C.P.E.Bach Keyboard Music

C.P.E. Bach (1714-1788) worked in the court of Frederick the Great. He was a keyboard virtuoso and a prolific composer of keyboard music, much of which is available in modern editions.

His work when played on the harpsichord is attractive for the listener. On the piano I am not so sure. His pieces are highly improvisatory in style, florid, and loosely structured. As a pianist I do not like them. I have played through three volumes of his sonatas without enjoying any. The music does not seem to be pianistic. It is rather stiff, conservative in style, and does not lie well under the hand.

I have found one very good C.P.E. "arrangement" by Ernest Haywood: Allemande, Em, published by Keith Prowse, 1955; K & P Co. Ltd. 6476. This was given to me by T.A.Johnson and is excellent. I'd be interested to see the original.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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