C. P. E. Bach: Keyboard Music

Giovanni Togni, Tangentenflügel
66:44
Dynamic CDS 7762

This recital includes sonatas, rondos and a fantasia all drawn from the composer’s anthologies Für Kenner und Liebhaber, published between 1779 and 1787. Both music and playing are absolutely first-class and enhanced by the wonderful Tangent Piano – an original from 1797 in excellent condition – used for the recording. (Think piano but one in which the strings are struck by slim and bare wooden ‘hammers’). This has all the brilliance and clarity of a harpsichord, but also the expressive potential of the clavichord and piano further enhanced by mechanical devices (three knee levers and three hand stops) which raise the dampers or modify the tone in some way. The booklet (It/Eng) gives a full account of these, as well the background to the music and the player (‘graduated with full marks’ – I can believe it) and also includes a number of photograhs showing details of the instrument. The music is such that all these ‘toys’ can be deployed with taste and skill so we have a disc that is exciting, rewarding, instructive and entertaining – sometimes all at once. I don’t often give out stars with quite this enthusiasm – I’ve docked one from the booklet as it is in only two languages and the translation grates once or twice.

David Hansell