Klassik Heute 9/9/9 November 2012: Of the many recordings available to me in this Bach project, this is the dearest. It shows, I think - Miklós Spányi at the height of the task.
This disc continues the previous volume of this series in presenting keyboard sonatas composed in 1744, a year of great significance in C.P.E. Bach’s development as a composer. Beside three sonatas from that year, the programme includes an earlier and a later work: the very substantial 1740 Sonata in G major, Wq65/12, and the Sonata in F major, Wq65/21 composed in a light and charming galant style in 1747. Many sonatas of this period are serious ‘grand’ sonatas intended for connoisseurs and professional players. Like the six ‘Württemberg’ Sonatas, Wq49, composed between 1742 and 1744, they have large-scale outer movements telling complex and exciting stories, painted in the most vivid of colours. On this disc, the Sonata in F minor, Wq62/6 is a sister work of the ‘Württemberg’ set which could have easily taken its place among them. Perhaps less ‘serious’ is the D major Sonata, Wq65/14, a sparkling work in galant style, while the C major Sonata, Wq62/7 is a very personal creation with its relatively short movements of highly contrasting characters. With his usual sensitivity to the different moods and styles of the composer, Miklós Spányi performs these works on the clavichord – an instrument favoured by C.P.E. Bach himself, and for which Spányi has a particular affinity, as remarked upon in a review in BBC Music Magazine of a recent disc in the series: ‘Spányi’s ultra-sensitive touch adds magic on this delicate instrument.’ The particular clavichord selected for this recording is unusually large, with a louder and more colourful sound which helps in realising the great contrasts required by Bach in both musical textures and dynamics, aspects which are also aided by the rich acoustics of the splendid 18th-century Keizerszaal (‘Imperial Hall’) in the Belgian town of Sint-Truiden, where the recording took place.