»C.Ph.E. Bach (08.03.1714-14.12.-1788) – 300th birthday«

A temporarily forgotten genius – effect and repercussions of one of the most sensitive musicians
2014-03-08
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach set Klopstocks Morgengesang am Schöpfungsfeste Wq 239 for
2 sopranos, choir and orchestra (1783) to music.
 
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724-1803), a German poet was so impressed by the musical version that he had the following inscribed on C.Ph.E. Bach’s gravestone in the crypt of St. Michael’s Church in Hamburg:
 
»The profound harmonizer united innovation with beauty, was great with regards to words and even greater in bold speechless music!«
 
The Swiss cultural philosopher, Johann Georg Sulzer (1720-1779), also greatly admired the works of C.Ph.E. Bach. In particular he praised his more than 150 sonata compositions in his book »General Theory of Beautiful Art« with the words:
 
»The possibility to bring character and expression into sonatas is proved by the piano sonatas of our Hamburg Bach.
Most of these can be heard […]. It requires undisputed genius, science and an especially light complete and patient sensibility
in order to create such sonatas [ …]. These are truly passionate musical conversations [ …].«
 
The world of music celebrates his 300th birthday on 08.03.2014. The second eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Weimar and belongs to the prominent composers of the early classic era (approx. 1730-1760), although the romantic era caused him to be somewhat forgotten. His influence is wide reaching. Mozart’s remark: »He is the father we are the sons. If one of us achieves something then we have learned it from him.«  is as significant as Beethoven who wrote in a letter to Breitkopf & Härtel in 1809:
 
»I only know a few of Emanuel Bach’s works for piano but yet these must serve the true artist not just for enjoyment but also for serious studies.«
 
The English music historian (1726-1814) reported of Bach: »He is the master of all styles although he devotes himself primarily to the expressive form.«
 
We are pleased that the present remembers his greatness on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of his birth!