Anastasia Injushina / Ralf Gothóni / Hamburger Camerata

C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, J.S. Bach: Keyboard Concertos

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This release by Russian-Finnish pianist Anastasia Injushina and the Hamburger Camerata under Ralf Gothóni doesn't fit into any of the usual pigeonholes, and it thus has a fresh, bracing quality. Injushina plays a modern piano, but she neither gives it a consistent, harpsichord-like sound nor plays the music with the full capabilities of the modern piano in mind. Gothóni likewise his small group of Hamburgers in accompaniments that are neither Baroque nor modern. What this enables the musicians to do is depict with uncommon accuracy the musical commonalities and differences among J.S. Bach and his sons. The opening Keyboard Concerto in D minor, Wq 43/2, of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, composed in 1772, offers the full range of unexpected shifts and general experimental jolts that one expects from this composer in his wilder moods, and Injushina does full justice to these without piling on a lot of pedal and other inappropriate effects. In the two concertos by Johann Christian Bach, good examples of the later galant style from 1770, she and Gothóni are models of balance and circumspection. The Keyboard Concerto in E major, BWV 1053, of Bach the father is very lightly and precisely done, a pleasure even for those who think they don't like Bach on the piano. There are plenty of Bach family recordings on both piano and harpsichord, but this one is a standout, with fine sound accomplished by Ondine in Hamburg's Friedrich Ebert-Halle.

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