Areas of Study

Rondo in D minor Wq.61/4


A dramatic and spirited movement which whilst very different texturally to Beethoven’s music harmonically it does point in his direction. In character the music is almost a conversational piece although formally it can be described as a rondo which is a piece with a recurring theme. The phrase structure is not particularly regular and there are several changes of mood in the various section although the main thematic motive is always clearly recognisable. The sheet music score has been prepared for the performance on the piano and only limited use of the sustaining pedal is suggested. For clarity the music editor suggests essentially the one ornament shape when performing the work which reflects current practice in the interpretation of music of this period. Too many different ornaments can be distracting both to the performer and listener alike. The opening ornaments are notated on ossia staves and the player should continue with the same shapes through the movement. The slight slowing down appropriate at the ends of the phrases are not marked in the score. There are recordings available of this work played on the modern piano, fortepiano and the harpsichord. C.P.E Bach was a prolific composer and an important transition figure in music history linking the baroque with the classical age in music history. He was very aware of contemporary practice and contributed much to developing style and form although at the same time he was able to remain surprisingly free spirited. C.P. Bach’s music is worthy of attention and for piano players there is a wealth of excellent music for the developing pianist. This work composed in 1786 and published in 1787 comes from period near the end of his life.





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