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C. P. E. Bach's Symphonies for Strings

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Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

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C. P. E. Bach, Six String Symphonies, The English Concert,
T. Pinnock
Charles T. Downey, Ensemble plays dynamic set of string symphonies
Washington Post, September 21, 2010
The Vivaldi Project presented a rare concert devoted to the music of one of J.S. Bach's famous sons, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, on Sunday afternoon at National Presbyterian Church. This relatively recent addition to Washington's burgeoning early music scene played all six of the composer's string symphonies, W. 182, from his years as Kapellmeister in Hamburg.

Baron Gottfried van Swieten commissioned these pieces while he was Austrian ambassador to Hamburg, reportedly telling Bach not to be constrained by worries about whether musicians would struggle with the difficulty of what he wrote. The virtuosity of individual players in the Vivaldi Project was certainly not at issue, with the violinists under talented director Elizabeth Field mastering seemingly countless runs and spiraling figures. [Continue reading]
Vivaldi Project
C. P. E. Bach, Six Symphonies, W. 182 (see the new Complete Works Edition)
National Presbyterian Church

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