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Bach Sons - Complete Symphonies The [Box set]

J.C. and W.F. Bach C.P.E. Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Mar 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B000060O3P
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,940 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Bacnh Sons (84 Tracks On 7 Discs) - Various Composers

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Bach family was an important influence in musical history, boasting more than fifty musicians and composers spanning several generations, and although the four names on this `Bach Sons' 7CD box set only show a small part of the musical works of this family it does give a good representation of how they helped progress the Baroque style of music onwards towards what would eventually develop into the Classical era.

The four sons refer to those of the great Johann Sebastian Bach - he had twenty children in total, seven from his first marriage to Maria Barbara Bach (who died suddenly in 1720) and thirteen from his second marriage to Anna Magdalena Wilcke.

Although all four of them were born in the Baroque era, their birth dates spanned 25 years so their music ranges from the traditional Baroque style inherited from their father to the earliest ventures into the Classical style of Mozart.

Here's a brief biography:

* * * * Wilhelm Friedman Bach 1710 - 1784 * * * *

From Bach senior's first marriage, Wilhelm was the eldest son and probably the most unpredictable, leading a troubled life which alternated between musical success and popularity to erratic and wayward behaviour. As with many composers, he sadly died in great poverty.

Much of his work was not published during his lifetime so has since been lost. He inherited many of his fathers manuscripts, some of which he unfortunately lost and others - even worse - added his signature to and claimed as his own (the organ concerto BWV 596 is now credited back to J.S. Bach).

The set dedicates 1 CD to W.F.'s music - six Sinfonias and a Suite in G minor.

* * * * Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach 1714 - 1788 * * * *

The second of 5 sons from J.S.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Classics' Oddest Issue? 2 Nov 2009
By Music Is Everything - Published on Amazon.com
The Brilliant Classics label has established a reputation for issuing very good (though rarely great) box sets of major composers at bargain prices. Most famous in their catalog are the Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart complete works editions. Perhaps as an appendix to the Bach complete edition, we have this 7-CD set of music from the sons of Johann Sebastian Bach: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Christian Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach. None of Bach's sons achieved the stature or reached the pinnacles of their father, but there is excellent music here. And it should also be said at the outset that this is not a "complete works," edition, but rather a showcase of the better works by Bach's sons.

The first three discs are works of C.P.E. Bach: The Berlin Symphonies, some of the cello concerti, and some of the flute concerti. A pick-up orchestra calling themselves the C.P.E. Bach Chamber Orchestra plays the Berlin Symphonies under Hartmut Haenchen, and the playing is mostly very good. Balazs Mate is the soloist for the cello concerti, with mixed results, but his style is certainly sympathetic to the pieces if his intonation occasionally misses. Machiko Takahashi is our flute soloist, though two of the three flute concerti were originally for oboe, and the lower oboe range doesn't always make for brilliant flute playing. Takahashi's technique often seems muddy, though his sound is very lush. Nonetheless, it was common practice for later Baroque and early Classical concerti to be played on a variety of instruments, so the approach is certainly valid. The Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra sounds fantastic in its accompanying role.

The next two discs are works of J.C. Bach--random symphonies and sinfonia concertanti. The symphonies are played well enough, but the sinfonia concertanti are the better listen in the hands of the London Festival Orchestra.

Only one disc of W.F. Bach--random sinfonias (mostly in introduction to his father's cantatas) and a very nice suite in G Minor which may or may not be his own composition. Again, the C.P.E. Bach chamber orchestra performs admirably.

And finally, a disc of three of J.C. Bach's symphonies in polished performances by the New Bach Collegium Musicum under Burkhard Glaetzner. These are more extensive pieces in a thoroughly Classical style, with longer movements and a style that clearly paves the way for Haydn and Mozart. This is a fascinating insight into the Bach legacy and its imprint on the Classical era, which was already dawning as J.S. Bach's life was ending.

All things considered, this is very interesting music, well-recorded and performed, at a bargain price. If you're curious about Bach's legacy and the transition from the Baroque to the Classical, this is very much worthwhile. Enjoy.
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