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C.P.E.BACH Six keyboard sonatas
Carole Cerasi (harpsichord and fortepiano)
Metronome MET CD 1032. 67'27"

Carole Cerasi won the Gramophone Award for Baroque music last year. This is a delightful selection from those of Carl Philipp Emanuel's numerous sonatas which were not included in the main collections nor published during his lifetime. They are given here chronologically, each from a different decade of his long working life. The earlier ones are more suitable for harpsichord.

Peter Holman, who uses the Helm numbering, puts them into perspective. The track listing provides also the Wotquenne numbers, which are quoted in the inexpensive Dover Edition Volumes 1 & 2 of CPE Bach's "Great Keyboard Sonatas". Those contain most of Cerasi's choices, and can also be recommended to listeners to enjoy exploring some of the sonatas upon whatever keyboard instrument is to hand. Many of them do not demand an advanced technique.

H13 (1735 revd. 1743) has a Siciliano with echo effects. H51 (1747) is bizarre and experimental, continually changing direction. H66 (1751) is a 5-movement suite of dances in an older style, but with expressive nuances which demand the capabilities of clavichord or fortepiano. H211 (1766) has written-out varied repeats. H248 (1775) links its movements attacca, and goes into distant keys. H280 (1783) was written for a bowed keyboard instrument, the Bogen Clavier and its merry finale is in a style taken over by Haydn.

Carole Cerasi has an admirably free, expressive manner with this music on either instrument, both of which, recorded at Forde Abbey in 1998, are based upon contemporary examples. Bruce Kennedy's double-manual harpsichord is after Mietke of c.1704, and Jean Bascou's based upon a suitable Stein fortepiano of the 1780s. An admirable addition to the extensive C.P.E.Bach discography to follow her earlier CD of suites by Jacquet.


Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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