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Bach & Sons 2

By Daniel Hope

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By Daniel Hope and Sebastian Knauer. By Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), and Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782). Classical. CD. Berlin Classics #0300764BC. Published by Berlin Classics (NX.0300764BC).

Item Number: NX.0300764BC

As a child, Sebastian Knauer was present at seminal performances of the St Matthew Passion and the "Christmas Oratorio" in St Michael's Church in Hamburg. And even at that early age, he enjoyed playing Bach on the piano. But his childhood enthusiasm was tempered with respect for the works of the great Thomaskantor. "I noticed at once: It is a huge challenge - not only in terms of keyboard technique, but mentally too," he recalls. "In my student days and during the first few years of my career as a pianist I was constantly working on his music, but rarely played it in public concerts. Particularly when it came to the piano concertos, I never really felt myself to be ready, because I was searching all the time for my own picture of the music." Sebastian Knauer deliberately gave himself time, engaging himself intensively with Bach's musical cosmos until he was prepared to take his discoveries before an audience. The conductor's artistic credo, that what matters for historical performance practice is not the sort of instrument you play, but the way and the style in which you play it, is one that Sebastian Knauer fully subscribes to. That is no less true of "Bach & Sons 2", on which the pianist has once more explored the musical legacy of the Bach dynasty. It is this mixture of exceptional curiosity with the aspiration to enrich the established repertoire with unusual pieces that so typifies Sebastian Knauer - elsewhere and on this recording. Alongside the two Concertos BWV 1055 and 1056 there are real rarities on this release, such as the Concerto by C.P.E. Bach. The compositions selected by Sebastian Knauer are of great interest not only as repertoire but because they give an absorbing account of how the piano-concerto genre evolved. That is relevant to the works of C.P.E. Bach, an intermediary between the classic Baroque of his father and the dawning age of Viennese Classicism.

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