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Generations of Bach make their mark.
Composer: Bach and Sons
Repertoire: Keyboard Concertos
Artist: Sebastian Knauer, Zurich Chamber Orchestra/Roger Norrington
Label: Berlin Classic 0300270BC
The Music: A sweet concept from the ever-enterprising Sebastian Knauer in which four concertos by three different members of the Bach family are played on a modern grand piano in the company of period performance specialists on modern instruments.
The Performance: Those familiar with Knauer’s artistry from earlier discs will know what to expect here – an unruffled, aristocratic poise and beautifully understated playing that puts one in mind of Murray Perahia or Emanuel Ax. The two concertos by Bach Père bubble away joyfully under his fingers, while CPE’s concerto with its extended solo passages, and JC Bach’s thoroughly Classical work show just how quickly (and far) they had taken the form after their father’s model. Knauer provides his own cadenzas in these. Norrington and his Zurich players make alert, sympathetic partners, recorded in a well-balanced acoustic.
The Verdict: This is the disc for you if you ever wondered how the concerto form developed within 50 years from JS Bach, and find them more expressive and enjoyable when played on the piano.
Want More? Knauer’s earlier disc of Haydn concertos (not to mention those of Mendelssohn and Schubert solo works) comes highly recommended (Naxos, 8.570485).