It seems that every few years we go through a C.P.E. Bach renaissance. C.P.E comes and goes in the public's consciousness, and these days he appears to be in again. With that in mind, I thought it of interest to review this 2014 Brilliant Classics reissue of a spirited 1985 Capriccio album of C.P.E. Bach's Berlin Symphonies from Maestro Hartmut Haenchen and the C.P.E. Chamber Orchestra. ... Haenchen and his chamber orchestra play the works on modern instruments, but they provide sparkling performances--buoyant, breezy, and well judged.
... The sound of the ensemble is smooth, elegant, and refined
That said, Maestro Haenchen's performances of these little three-movement symphonies are lively and invigorating, providing much charm in the process. They bustle with good cheer, vitality, and brilliant playing.
... In the Symphony in F (H656), for instance, the last of the Berlin symphonies Bach wrote, Haenchen pounces on every contrast and every turbulent characteristic he can find
, emphasizing them with zest. In the Andante, he maintains a strong forward momentum
, and in the concluding Allegro assai he provides a welcome sense of fun.
Nevertheless, I can't imagine this music being any better played than it is here
I liked how well the detail and definition come through, and I enjoyed hearing the ensemble's scope and depth and dimensionality, even if it comes at the expense of some small degree of natural warmth.
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