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W F Bach: Claviermusik I
Léon Berben (harpsichord)
A number of the pieces in this collection are world premiere recordings. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach was the eldest son of J S Bach, but chose to remain rather an outsider. He died in abject poverty in 1784 and was almost a forgotten artist. Léon Berben is considered to be a master in his field and is one the leading figures within the younger generation of the early music world.
“it's good that this disc is billed as the first of a series devoted to [WF Bach's ] keyboard music...and all the better that this particular recording, by Dutch keyboardist Leon Berben, is very fine...what's beyond doubt is the charm and variety Freidemann brings to even the slightest pieces: the tiny Minuet with variations imparts an ingenious solution to a rountine formal problem.” Gramophone Magazine, May 2011
“[Berben's] technical skills guarantee that the virtuosic character of the fast movements comes off perfectly, but there is no lack of expression in the slow movements either. An essential feature of his interpretation is that the many surprises Friedemann has installed for us come into their own here...In short, this disc is an absorbing musical picture of a brilliant mind.” MusicWeb International, February 2012
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W. F. Bach - Keyboard Works Volume 2
Fantasias & Fugues
Bach, W F:
Fantasia in C minor, Fk 15
Fugue No. 1 in C major, Fk 31/1
Fugue No. 2 in C minor, Fk 31/2
Fantasia in E minor, Fk 21
Fugue No. 3 in D major, Fk 31/3
Fugue No. 4 in D minor, Fk 31/4
Fantasia in D minor, Fk 19
Fugue No. 5 in E flat major, Fk 31/5
Fugue No. 6 in E minor, Fk 31/6
Fantasia FK nv2 in C minor
Fugue No. 7 in B flat major, Fk 31/7
Fugue No. 8 in F minor, Fk 31/8
Fantasia in A minor, Fk 23
Fantasia in D minor, Fk 18
The eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach was hailed as the greatest organist in his time. Living in a time of transition, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach forged his own highly original style, combining the traditional writing learned from his father with new elements of the “expressive and sentimental” period.
Among his most famous compositions, the Eight Fugues, Fk 31 are miniature jewels.
His Fantasias are wonderful examples of the freedom of expression in the new style of ‘Empfindsamkeit’: a musical movement wherein the music tends towards the expressive and sentimental rather than adhering to the rigid contrapuntal rules imposed by the early baroque era.
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Bach & Silbermann
Works for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach and his sons
Gerald Hambitzer (harpsichord copy after Gottfried Silbermann c.1740 by Martin-Christian Schmidt)