C. P. E. Bach Sense and sensibility: Sonatas, Fantasias & Rondo

Riccardo Cecchetti fortepiano
Challenge Classics CC72666
Wq 55:5, 57:3, 4 & 6, 59:1, 5, & 6

The phrase ‘sense and sensibility’ in the title is a very appropriate description of the playing here, as well as of the music. Cecchetti performs three mature sonatas, together with two Fantasias and a Rondo, with great sensitivity of feeling and of touch. In the same way as Miklos Spányi exploits the clavichord’s resources in his recent recording (read it here), Cecchetti exploits the fortepiano’s potential to the full as an equally strong instrument of choice for C. P. E. Bach’ music. He plays on an anonymous German fortepiano of 1785 from the Edwin Beunk Collection, built in the same year as the clavichord used by Spányi for his recording. There are no common sonatas between the two recordings but comparison is still intriguing, with Cecchetti less percussive and more flexible rhythmically. The sleeve notes here are a bit general and do not provide information on the specific sonatas played. Very fine playing and shows a deep understanding of C. P. E. Bach’s idiom.

Noel O’Regan