Tuesday August 3, 2021 | 4:15PM
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
Of J.S. Bach’s children that survived into adulthood, four became composers whose music we still perform. While their musical facility reflects their father’s influence, each son had a very different path of travel, employment, and development of their musical voice. Johann Christian’s Chromatic Fugue on B-A-C-H pays homage to the serious, contrapuntal style of the past, but usually the Bach sons write in the galant style of their own generation, characterized by simplicity and immediacy of appeal. The closeness of the Bachs sometimes complicates the attribution of their music. The Orchestral Suite in G minor, BWV 1070, once thought to be by father Johann Sebastian, was more likely written by Wilhelm Friedemann. The Cello Sonata in A Major of Johann Christoph Friedrich seems liberated, natural, and comprehensible when played on a cello fit with a fifth string whereas the Cello Concerto in A minor of his older brother, Carl Philipp Emanuel fits well on the more popular 4-string instrument. Each work demonstrates the language of Sensibility (Empfindsamkeit): intimate, sensitive, and subjective. In their music, emotions are fleeting and instantaneous and, above all, the beauty of melody is emphasized.