Akademie fur Alte Music Berlin Performs CPE Bach

This release presents a sampling of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach symphonies. The works They span a forty-year period, starting when Bach was in Berlin, and ending when he was in Hamburg. They’re in the empfindsam, or sentimental style. 

The idea was to return to true and natural expression. It was a reaction to the intellectualism of the late Baroque. And that naturalism is in evidence in these works. Bach creates catchy, tuneful melodies that sound simple, but never trite.

The Berlin symphonies were written for a sophisticated audience that craved the unusual. Bach delivers, often with some unexpected phrasing. 

The Hamburg symphonies have a different aesthetic. Bach’s patron, Baron Gottfried van Swieten, wanted works that were grand and sublime. And Bach delivers. 

The Akademi fur Alte Musik Berlin performs these works with both precision and expression. Empfindsam may sound simple, but it requires real musicianship to convey its charm. The ensemble does so in symphony after symphony. 

Some of these symphonies were highly regarded in Bach’s time. And rightly so. They appeal to the ear as well as the intellect.  

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: Symphonies from Berlin to Hamburg
Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin
Harmonia Mundi

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