One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term followed by the search term.


International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788)
Keyboard Sonatas - Volume 31
Sonata in C major, Wq. 55/1 (H244) [9:07]
Sonata in F major, Wq. 55/2 (H130) [19:07]
Sonata in B minor, Wq. 55/3 (H245) [8:43]
Sonata in F major, Wq. 55/5 (H243) [9:03]
Sonata in G major, Wq. 56/2 (H246) [12:09]
Sonata in F major, Wq. 56/4 (H269) [6:24]
Sonata in A major Wq. 56/6 (H270) [7:29]
Miklós Spányi (clavichord)
rec. Keizerszaal, Sint-Truiden, Belgium, July 2014
BIS BIS-2131 [73:23]

One would have thought that the three hundredth anniversary celebrations of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach in 2014 might have marked the end of the period of growth in the knowledge and understanding of his music, but no. Since the anniversary there have been some significant additions to the CD catalogue and these can only deepen our appreciation of J. S. Bach’s most talented son. The present disc is just the latest in that sequence.

It always amazes me with extensive collections such as this that we can get to volume 31 and still be introduced to music which remains vibrant and interesting, offering the listener something new, but that is the case here. The music presented here is taken from collections 1 and 2 of the sonatas ‘für Kenner und Liebhaber’, which had been composed separately and later published as a set.

All the sonatas on this disc are from the Wq 55 set. They are cast in three movements with the usual fast-slow-fast structure apart from the third, where the final movement is a moderately paced Cantabile. This provides an elegant and fitting ending to the sonata. In contrast, only the first sonata of the three from Wq 56 has this structure, the remaining pair having two movements. This is not the only difference between the sets, as it seems to be made up of a series of sonatas and rondos, none of which is included here. All the music presented here was composed between 1758 and 1780 and perfectly demonstrates the musical sensibilities of the period. It demonstrates why C P E Bach was held in such high regard at the time.

The small nature of the instrument means that it has been recorded closely. This has lead to the occasional sound of Spányi breathing. Whilst I don’t find that this affects my enjoyment of the music, I know that some may find it disturbing. Otherwise, this is yet another excellent recording in what is becoming one of the most valuable surveys of keyboard music by any composer from any period. Whilst I do not have as many of the discs in this series as I would like, I look forward to future releases and to investing in the ones I do not yet have.

Stuart Sillitoe



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger