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Music

Concert Hour: Opening concert at Leipzig's Bachfest (Pt. 2 of 2)

More on the way this week from the opening concert at the 2014 Bachfest in Leipzig. It's no surprise that Johann Sebastian's music was on the program, paired with works by his son C.P.E. Bach.

Members of St. Thomas' Choir

The St. Thomas' Choir, performing in this week's show, has existed for more than eight centuries

Last week, we listened in at the opening concert of Leipzig's Bachfest, a kind of mecca for lovers of Johann Sebastian Bach's music - thanks in part to the many years he spent working in the city. This week's program picks up with more from that event, this time featuring music composed by Bach's second oldest son, Carl Philipp Emanuel.

Like most composers that followed, C.P.E. Bach owes a heavy debt to his father's musical genius. But he, too, was an originator, seen as one of the composers who bridged the Baroque with what followed it in the 19th century. C.P.E. Bach's late cantata "Heilig" (Holy) exemplifies his stylistic innovation.

"With completely natural and customary harmonic progressions, this 'Holy' is an attempt to provoke far more attention and feelings than one could with timid chromaticism. Within the genre, it is to be my swan song and to serve the purpose that after my death I should not be very soon forgotten," wrote C.P.E. Bach of the work. Mission accomplished - and this year's Bachfest is just one more source of proof.

To start the program, though, there's an organ piece from a second Bachfest concert featuring music by composer Josef Gabriel Rheinberger - a giant among his musical contemporaries but who has since faded into relative obscurity.

Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901)
Fantasy from the Sonata in A Major, op. 188

Ullrich Böhme, organ

Recorded by Deutsche Welle (DW) in St. Thomas’ Church, Leipzig on June 16, 2014

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
Magnificat, Wq 215
Heilig, Wq 217

Julia Sophie Wagner, soprano
Benno Schachtner, male alto
Martin Petzold, tenor
Andreas Scheibner, bass
St. Thomas' Choir, Leipzig
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Ensemble in residence)
Members of the Leipzig Baroque Orchestra
Gotthold Schwarz, conductor

Recorded by Central German Radio, Halle (MDR) in St. Thomas' Church, Leipzig, on June 13, 2014

Rebroadcasting rights: One broadcast before September 18, 2015

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