CPE Bach

It's not often that one harpsichord is heard in concert with orchestra, let alone two! WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords in F major, and two soloists who champion it.


CAMILE SCHELSTRAETE

Conductor, harpsichordist, and early music specialist Ton Koopman conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in this Sunday’s re-broadcast at 1 pm. It's a Verizon Hall concert from this past March, during which Koopman teams with his wife, harpsichordist Tini Mathot, in a performance of C.P.E. Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords, a boldly experimental work by a composer well-known for his innovation and dynamism.

J.S. Bach’s second-surviving son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), was a musical force in his own right. His fame, at least after the mid-1700s, overshadowed that of his now-legendary father. This year, six German cities with ties to C.P.E.’s musical footprint in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt (Oder), Leipzig, Potsdam, and Weimar are leading a celebration of the 300th anniversary of his birth.   

When it comes to musical dynasties, it's tough to top the Bach family. From town fiddlers to court composers, the Bachs dominated German music for seven generations. Today, Johann Sebastian towers above all his relatives, but there's another important Bach we shouldn't forget — especially today, on the 300th anniversary of his birth.