March 08, 2014

Celebrate CPE Bach’s 300th birthday in good company

New 13-CD boxed set features Leonhardt, Koopman, Herreweghe and other luminaries.

March 8 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 1714. The fifth of Johann Sebastian’s twenty children — and the most famous of that composer’s musical offspring — Carl Philipp Emanuel had big shoes to fill, but following in his father’s footsteps ushered in a dynamic new idiom that stood astride the Baroque and Classical eras. It was of C.P.E. Bach, and not the godlike J.S., that Mozart declared: ‘He is the father, we are the children.’

Carl Philipp Emanuel was prolific across a variety of genres: whether distracting his flute-playing patron King Frederick the Great from royal duties with charming chamber music and concertos, or demonstrating his own flair at the keyboard with more than 200 lively, drama-soaked sonatas. His sinfonias and oratorios, though lesser known today, reveal his rich imagination at every turn.

Warner Classics invites you to get to know this 18th-century master with the new 13-disc C.P.E. Bach Collection celebrating his tercentenary. The leading lights of historically informed performance have joined the party, with classic recordings by the late Gustav Leonhardt and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Ton Koopman’s Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Bob van Asperen, and Philippe Herreweghe’s Collegium Vocale Gent in the mighty oratorio The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. Alan Curtis’ Rondos for fortepiano are released here on CD for the first time. Enough music for a year of celebration, and beyond.

You can find out more information and complete tracklist here.