C.p.e. Bach: The Solo Keyboard Music, Vol. 37

Album cover art for upc 7318590023310
Label: BIS
Catalog: BIS-2331
Format: CD

Spányi, Miklós

Described in Gramophone as ‘one of the most needed and important recording projects in progress today’, this series has up until now featured the clavichord, the tangent piano, and the fortepiano. It is therefore something of an occasion when Miklós Spányi for his Volume 37 chooses to perform on a harpsichord. In doing so he reminds us of C.P.E. Bach’s own advice to keyboard players to have both a clavichord and a harpsichord in order to play ‘all sorts of things alternating’ (‘allerley Sachen abwechselnd’). But the album – which includes some of the composer’s earliest works – also features one of the very few, if not the only, compositions that Bach specifically dedicated to the harpsichord, namely the Sonata per il cembalo a 2 tastature. In it, Bach makes colorful use of the instrument by specifying various detailed and idiosyncratic harpsichord registrations. Spányi also performs two of the few fugues – in F and A major respectively – that Carl Philipp composed: besides the general shift in fashion away from intricate counterpoint to melodic simplicity, it is possible that he found father Johann Sebastian’s achievements in that particular genre too hard an act to follow.

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