Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was the pioneer of an epochal change. For the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the most influential son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, Yuval Rabin has taken on a very special project. This Israeli organist who exhaustively studied Bach’s instructions for the treatment of repetitions in his doctoral dissertation now puts his findings to the practical test. Fascinating indeed – how “the true manner of playing the clavier,” on the basis of a mere repetition, even in our quick-paced times makes for a most highly entertaining experience!
As Bach saw it, the embellishment of repetitions in no way was limited to highly imaginative improvisation. Instead, a creative compositional process was necessary and presumed a profound understanding of the formal design of the piece and its emotional content. This places great demands on the player, but for the public it is not only highly entertaining but also helpful.
The value assigned by Bach to the proper art of embellishment is also recognizable in his regular presentation of exemplary pieces throughout his life. They include the Arioso in C and the Minuetto in F recorded here. Yuval Rabin has studied these texts with the greatest precision and transferred the method to larger works. Bach’s demand that all modifications “at all times must be, if not better, than at least just as good as the original” has been assimilated by Rabin in special measure. The Stieffell organ in St. Peter’s Church in Endingen, an instrument constructed during Bach’s lifetime, contributes additional authenticity.
This birthday present for “the Hamburg Bach” of course must also be delivered in a proper package: produced in room-filling 2+2+2 sound and in the finest SACD technique, this new recording is not only a musical treat but also a very special feast for the ears delighting both heart and soul.