C. P. E. Bach: Empfindsam

Collegium Musicum Den Haag, Claudio Ribeiro
65:00
C. P. E. Bach: Symphony in D, Concerto Wq, 14, H417, Sonata in A minor Wq90.01, H522
W. F. Bach: Symphony in F
Barbella: Concerto III

My first reaction to putting this CD in my machine was, “Oh no, not C. P. E. Bach’s greatest hit [the D major Symphony] AGAIN!” It didn’t take me long, though, to realise that CMDH were not just going through the motions of producing a disc devoted to this music – they had grabbed it by the neck and decided to give it a good shake; these are performances of real vitality and, even if the programme is something of a calling card for the group with a Neapolitan recorder concerto at its heart and a sonata for keyboard with violin and cello accompaniment as another filler, that is insignificant when one is dealing with such stylish and passionate performances. Listening to the adagio of the harpsichord concerto was an emotionally draining experience, but not at all in a bad way – the deepest sentiments of C. P. E. Bach’s soul are seemingly laid out for all to feel, and Ribeiro and co. capture all the nuances to perfection. I think my only (slight) complaint about the whole set is the fact it took me so long to identify the outstanding players. To save readers the bother, the talented recorder player is Inês d’Avena – her even and pure sound reminds me a lot of the legendary Gudrun Heynes. If this group is new to you (as it was to me) do not hesitate to make their acquaintance – they have something to say, no matter what they are playing!

Brian Clark