J. C. Bach :: Sonata in C Minor Op.17/2
If it wasn't for the Bach family, the 18th century would have looked very different from what it finally became. Imagine one family, with Johann Sebastian as eldest, father, developing the baroque music with 'learned' counterpoint to a level that still today is making all of us dizzy. And then imagine the children of that giant, Friedemann in the first place, considered to be the finest organist of his generation. The few works that he left, tear our hearts apart, since they show that he, if he only had the courage, or the demand, or even if he had married the right woman (he might have, I don't know), that he had the capacity to equal the work of his father. As did Carl Philip Emanuel, second son of the great Bach, full of energy, opening a complete new world, what we call today the "Empfindsamkeit", a new style, full of emotion, direct expression, the combination perhaps of what his father feed him with, with new elements, new harmonies maybe, although it is hard to overpower father Bach on that field, a real modernist in fact, but in anyway with a style and technique that formed its own school, next to that of his father. And then you have Christian, the youngest son, only born in 1735, when his father was on the height of his power, 50 years old, teaching him as he had his other kids, leaving Leipzig after the death of his father at age 15, heading to Berlin, to live and study with his brother Emanuel, 23 years older than he was.
And he, Christian, leaving for Italy in 1756 and finally finding his place in London, opening again a new world, what we call today, the Galant style, inspiring great man like Mozart and feeding what was to become the Viennese classical music.
All those man, belonging to... one family. One father, three sons.
And yet...yet, there is only few things to be found on the second generation Bach. Yes, Emanuel again raises in the 'hitparade' today, but o so slowly. But Christian... he is hardly mentioned.
All victims perhaps of the mid/late 19th century musicologists that wanted to clear the space for only one Bach: Johann Sebastian. An image that lives until today, and by which I (I admit) was severely influenced.
Of course JSB is of a dazzling dimension. Of course he is. Of course he is. Of course he is. But we should change our perspective. From one person that died in 1750 and ended the period of what WE call the baroque period, to the entire dynasty, including all great sons. Great sons, that, they were.
We could rewrite history, bit by bit, putting into context what we, with our 20th c minds like so much to tear in pieces, put in boxes, but what originally was connected heavily with each other. One picture.
We could learn SOOOOO much by just doing this one thing....