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ClassicsOnline Home » BACH, J.S.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 1 (BWV 1052-1054)
As it should be played
Hae Won and the Camerata Cassovia deliver a true Baroque experience. The music is clearly exposed and the interpretation from Hae Won Chang is I believe as close as it can be to the spirit of Bach. A must have.more....
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)
The career of Johann Sebastian Bach, the most illustrious of a
prolific musical family, falls neatly into three unequal parts. Born in 1685 in Eisenach,
from the age of ten Bach lived and studied music with his elder brother in Ohrdruf, after
the death of both his parents. After a series of appointments as organist, he became, in
1708, court organist and chamber musician to Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar, the elder of
the two brothers who jointly ruled the duchy. In 1714 he was promoted to the position of
Konzertmeister to the Duke, but in 1717 left Weimar to become Court Kapellmeister to
Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen, a position he held until 1723. From then until his death
in 1750 he lived in Leipzig, where he was Thomaskantor, with responsibility for the music
of the five principal city churches, in 1729 assuming direction of the university
At Weimar Bach had been principally employed as an organist,
and his compositions of the period include a considerable amount written for the
instrument on which he was recognised as a virtuoso performer. At Cöthen, where Pietist
traditions dominated the court, he had no church duties, and was responsible rather for
court music. The period brought the composition of a number of instrumental works.
The final 27 years of Bach's life brought a variety of
preoccupations, and while his official employment necessitated the provision of church
music, he was able to provide music for the university Collegium Musicum and to write or
re-arrange a number of important works for the keyboard.
It seems almost too simple to suggest that Bach's concertos
fall into three corresponding groups. Nevertheless at Weimar he arranged for solo
harpsichord a number of concertos by Italian composers, as well as concertos by the young
prince Johann Ernst. At Cöthen he wrote his violin concertos and the set he dedicated in
1721 to the Margrave of Brandenburg. In Leipzig he arranged or composed a number of
concertos for solo harpsichords, exploring a new form of concerto that was to assume the
greatest importance as the century progressed.
The University collegium musicum in Leipzig met on Friday
evenings at Gottfried Zimmermann's coffee-house or in summer in his garden outside the
city. Bach took over direction of the group in 1729 and seems to have continued in that
position until as late as 1744. Compositions for the collegium musicum, which involved
students and professional musicians, presumably include the Coffee Cantata, and the
various concertos for one or more harpsichords, with strings.
The Clavier Concerto in D
minor, BWV 1052
The second of Bach's Clavier Concertos, the Concerto in E major, BWV 1053, is generally
supposed to be derived from an earlier concerto for oboe. A brief introduction with the
whole orchestra is followed by the first of a number of solo passages for the keyboard.
The slow movement is a Siciliano, in origin a gentle pastoral dance, here embellished by
the soloist, who provides a busy initial accompaniment, leading to the opening
cross-rhythms of the rapid last movement, with its recurrent refrain based on the rising
notes of the major triad.
Concerto in D major, BWV 1054, is a re-arrangement of the E major Violin Concerto, BWV 1042, now transposed
down a tone and in other ways adapted to the new solo instrument. The vivid first movement
opens with the three rising notes of the major triad, a pattern that recurs as the music
makes its way through remoter keys. The slow movement is in the form of an aria, over a
ground bass, doubled by the keyboard instrument. The concerto ends with a rapid
Chang Hae Won
Chang Hae Won was born in Korea in the
city of Seoul and started to play the piano at the age of six, completing her professional
studies at Ewha University in Seoul in 1963. From 1964 until1968 she studied at the
Frankfurt Musikhochschule with Professor Leopolder on a German government scholarship and
was awarded her diploma as a concert pianist. On her return to Korea she was appointed
professor of piano at her old university.
In Korea Chang Hae Won won various
prizes, including first prize in the 1960 Korean National Piano Competition. Her career as
a concert pianist began three years earlier, in 1957, when she played Beethoven's C minor
Piano Concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. Since then she has enjoyed a busy
career as a teacher and as a performer in Korea, in other Asian countries, in America and
in Europe, with annual concert tours and engagements at home and abroad. She has appeared
as a soloist with major orchestras and in recitals with Ruggiero Ricci, Christian Ferras,
Renata Tebaldi, Franco Corelli, Aaron Rosand, Andre Navarra and others. She has performed
as a soloist at numerous music festivals, including the Paris Chateau de Breteuil
Festival, the National Music Festival in Korea and the festival for the opening of the
Sejong Cultural Centre and of the Goethe-lnstitut in Seoul. She has served on the Vianna
da Motta Competition jury in Lisbon. In 1985 she was acclaimed by the Music Critics'
Circle of Korea as Musician of the Year, and won high praise in the German press for her
technical accomplishment and musicianship. Her recordings for Naxos and Marco Polo
included piano works by Pierne, Scarlatti's sonatas, concertos by Hummel and other piano
The Camerata Cassovia is the chamber
ensemble of the CSSR State Philharmonic Orchestra which is based in the Eastern Slovakian
town of Koice. The orchestra was founded in 1968 and has toured widely within Europe
and the Far East.
Robert Stankovsky was born in
Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, in 1964, and after a childhood spent in the study of
the piano, recorder, oboe and clarinet, turned his attention, at the age of fourteen, to
conducting, graduating in this and in piano at the Bratislava Conservatory with the title
of best graduate of the year. Stankovsky is regarded as one of the best conductors of the
younger generation in Czechoslovakia. For Marco Polo Stankovsky has recorded symphonies by
Rubinstein and Miaskovsky in addition to orchestral works by Dvorak and Smetana.
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BACH, J.S.: Piano Concertos, Vol. 1 (BWV 1052-105...