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Originally issued on the Capriccio label, these recordings date from 1987 and are here reissued at Brilliant Classic’s usual rock bottom prices. The seven cantatas on this set date from Carl Philipp Emanuel’s tenure as cantor and director of music at Hamburg, positions he held from 1768 in succession to his godfather, Telemann. They are representative examples of his church music and show the changes in musical style then at work in Germany, moving from the high baroque of Johann Sebastian to the rococo and ultimately classical language of the later half of the 18th century. These recordings of this immensely attractive music, which occasionally takes unexpected modulatory turns, are well performed and captured in a very natural acoustic setting, though occasionally the sound appears a little lacking in brightness. But for anyone curious about the music of the most gifted of Bach senior’s sons, this 2CD set is an excellent starting point.

PHILIP REED Read the full review on Agora Classica

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