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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (Composer)

Born: 8th March 1714, Weimar

Died: 14th December 1788, Hamburg

Nationality: German

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach also formerly spelled Karl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, and commonly abbreviated C. P. E. Bach, was a German Classical period musician and composer, the fifth child and second surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. His second name was given in honor of his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann, a friend of Johann Sebastian Bach.

C. P. E. Bach was an influential composer working at a time of transition between his father's Baroque style and the Classical style that followed it. His personal approach, an expressive and often turbulent one known as empfindsamer Stil or 'sensitive style', applied the principles of rhetoric and drama to musical structures. Bach's dynamism stands in deliberate contrast to the more mannered galant style also then in vogue.

To distinguish him from his brother Johann Christian, the "London Bach", who at this time was music master to the Queen of Great Britain, C. P. E. Bach was known as the "Berlin Bach" during his residence in that city, and later as the "Hamburg Bach" when he succeeded Telemann as Kapellmeister there.

Further Reading: Bach, C P E

 Interview, Steven Isserlis on CPE Bach and Haydn

The cellist talks to David about his new album of eighteenth-century cello concertos, released earlier in the month on Hyperion.

 Recording of the Week, CPE Bach Magnificat

To mark the tercentenary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach’s fifth (and most prolific) child, Hans-Christoph Rademann directs the RIAS Kammerchor and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin in a ‘punchy and agile’ account of his first large-scale choral work.

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