“The playing is ideally expressive and idiomatic.” BBC Music Magazine
This disc completes the set of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s 'Fortsetzung' Sonatas, Wq51, which was begun in Volume 26 in this series. These sonatas were published in 1761, only one year after the appearance of Six Sonatas with Varied Reprises, Wq50 (released on Volume 21, BIS-1624). Although the new collection contained only one single movement with a written-out varied reprise, Bach and his publisher titled it Fortsetzung (continuation or sequel), obviously hoping to capitalize on the success of the set which had preceded it. (A similar strategy was used two years later, with Zweite Fortsetzung, Wq52.) Although the ‘Fortsetzung’ Sonatas were not published together with the composer's own variants on them, such alternative versions exist in manuscript, and splitting this set of large-scale works over two discs, Miklós Spányi also includes recordings of these varied or embellished versions, which may represent the composer's revisions but could equally well have been intended as study material for his students. The same applies to the closing track on the disc, an embellished version of a movement from the Wq50 set, which Spányi himself, in his comments to the disc describes as ‘an almost completely new composition, with changes and embellishments so numerous and radical that they have a profound effect on the basic character of the composition.’ Included is also one of the composer's more intriguing experiments – a re-composed version of the entire first sonata of the Wq51 set, in which each movement has the same bass line and harmonic progressions as the original, yet is varied throughout in texture, rhythm and character. A tour de force in the technique of variation, Bach’s achievement becomes all the more impressive when one considers that he composed yet another, entirely different version of the same sonata, which was included on the previous disc in the series.