C. P. E. Bach’s Music for the Hamburg Captains in a Recording Premiere
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach held the most important and influential church musician’s post in Hamburg, with responsibilities comparable to those of his father at the Church of St. Thomas in Leipzig. He wrote his Hamburger Bürgerkapitänsmusik (H 822a-b, Wq deest) consisting of an oratorio and a serenata in 1780 for the annual festive gathering of the captains of Hamburg’s civic guard. Trumpets and timpani and allegorical figures including virtues and vices are employed to contrast war and peace. Patriotism emerges triumphant with support from the Chorus of Patriots, while Envy, Revolt, and Deceit retreat. The restoration of order and prosperous trade relations are celebrated. The barockwerk hamburg ensemble founded by the Israeli conductor and harpsichordist Ira Hochman in 2007 performs this multifaceted top-quality music. The musicians have set themselves the goal of rediscovering and reviving chamber and stage works from the baroque era. In its work it mainly draws on the rich Hamburg tradition, which during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries not only produced many outstanding musicians but also attracted audiences and patrons from throughout Northern Europe. The ensemble’s next cpo release will feature Telemann’s Die dicken Wolken scheiden sich, a festive work commissioned by the neighboring city of Altona (Altona, 1760).