C.Ph.E.Bach :: Württemberg Sonata I, Wq 49/1
12:01 Allegro Assai
Starting to write this blog, I realize that, if one would take time and courage to read all the texts that I have written alongside the music recording videos, he or she would learn much about my personal way of thinking, in other words, the things that surround the actual recording, in other words, the uncertainties, in other words, the vulnerability to which I expose myself so to say to my 'audience'. You know that I enjoy writing ridiculous stories on bizarre telephone calls or visits from the since long deceased composers, and if I would not fear to bore you to dead, I would write like that every time I think, but overall, or in general, over the course of what silently is approaching 100 music videos, you'll probably have got the picture that I am far from Mister Perfect Who Knows Everything.
And honestly, I don't mind. Even more: in one way or another, this mentality (if you want to call it like that), might be connected to what a musician on social media is supposed to do: be human which inevitably means be vulnerable. And maybe that is what the modern audience expect from us in general, much opposed to previous generations, who built sometimes entire careers on the principle of being completely unreachable (and playing very well).
Having said all this, a next confession to you is the fact that I feel very stupid, not having played CPEBach earlier, more than I did, and moreover, study his life more in depth. I'm catching up with this, reading now the fascinating book edited by Annette Richards "C.P.E.Bach, Studies" (ed. Cambridge University Press) -I know Annette from her and my time in Amsterdam which is nice- and there is more to come on CPEBach. Of course I did read his "Versuch", but in general, I only now realise how much I have been influenced by a 19th, first half 20th c. picture that people, even Albert Schweitzer, drew of this master, feeling the strange need to have CPEBach pushed out of the way of the greatest master of all, J.S.Bach.
I am not the only one with this. If I'm not mistaken, he even does not have his own Facebook group. Sounds ridiculous at first, but think about it. Starting to realise only now fully the immense importance, the immense quality, the immense history of this fabulous composer, studying his work in depth feels as a necessity to also better understand both the work of his father and that of later times. I knew that Mozart admired him, but reading those passages again today, even more emphasizes the fact that he deserved his statue (that he never got).
What I learn from this, is that we NEVER can take our thoughts and the things we learn and learned to accept as facts, for granted. That we ALWAYS must return to the sources, not (really not) to proof anything, but to continue the process of self reflection, refine our ideas, polish them, put them next to the only two dimensional, almost by definition out-of-the-context quotes. And eternally translate all of that in our performances that we, as musicians, present to you.
So, I do feel stupid, but blessed at the same time. Because, is that not something that is worth living for?
Hope you enjoy this 1742 (!) sonata of our since today beloved master!
Have a nice day
Bonus: On the personal letters of CPE Bach!
In 1784, Bach wrote a letter to Johan Heinrich Grave, ending by saying by writing that someone told him that not only the letters of his surname (BACH) were musical, but his first letters as well.
Emanuel reponded musically. I play this wonderful fragment to you, full of harmonic progression!
The book I am presenting to you today, is not a recent publication, although it is not old either. It is the English translation of all the letters of CPEBach, editid in 1997 and reprinted in this edition in 2004. Translation and editing by Stephen Clark, published by Oxford University Press, details below.
Book Link: http://www.oupcanada.com/catalog/9780...