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Empfindsamer Stil or Empfindsamkeit developed in Germany by the middle of the 18th century with the main goal of expressing emotions in order to move the spectator. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Sebastian’s second son, was the composer who best represented the style’s ideals. Christoph Friedrich Nicolai, a contemporary critic, aptly described the merit of Bach’s ingenious originality: “Anyone who would wish to see such a truly original composer as our Bach freely go his own way, untrammelled by custom or fashion, will find his heart’s desire in these splendid, unique symphonies.” These qualities probably explain why his symphonies kept being played up to modern days.
Emanuel Bach goes into the deepest of his sentimental expression, with delicate harmonies and well-designed melodic lines alternating with tortuous melodic leaps, painful harmonic progressions and outstanding cantabile writing. Tempests of notes and harmonies supported by temperamental accompaniments from the strings are followed by the most sublime cantabiles, passages in an almost galant style, with short and simple melodic motifs. Striking harmonies and dissonant leaps are combined with sudden fermatas to create the dramatic instability typical of Sturm und Drang.
A veritable musical fireworks in a captivating rendering by New Collegium!