J. S. Bach’s Toccatas are early works clearly designed to impress the listener. The Toccata BWV 912 is a substantial work in six sections, two of which are fugal, interspersed with free improvisational movements. The final section is a joyous, gigue-like moto perpetuo.
C. P. E. Bach’s Fantasia Wq 67 (1787) is notable for its expression, incorporating an abundance of dynamic levels: pp, p, mp, mf, f and ff. A closely related alternative reworking for violin and keyboard (Wq 80) is titled C. P. E. Bach’s Empfindungen (CPE Bach’s feelings/sensitivities) suggesting autobiographical content thereof. Often cited as a prime example of the particular North German aesthetic of Empfindsamkeit, the composer demonstrates here a combination of melancholic introspection with striking, extraordinary melodic invention and modulation.
Like a grand operatic scena, W. F. Bach’s Fantasia in e minor imitates vocal styles of writing. A furioso Overture leads into alternating recitativo and arioso sections.
C. P. E. Bach’s Rondo Wq 66 (1781) is a heartfelt and plaintive farewell (abschied) to the composer’s beloved Silbermann clavichord, which was acquired by the Count von Grotthuß in 1781.
The Toccata BWV 914 has four distinct sections: a short introduzione, a fugal Un poco allegro, a free-form Adagio and a magnificent FUGA finale comparable to Bach’s great organ fugues.
This recording was made at the state-of-the-art facilities at pianorecording.co.uk studio in Sheffield, UK. The piano is a Bösendorfer Imperial model, incorporating the innovative Phoenix system of bridge agraffes which enhances depth of tone, sustain and clarity.