Carl Philip Emanuel Bach 1714 - 1788 is an important figure in music history and a composer that links the baroque with the classical era. He was an important influence on F.J.Haydn and L. van Beethoven who both held J. S. Bach’s composing son in high regard. This particular period in music history is a fascinating one and C.P.E Bach’s music is deserving of more attention both from the performance point of view and the need for well researched modern editions of his most popular music. This particular movement is in the “empfindsamer Stil” or sensitive style that is a feature in much of C.P.E.Bach’s music and other north German composers of the mid 18th century. It is approach that focuses on the expression of emotion in an intimate musical style that could be described as being declamatory or one that utilises both drama and dialogue. Whilst a movement with appeal there will be quite a challenge getting the piece to a performance standard.
A realisation score with the ornaments all written out is appended to the sheet music score so that keyboard players can make a thorough study of the ornamentation of this work. This is an often complex and contradictory area but understandable because this composition comes from a time of great change in music. Keyboard players should have a sense of an eighth note quaver beat whilst the video score plays back at a tempo of 58 quaver beats to the minute. C.P.E. Bach’s favourite keyboard instrument was the in fact the clavichord and he was not really known to be an organ virtuoso like his father. He composed relatively little for the organ but did write some sonatas music for the sister of Frederick II, the Great, Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia. This movement which is part of a three movement sonata was composed sometime around 1755. C.P.E. Bach was known as the “Berlin Bach” whilst he worked in Berlin and then the “Hamburg Bach” when he moved there to replace his godfather Telemann as Kapellmeister. This distinguished him from his brother J.C. Bach who was known as the “London Bach”.