Some composers from pre-Modern times are more helpful than others. Bach was a transitional figure, one of the composers that provides a link between the Baroque style of his Dad and the Classical world of Haydn and Mozart.For keyboard, we have Francois Couperin to thank for detailed explanations of how to play his Baroque-era creations, for example. He helps us understand a fresh thinking about music, where creating affect migrated from intertwined harmony and counterpoint to melody underpinned by harmony — and where effect shifted to embellishment of melody with virtuosic flourishes (think of singing as the supreme example).
"In 1787, Carl Friedrich Cramer published one of the most curious documents of eighteenth-century music history: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Fantasia in C minor of 1753, with two monologues set to the music by the poet Henrich Wilhelm von Gerstenber" (Richards 25) The first verse is to be the words of Socrates as he contemplates death.
The second verse is a paraphrase of Hamlet's "to be or not to be" monologue.
To give us a very small sample of what that “before” can be, here are some examples of C. On a modern piano, here is Glenn Gould playing the Allegro assai third movement of the John Terauds, Editor-Emeritus of Ludwig van Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at the University of Toronto and a church music director.
He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788), the second surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) and his first wife Maria Barbara (1684–1720), was born on 8 March 1714 in Weimar.
One of his godfathers was Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767).
Two years beforehand, he had already dedicated his six Prussian Sonatas (1740–42) to Frederick the Great. Bach published An Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments, containing examples and eighteen exercises arranged in six sonatas, which became the main textbook for keyboard instruments and basso continuo in his day. He also attended the literary salons in Berlin, where he became acquainted with celebrities such as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781), Karl Wilhelm Ramler (1725–1798) and Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719–1803).
These sonatas are considered the foremost examples of the new style emerging in keyboard sonatas. Bach became one of the most famous keyboard composers in Europe. Together with the flute method written by Johann Joachim Quantz (1697–1773) and the violin tutor by Leopold Mozart (1719–1787), it is one of the most important original documents on musical thought and performance in the eighteenth century. In 1744, Bach married Johanna Maria Dannemann, the daughter of a Berlin wine merchant.
Is this really what the keyboard music is supposed to sound like?
I’m not sure, but it’s a provocative addition to any listener’s or player’s set of references.