schreiber, Graulich, Saller
Perhaps Wilhelm Friedemann Bach is the Rodney Dangerfield of the sons of Johann Sebastian, but like that successful "don't get no respect" comedian (Dangerfield, not Bach!), there was undoubted genius and clever competence behind the creative productivity. Without question Wilhelm Friedemann, Bach's eldest son, was one of the 18th century's more inventive, adventurous, and exciting composers, and if you need proof, you'll find it all over this exceptional program, part of an ongoing series from Carus.
Friedemann was neither a copycat nor a patsy to fashion, although he certainly paid homage (occasionally) to his father's style and offered what can only be described as engaging, entertaining, and often startlingly unconventional works. In the two harpsichord concertos we find both the familiar parlance of Classical style and, particularly in the lovely, lyrical slow movements, pages directly lifted from father Sebastian: the sighing figure in the D major concerto could be from a lost aria for one of the Passions. The Adagio of the G minor concerto is worthy to stand next to similar movements from Sebastian Bach or Mozart.
The concertos spare nothing in virtuosity for the keyboard player, neither do they follow the straight, conventional path of theme and development. There are sudden twists and turns, harmonic shifts, and dazzling passages of ensemble and solo expression. The two Trios are slightly more conventional, in the Classical sense, but never lacking in appealing thematic ideas nor exciting ways to expand and develop them. The performers here are first rate, most notably harpsichordist Sebastian Wienand and violinist Anne Katharina Schreiber, and the sound recording is ideal. Three of these pieces--the two trios and the G minor concerto--purportedly are recorded here for the first time, and if so "bravo" to Carus and to these superb performers for bringing this outstanding music so immediately and memorably to our attention. Highly and enthusiastically recommended.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
Catalog Number: CV83357
Composer: Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Performer: Anne Katharina Schreiber, Frank Coppieters, Martina Graulich, Sebastian Wienand, Ute Petersilge, Werner Saller