BACH, J.S.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 2

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)

Piano (Clavier Concerto) No.4 in A Major, BWV 1055

Piano (Clavier Concerto) No.5 in F Minor, BWV 1056

Piano (Clavier Concerto) in F Major, BWV 1057

Piano (Clavier Concerto) in G Major, BWV 1058

The career of Johann Sebastian Bach, the most illustrious of aprolific musical family, falls neatly into three unequal parts. Born in 1685 in Eisenach,from the age of ten Bach lived and studied music with his eider brother in Ohrdruf, afterthe death of both his parents. After a series of appointments as organist and briefly as acourt musician, he became, in 1708, court organist and chamber musician to Duke WilhelmErnst of Weimar, the eider of the two brothers who jointly ruled the duchy. In 1714 he waspromoted to the position of Konzertmeister to the Duke, but in 1717, after a brief periodof imprisonment for his temerity in seeking to leave the Duke's service, he abandonedWeimar to become Court Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen, a position heheld unti11723. From then until his death in 1750 he lived in Leipzig, where he wasThomaskantor, with responsibility for the music of the five principal city churches, in1729 assuming direction of the university collegium musicum, founded by Telemann in 1702.

At Weimar Bach had been principally employed as an organist,and his compositions of the period include a considerable amount written for theinstrument on which he was recognised as a virtuoso performer. At Cothen, where Pietisttraditions dominated the court, he had no church duties, and was responsible rather forcourt music. The period brought the composition of a number of instrumental works. Thefinal 27 years of Bach's life brought a variety of preoccupations, and while his officialemployment necessitated the provision of church music, he was able to provide music forthe university collegium musicum and to write or re-arrange a number of important worksfor the keyboard.

It seems almost too simple to suggest that Bach's concertosfall into three corresponding groups. Nevertheless at Weimar he arranged for soloharpsichord a number of concertos by Italian composers, as well as concertos by the youngprince Johann Ernst. At Cothen he wrote his violin concertos and the set he dedicated in1721 to the Margrave of Brandenburg. In Leipzig he arranged or composed a number ofconcertos for solo harpsichords, exploring a new form of concerto that was to assume thegreatest importance as the century progressed.

The University collegium musicum in Leipzig met on Fridayevenings at Gottfried Zimmermann's coffee-house or in summer in his garden outside thecity. Bach took over direction of the group in 1729 and seems to have continued in thatposition until as late as 1744. Compositions for the collegium musicum, which involvedstudents and professional musicians, presumably include the Coffee Cantata, and thevarious concertos for one or more harpsichords, with strings.

The fourth of Bach's Clavier Concertos, the Concerto in A major, BWV 1055, is thought to be anarrangement of a lost concerto for oboe d'amore, an instrument pitched a minor third lowerthan the ordinary oboe, developed around the year 1720. It has been argued that theoriginal concerto must, therefore, belong to Bach's Leipzig rather than his Cothenperiod. It has otherwise been suggested that the concerto was once a violin concerto. Itopens with a lively theme, based on the tonic arpeggio. The slow movement is anembellished aria over a repeated bass pattern and is followed the brilliant descendingscale that introduces the concluding Allegro.

The Clavier Concerto in Fminor, BWV 1056, has outer movements that are thought once to have formed partof an Oboe Concerto. The vigorous figurationof the first movement gives way to a slow movement aria that itself leads without a breakto a final movement, in which much use is made of an echoed figure, in alternations ofloud and soft.

The Concerto for Clavier inF major, BWV 1057, which uses an additional two recorders in its orchestra, isa re-working of the fourth of the BrandenburgConcertos, BWV 1049 in G major, originally scored for solo violin, tworecorders, strings and basso continuo. The original concerto is again from Bach's periodspent as Hofkapellmeister at Cothen. The cheerful first movement, with its decorativeopening figuration for recorders, is succeeded by a minor key slow movement and a fugalfinale.

Bach's Clavier Concerto in Gminor, BWV 1058, was arranged by the composer from one of his two survivingCothen violin concertos, the Concerto in A minor, BWV1041, now transposed down a tone. Its first movement follows the usualritornello pattern, its opening theme re-appearing during the course of the movement.

There is a finely spun slow movement aria and a lively triple-metre conclusion.

Chang Hae Won

Chang Hae Won was born in Korea in the city of Seoul andstarted to play the piano at the age of six, completing her professional studies at EwhaUniversity in Seoul in 1963. From 1964 until 1968 she studied at the FrankfurtMusikhochschule with Professor Leopolder on a German government scholarship and wasawarded her diploma as a concert pianist. On her return to Korea she was appointedprofessor of piano at her old university.

In Korea Chang Hae Won won various prizes, including firstprize in the 1960 Korean National Piano Competition. Her career as a concert pianist beganthree years earlier, in 1957, when she played Beethoven's C minor Piano Concerto with theSeoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then she has enjoyed a busy career as a teacher and asa performer in Korea, in other Asian countries, in America and in Europe, with annualconcert tours and engagements at home and abroad. She has appeared as a soloist with majororchestras and in recitals with Ruggiero Ricci, Christian Ferras, Renata Tebaldi, FrancoCorelli, Aaron Rosand, Andre Navarra and others. She has performed as a soloist atnumerous music festivals, including the Paris Chateau de Breteuil Festival, the NationalMusic Festival in Korea and the festival for the opening of the Sejong Cultural Centre andof the Goethe-lnstitut in Seoul. She has served on the Vienna da Motta Competition jury inLisbon. In 1985 she was acclaimed by the Music Critics' Circle of Korea as Musician of theYear, and won high praise in the German press for her technical accomplishment andmusicianship. Her recordings for Naxos and Marco Polo included piano works by Pierne,Scarlatti's sonatas, concertos by Hummel and other piano music.

Camerata Cassovia

The Camerata Cassovia is the chamber ensemble of the CSSR StatePhilharmonic Orchestra which is based in the Eastern Slovakian town of Košice. Theorchestra was founded in 1968 and has toured widely within Europe and the Far East.

Robert Stankovsky

Robert Stankovsky was born in Bratislava, the capital ofSlovakia, in 1964, and after a childhood spent in the study of the piano, recorder, oboeand clarinet, turned his attention, at the age of fourteen, to conducting, graduating inthis and in piano at the Bratislava Conservatory with the title of best graduate of theyear. Stankovsky is regarded as one of the best conductors of the younger generation inCzechoslovakia. For Marco Polo Stankovsky has recorded symphonies by Rubinstein andMiaskovsky in addition to orchestral works by Dvorak and Smetana.

Item number 8550423
Barcode 4891030504233
Release date 12/01/1999
Category Baroque
Label Naxos Classics
Media type CD
Number of units 1
Artists Chang, Hae Won
Chang, Hae Won
Conductors Stankovsky, Robert
Stankovsky, Robert
Orchestras Cassovia, Camerata
Cassovia, Camerata
Producers Hentsel, Rudolf
Hentsel, Rudolf
Disc: 1
Piano Concerto, G minor, BWV 1058
1 I. Allegro moderato
2 II. Larghetto
3 III. Allegro ma non tanto
4 I. Allegro moderato
5 II. Largo
6 III. Presto
7 I. Allegro
8 II. Andante
9 III. Allegro assai
10 I. Allegro moderato
11 II. Andante
12 III. Allegro assai
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