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Track(s) taken from CDA67924

Orchester-Sinfonie in D major, H663 Wq183/1

circa 1771

Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: August 2011
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Adrian Peacock
Engineered by David Hinitt
Release date: June 2012
Total duration: 10 minutes 15 seconds

Cover artwork: James Grant of Grant, John Mytton, the Honourable Thomas Robinson and Thomas Wynne (detail) (c1760) by Nathaniel Dance-Holland (1734-1811)
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund, USA / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Rebecca Miller (conductor)


'The superb young countertenor Iestyn Davies … it's a beautiful recital: 78 minutes of pure bliss for connoisseurs and beginners alike' (The Mail on Sunday)

'Through his effortless line, countertenor Iestyn Davies revivifies Guadagni's Orphic powers. He is particularly breathtaking in works by Handel, Arne and John C Smith, all of which were designed to show off the castrato's pellucid timbre … a refreshingly ambitious and superbly realised recording' (BBC Music Magazine)

'If Guadagni was noted for the delicacy of his phrasing and the richness of character in his voice, Davies fully emulates him in these performances of arias by Handel, Hasse and Arne, with defining interpretations of extracts from Gluck’s Orfeo and an eloquently poised aria by Guadagni himself. Arcangelo lends exquisite instrumental support' (The Daily Telegraph)

'By all accounts Guadagni put tonal beauty and dramatic insight before vocal display, and Davies’s unforced timbre, exemplary intonation and sense of style brings out the nobility of the music he inspired. Arcangelo, Jonathan Cohen’s ensemble, also rises to CPE Bach’s stunning Symphony in D' (The Times)

'Davies gives us the lovely 'The raptur'd soul' … and David's ravishing 'O Lord, whose mercies numberless' from Saul, and Cyrus's bravura show stopper, Destructive War, from Belshazzar … Davies sings them superlatively well' (The Sunday Times)
Bach composed four symphonies during his years in Hamburg, and although they are less well-known today than the earlier set, they are if anything even more extraordinary. Certainly they are more imposing: published in Leipzig in 1780 and dedicated to Friedrich Wilhelm, Crown Prince of Prussia, they bore the title ‘Orchestra-Symphonies’ and were scored for an ensemble of strings, pairs of horns, flutes and oboes, and bassoon—a fuller and more colourful palette which Bach exploited with relish.

The first of the symphonies, in D major, has a dramatic opening which recalls that of Wq182/4, but now amplified into a carefully staged, mighty crescendo. It is hard not to think of Beethoven in this busy movement, not just in its powerful sonorities but also in the way Bach seems to be constantly on the lookout for ways to avoid the obvious—for instance the way in which the last note or chord of one episode might be replaced by first of the next. Even Beethoven, however, would have had difficulty in contemplating the bridge passage which leads to the central slow movement, arriving there in the surprise key of E flat major. This movement is brief, a snapshot of some warmly serene Gluckian operatic scene, and the symphony ends with a finale whose joyful progress is repeatedly interrupted by mysterious, winding questions from the strings.

from notes by Lindsay Kemp © 2015

Other albums featuring this work

Bach (CPE): Symphonies
Studio Master: SIGCD395Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
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