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Hyperion Records

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Ideal landscape (1776) by Johann Sebastian Bach (1748-1778)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67786
Recording details: August 2009
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2010
Total duration: 15 minutes 26 seconds

'Danny Driver, a recent addition to Hyperion's bejewelled roster of pianists, makes his superlative case for music that is as inventive as it is unsettling. Playing with imperturbable authority, he captures all the mercurial fits and starts of the G minor Sonata … it would be impossible to over-estimate Driver's impeccable technique and musicianship, and also a warmth missing from Pletnev's earlier and razor-sharp recital … this is one of the finest of all recent keyboard issues and Hyperion's sound and presentation are ideal' (Gramophone)

'Listening to this extraordinary music, it is easy to understand why the audiences who first heard it in the 1740s were thrilled and bewildered in equal measure … Driver meets the interpretative challenges with a lively mind, dexterity and warm sensibility in a way that brings CPE Bach's startling originality sharply into focus' (The Daily Telegraph)

'With 78 minutes of impeccable pianism, top-drawer recording quality and highly informative notes by Leta Miller, placing these remarkable works in context, this deserves a wide audience' (International Record Review)

'In terms of this selection of CPE Bach’s sonatas, it’s a case of once you start, you’re hooked, something enhanced by playing of clarity, depth and poise, Driver always willing to go with the music’s unpredictability. This is invention at once intellectual and engagingly entertaining, containing the promise of surprise while retaining a secret or two for the next playing. There is an unpredictable logic to these pieces that is very likeable, be it the individual slow movements or the toccata-like faster ones; and whatever CPE Bach demands Danny Driver ensures a comprehensive realisation of these fascinating scores' (ClassicalSource.com)

Sonata in G minor, H47 Wq65/17
composer
1746

Allegro  [5'59]
Adagio  [4'32]
Allegro assai  [4'55]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Sonata in G minor H47 (Wq65/17) from 1746 remained unpublished in Bach’s lifetime. The sonata begins with an unbarred fantasia that soon gives way to a strictly metred section featuring running semiquaver triplets in unison in the two hands. The strict metre, however, soon devolves into another unbarred section, after which a startling contrast appears: a galant motif in B flat major. Bach allows none of these motifs to reach a satisfying conclusion, however. Brief reappearances of the galant theme (often accompanied by echo effects) are interrupted by the unison triplets, and the rhythm repeatedly disintegrates into recollections of the fantasia. This extraordinary piece takes the listener on a wild journey into Bach’s ‘fantastical’ world, ending with a half cadence that ushers in a complete change of scenery: the gentle second-movement sarabande in G major. If this slow dance in triple metre, with its characteristic accent on the second beat, reminded Bach’s listeners in some ways of the early eighteenth-century suite, its harmonic excursions, dynamic contrasts, and moments of rhetorical interjection certainly did not. In short, the movement is a perfect example of Bach’s attempts to mould past influences into a new innovative language. The sonata ends with an equally extraordinary Allegro built around a descending chromatic motif whose pitches appear in an almost spasmodic off-kilter rhythm along with interjected higher notes. Several times Bach halts the momentum with rests followed by his typical parenthetical insertions, or with reminiscences of the first movement’s fantasia. The entire sonata presents a stunning example of Bach’s wild, highly eccentric language tempered by his heritage of rationality.

from notes by Leta Miller İ 2010

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