Hyperion Records

Capriccio in E major 'in honorem Johann Christoph Bachii Ohrdrufiensis', BWV993

'Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach' (CDS44421/35)
Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach
MP3 £45.00FLAC £45.00ALAC £45.00Buy by post £50.00 CDS44421/35  15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Bach: Italian Concerto & French Overture' (CDA67306)
Bach: Italian Concerto & French Overture
Track 10 on CDA67306 [5'13]
Track 10 on CDS44421/35 CD12 [5'13] 15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)

Capriccio in E major 'in honorem Johann Christoph Bachii Ohrdrufiensis', BWV993
Bach must have briefly returned to Ohrdruf before moving on to his next post, even if it was only to gather up some of his belongings. The Capriccio in E major, BWV993, bears the subtitle ‘in honorem Johann Christoph Bachii Ohrdrufiensis’, and might possibly have been presented to his elder brother in thanks for his guardianship and formative musical education. Not a capriccio in the true sense of the word (‘whim’ or ‘fancy’), it is rather a long fugue more in the style of Frescobaldi. The definition put forward by Furetière in 1690 is more appropriate here: ‘Capriccios are pieces of music, poetry or painting wherein the force of imagination has better success than observation of the rules of art.’ Certainly the wonderful sense of direction that we encounter in his later fugues is lacking in this early work, but it is not without charm. There are extended episodes in two-part writing and some modulations into what were then very remote keys (for example, D sharp minor). An unexpected bravura passage closes the work, with some treacherous leaps in the left hand which would be considerably easier on a pedal harpsichord. The young Bach was certainly out to impress in every way he could. He had an open mind, a driving ambition, high intelligence, all the necessary gifts, and an extraordinary capacity for work. When asked later on in his life the secret of his success, he simply replied: ‘I was obliged to be industrious; whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.’

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2001

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