CPE Bach: Württemberg Sonatas

Hyperion: CDA67995

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CPE Bach: Württemberg Sonatas

Awards:

Gramophone Awards 2014

Winner - Baroque Instrumental

Gramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - February 2014

BBC Music Magazine

Disc of the month - February 2014

Label:

Hyperion

Catalogue No:

CDA67995

Discs:

1

Release date:

6th Jan 2014

Barcode:

0034571179957

Medium:

CD

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CPE Bach: Württemberg Sonatas


Bach, C P E:

Keyboard Sonata in A minor, Wq. 49/1 (H30) 'Württemberg Sonata No. 1'

Keyboard Sonata in A flat major, Wq. 49/2 (H31) 'Württemberg Sonata No. 2'

Keyboard Sonata in E minor, Wq. 49/3 (H33) 'Württemberg Sonata No. 3'

Keyboard Sonata in B flat major, Wq. 49/4 (H32) 'Württemberg Sonata No. 4'

Keyboard Sonata in E flat major, Wq. 49/5 (H34) 'Württemberg Sonata No. 5'

Keyboard Sonata in B minor, Wq. 49/6 (H36) 'Württemberg Sonata No. 6'


Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord)

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‘This Iranian-American has carved out a niche as his instrument’s leading champion … his success is founded on remarkable artistry’ (International Piano)

‘Such virtuosity and disarming presentation suggests that Esfahani could inspire a whole new appreciation of the instrument’ (The Guardian)

Hyperion is delighted to present the debut recording of the wonderful young harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. He was the first harpsichordist to be named a BBC New Generation Artist or to be awarded a fellowship prize by the Borletti-Buitoni Trust.

Here Mahan Esfahani has recorded CPE Bach’s six ‘Württemberg’ sonatas, which were written in 1742–3 and published in 1744, and his thrillingly intense performances make the best possible case for this dramatic, beautifully written, endlessly imaginative but for some reason under-performed music. The sonatas range stylistically from initial stirrings of Sturm und Drang in keyboard music to sublime imitations of the human voice, with nods to the High Baroque and the idiom of CPE Bach’s more famous father. Mahan writes in his booklet notes that ‘Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach makes the most combative statement possible to assert his new musical language’.

Bach, C P E: Keyboard Sonata Wq 49/1 (H30) in A minor 'Württemberg Sonata No. 1'

1. Moderato

2. Andante

3. Allegro Assai

Bach, C P E: Keyboard Sonata Wq 49/2 (H31) in A flat major 'Württemberg Sonata No. 2'

1. Un Poco Allegro

2. Adagio

3. Allegro

Bach, C P E: Keyboard Sonata Wq 49/3 (H33) in E minor 'Württemberg Sonata No. 3'

1. Allegro

2. Adagio

3. Vivace

Bach, C P E: Keyboard Sonata Wq 49/4 (H32) in B flat major 'Württemberg Sonata No. 4'

1. Un Poco Allegro

2. Andante

3. Allegro

Bach, C P E: Keyboard Sonata Wq 49/5 (H34) in E flat major 'Württemberg Sonata No. 5'

1. Allegro

2. Adagio

3. Allegro Assai

Bach, C P E: Keyboard Sonata Wq 49/6 (H36) in B minor 'Württemberg Sonata No. 6'

1. Moderato

2. Adagio Non Molto

3. Allegro

Sunday Times

12th January 2014

“The sound of his instrument...enjoys a wide-ranging spectrum of timbres in Esfahani’s dexterous hands, but it is the verve of his allegros and the affecting pathos of his slow movements that mark him out as a special interpreter of this fascinating composer’s music in his tercentenary year.”

BBC Music Magazine

February 2014

*****

“Esfahani's at his most expressive in the slow movements...This, his first solo disc, provides a particularly welcome introduction onto the world stage for an artist matching, in expression CPE Bach himself.”

The Guardian

23rd January 2014

****

“Esfahani's performances wonderfully convey the sense of the younger Bach flexing his muscles in the new musical language that he was involved in creating.... there's an almost fortepiano-like solidity to the sound, with crisp definition in both the high and low registers that matches its expressive ambitions perfectly.”

International Record Review

February 2014

“Esfahani makes coherence out of apparent incoherence...As for his playing, in the best sense it is anything but unpredictable: sure-minded and vividly realized, it holds the attention with ease and is a pleasure to hear. This is an excellent recording and it can be thoroughly recommended.”

Gramophone Magazine

February 2014

“Esfahani’s booklet-note provides the listener with a convivial commentary in which he draws attention to CPE Bach’s ‘Janus-like musical personality’...The elusive fusion of thematic intricacy, ‘Baroque’ rhetoric and ‘proto-Classical’ Sturm und Drang offered by the instrument are caught perfectly by Esfahani’s supple touch and disarming sense of rhetorical pacing.”

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