Montreal-born pianist Marc-André Hamelin’s recording pace is not slowing down! After his last two CDs, devoted respectively to the first six sonatas of the obscure Russian composer Samuel Feinberg (March 2020) and to Franz Liszt and Sigismund Thalberg’s transcriptions for piano of opera arias (September 2020), Hamelin offers on this new CD a reading of piano works by one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s best-known sons. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was posthumously recognized as a pedagogue in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is the development of piano technique, bridging the gap between the rigidity of the harpsichord and the great dynamic malleability of the fortepiano in the 18th century, that marks the catalog of keyboard works by this son Bach.
Traditional works such as the sonatas and rondos, with their changing colors and characters, stand side by side in a skillful arrangement with pieces in a freer and more whimsical style, such as the entertaining Arioso with nine variations in C major. An outstanding technician, Marc-André Hamelin’s virtuosity and agile fingering make perceptible the boldness and freshness of the composer’s musical language: the expressiveness of the piano’s vocal line, an innovative internal stylistic decoration, lyrical flights, and a very personal sensitivity.