This music was composed in 1763 and anticipates particularly thematically and rhythmically musical directions later explored by Beethoven and others. Pianists need to approach playing this movement with clarity in their rhythmic intention and demonstrate an understanding of the context of the triplet figuration that dominates the movement. Whilst the realisation indicates the music editor’s intention as to how the music should be approached the piano touch could be on the lighter side and there could be a little more “ebb and flow” tempo wise in the cadenza like sections (bars 22-23, bars 55-56 & bars 78-79) and at cadences. Although the music texturally isn’t complicated, the piece is quite demanding to play in that a consistency of touch and articulation is required. The instrument needs to be played with a lightness of touch with the player intent upon communicating the beauty of the music. Understandably there is no evidence of performance practice from C.P.E Bach’s own time and the music editor suggests that it is quite possibly that approaches to playing of music from this period have changed over time. A tempo of 120 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is used in the realisation. The music copy has been prepared with the modern piano intended as the performance instrument. Limited use of the sustaining pedal can be considered and ornaments need to be
played with a similar rhythmic clarity and an understanding of context. Not many people play C.P.E.Bach’s music which is a shame because he composed works of quality and he has an important position in music history linking the Baroque with the Classical era. Both Haydn and Beethoven were influenced by his compositional approach. The music editor also suggests listening to the available recordings of the work played on a variety of different keyboard instruments. Interestingly there are many different approaches to playing this piece particularly with respect to tempo and rhythmic interpretation. Some performers approach the piece as if it is a piece of classical music even suggesting tempos and a playing approach in the style and manner of playing a Beethoven piano sonata. Recordings also have different acoustic properties although many in the music editor’s opinion are much too reverberant and consequently “rather cloudy”. The challenge is to play the piece with the intention of revealing its beauty, its texture, it’s rhythmic intention and the composer’s individual style whilst acknowledging its historical context. Whilst the music, texturally, belongs to the baroque both thematically and rhythmically the musical content looks forward and anticipates much of the keyboard music style of Haydn and Beethoven. This is an ideal challenge for some test piece at a competition or music festival because it invites so many different approaches.
There is a commentary on how to play the ornaments in the score.