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CPE Bach’s Prussian Sonatas, Wq 48 (H 24-29), published in 1742, were the first of the many sets of sonatas he composed; they helped to establish both his own reputation as an innovator and the solo keyboard sonata itself as a serious, expressive form (which would soon supplant the baroque suite). Several of Bach’s stylistic traits are already evident, including the imitation recitative, the unexpected pauses and the abrupt contrasts of ‘affect’, dynamic and tempo.

Unfortunately, Susan Alexander-Max sounds uncomfortable with these apparent eccentricities, turning Bach’s dramatic silences into awkward hesitancies, while her staccato phrasing reduces his canny juxtapositions to a stumble of fits and starts. Danny Driver offers far more fluent accounts of three Prussian Sonatas (H 25, 27, 29) on his 2010 CPE Bach recital disc for Hyperion, making clear the structural cohesion and subtle eloquence that underpin their higgledy-piggledy facades.

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