Magazine article Gramophone

Contrasting Instrument Choices in CPE Bach from Spanyi and Rische

Magazine article Gramophone

Contrasting Instrument Choices in CPE Bach from Spanyi and Rische

Article excerpt

CPE Bach

'Keyboard Concertos, Vol 18'

Keyboard Concertos,Wq43-No 1, H471; No 2, H472; No 3 H473; No 4, H474

Concerto Armonico Budapest /Miklos Spanyi hpd

BIS (F) BIS-CD1787 (68' * DDD)

CPE Bach

'Piano Concertos, Vol 2'

Keyboard Concertos-Wq14 H417; Wq17 H420; Wq43/4 H474

Michael Rische pf

Leipzig Chamber Orchestra / Morten Schuldt-Jensen

Hanssler Classic (F) CD98 653 (57' * DDD)

It must have been a touch galling for Miklos Spanyi, as he prepared to record these four works for Vol 18 of his complete cycle of CPE Bach's keyboard concertos towards the end of 2011, to see Andreas Staier and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra taking a Gramophone Award for their powerful recording of the full set of six Wq43 concertos. Spanyi's project--concurrent with his survey of the complete solo keyboard music--has integrities of its own, however, and his attention to detail when it comes to choosing instruments is one of them. Here he uses a copy of a 1745 Dulcken, being the closest he could get hold of, he says, to the late English harpsichords which, with their big sound and armoury of sound-changing tricks, were the state-of-the-art models in the last battles against the emerging piano. Staier used a German harpsichord which positively bristled with stops but Spanyi steals a march by attaching swell shutters to his instrument (don't worry, it's quite authentic!), thus making possible crescendos and diminuendos. It's as lightly strange sensation when you first hear it, but the whole exercise is typical of the loving care which Spanyi has given to his recordings. The performances themselves are very good, with neat, crisp fingerwork from Spanyi expertly balanced with a one-to-a-part orchestra which is clean and efficient, if not in the same league of slick precision and energy as the FBO.

No less enthusiastic about CPE Bach is pianist Michael Rische, who has produced a second volume of concertos for Hanssler, though with rather different results. …

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