Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sonatas And Rondos
No Description Available. Genre: Classical Music Media Format: Compact Disk Rating: Release Date: 8-JAN-2002
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No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 8-JAN-2002
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Just what century did this composer live in??
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A thrilling work. These pieces show off the compositional mastery of Emanuel. The Rondo in A major is a clear example that he could write beautiful melodies as well and deserves to be a standard. Pletnev conveys the feeling that Bach would use "old-fashioned" Baroque techniques as just another tool in his compositional toolbox.For fun, play this album to a music lover and let him/her try to guess the composer. Some pieces sound like they could have been written in the 20th century.I was surprised to find a passage in one of the later tracks that Emanuel later orchestrated for one of the Hamburg symphonies. (sorry - can't put my finger on it right now).I agree with the previous review regarding the sound. I thought it was played on an antique piano at first, it sounds so strange."
A curiously different Bach
Alan Lekan | Boulder, CO | 12/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Hearing these compositions by Russian piano-wizard Mikhail Pletnev for the first time might leave you with the thought, "Wow, that was pretty different." And indeed these somewhat unpredictable sonatas are curiously different - as is Mr. Pletnev's approach to them. Certainly CPE Bach was the most innovative and daring composer of the Bach dynasty, shunning the "old school" contrapuntal form perfected by his father and plunging into music more singularly melodic and less inhibited in expression and form. Such traits are most abundant in this keyboard music with its extemporaneous style and abundant elements of free-fantasy composition. This combined with Mikhail Pletnev's "plucky" and dynamic style produces music of the "late Baroque" that is most unusual, idiosyncratic and far reaching beyond the typical musical mannerisms of the times. Pianists and serious classical music listners should find this keyboard music most fascinating and deeply rewarding - both from the compositons and Pletnev's trademark quicksilver playing.
Perhaps, for the newer listener or those more acustom to the "more accessible" keyboard music of JS Bach, Handel, Haydn or Mozart - these more idiosyncratic keyboard works by CPE Bach may take more effort to appreciate. While they may not exude many memorable, lyrical melodies and exhibit typical sonata form, there is an abundance of brilliant, breathtaking virtuostic keyboard playing that tantilizes the musical senses. Much of it sounds like it was improvised on spot with what the commentary describes as "fragments of free fantasy in the manner of a collage ... in a harmonic design that is strikingly bold." One thing that stands out in many of the pieces is the frequent and relatively long stretches of silence and the drawing-out of tempos and progression - again the free-fantasy manner. While sometimes certain pieces can seem to plod along, Pletnev's marvelous syncronicity with this music keeps those with ears to hear it highly engaged. And the DG sound quality is superb - clear, bold and without criticism.
These Sonatas/Rondos by CPE Bach will most likely appeal to the true pianophile or "specialist" (as BBC Music concluded) who should find much to celebrate in Pletnev's sheer dynamism and Bach Jr.s far-reaching composing. Much of it is really extrodinary to behold knowing this was the 18th century.
This CD got very positive reviews in the music press, especially for Pletnev's pioneering efforts to bring this music into the modern repertoire. Rightfully so, Penguin Guide gave this CD both a "Rosette Award" and "Recommended Recording" citing. Music-critic David Hurwitz of ClassicsToday gave this release a perfect 10/10 (Artistry/Sound Quality) along with glowing comments for Pletnev's keen ability to bring out the improvisorial spirit with this style of music. Pletnev is brilliant in this music, displaying the same, caffeine-like alertness in his "pizzazy" Scarlatti Sonata recording (a Gramophone Award Winner). One this is for sure: these works reveal just how "far thinking" was the music and style of this particular and different Bach. And Pletnev brings the most out of this music with his uninhibited style and strong improv instincts. Compositions - 4.5 stars; Performance - 5 stars; Sound - 5 stars; (But that ghastly photo of this marvelous pianist - 0 stars).
Fanciful Music Right Down Pletnev's Alley
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 12/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mikhail Pletnev can be a maddening pianist in that he can be willful to a fault in some of his performances. For instance, I thought his Schumann disc was simply awful -- I will admit others disagree with that opinion -- although it was obvious he had thought about what he was doing; still it seemed self-indulgent and wayward.
In this collection of C.P.E Bach piano music, though, Pletnev's approach and the music at hand are a perfect match. The younger Bach's music is fanciful, if anything, and it caroms all over the place. That's one of the hallmarks of rococo music and C.P.E. is one of the torch-bearers for that style. The booklet writer talks about the music's 'bizarrerie' and that's a perfect word for it. I suspect this is so in Bach's music because he was trying to forge a new style at least partly in reaction to his father's mathematical precision. This is not 'pre-classical' music in the sense that it presages the style about to come to fruition with Haydn and Mozart. Rather, it is a side-street that probably had more influence on the Romantic period that came after those classical masters. Certainly Bach's tendency was to go where his emotions took him, rather than to force his music into forms that tradition dictated. However that may be, the music is delightful in its own idiosyncratic way and if one simply goes with it, wherever it leads, one is caught up in its emotionality.
Pletnev does this music proud. Indeed, I've not heard anyone approach him in piano music from this period. His virtuosity is breathtaking in the presto movements. There and elsewhere he seems to be innately in tune with the style (although, I imagine this is not so much innate as due to Pletnev's careful analysis of the music he's playing) and I quite enjoy the journey he takes us on.
This CD has brought me a great deal of pleasure over the months that I've owned it. I think it bids fair to do the same for just about anyone who hears it.