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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach Program Notes

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) was the fifth child and second surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He was a prolific composer, and his music had a major influence on the development of the Classical style.

CPE Bach was born in Weimar, Germany, and studied music with his father and other important composers of the time. He moved to Berlin in 1740, where he became a court musician. He later moved to Hamburg, where he served as Kapellmeister.

CPE Bach's music is characterized by its expressive melodies, its use of harmony and counterpoint, and its emotional depth. He was a master of the keyboard, and his keyboard sonatas and concertos are some of his most famous works. He also wrote a number of symphonies, chamber music, and vocal music.

CPE Bach was a major figure in the development of the Classical style. His music was influenced by the Baroque style of his father, but it also incorporated new elements, such as a greater emphasis on melody and harmony. His music was widely admired by his contemporaries, and it continues to be performed and enjoyed today.

If you are interested in learning more about CPE Bach, I recommend the following books:

  • The Cambridge Companion to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (edited by Malcolm Boyd)
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Learned Musician (by Stephen G. Laitz)
  • Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Complete Keyboard Music (edited by Richard Jones)
    Bach-Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-1788)      
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