Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel


Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel

Four Orchestral Symphonies (1775-76)

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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
(geb. Weimar, 8. März 1714 — gest. Hamburg, 14. Dezember 1788)

Four Orchestral Symphonies (1775-76)

I. Orchester-Symphonie D-Dur

I Allegro di molto (attacca:) p. 3
II Largo (attacca:) p. 22
III Presto p. 24

II. Orchester-Symphonie Es-Dur

I Allegro di molto p. 31
II Larghetto (attacca:) p. 44
III Allegretto p. 45

III. Orchester-Smphonie F-Dur

I Allegro di molto p. 55
II Larghetto (attacca:) p. 71
III Presto p. 74

IV. Orchester-Symphonie G-Dur

I Allegro assai p. 80
II Poco andante (attacca:) p. 91
III Presto p. 94

Among the standard three-movement orchestral symphonies of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach two sets are exemplary representatives of an audacious new style. Both were created in Hamburg, and became quite well known: the Six Symphonies (commissioned by Baron Gottfried van Swieten and written in 1773 for strings in four parts), and the Four Orchestral-Symphonies (composed in 1775-1776). Parts for the latter were published in Leipzig in 1780 by Schwickert with the following dedication: “To His Royal Highness, Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Prussia, humbly offered by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Capellmeister and Director of Music in Hamburg.”

After publication the Orchestral-Symphonies were soon performed frequently, but then fell into oblivion. In 1860 Franz Espagne (who was employed in the music department of the Prussian Staatsbibliothek in Berlin where the autograph was deposited) worked to attract attention to them. And in the same year Carl Reinecke in Leipzig conducted the D major Symphony in the Third Gewandhaus Concert. The royal court orchestra in Berlin also stood up for the works. That led to the first appearance in full score of the first three Orchestral-Symphonies. It was edited by Espagne from the manuscript and published by C. F. Peters in Leipzig. Numerous performances and piano arrangements followed. Finally in 1942 Breitkopf & Härtel published all four of the symphonies in a scholarly edition by Rudolf Steglich (as part of the series Reichsdenkmale deutscher Musik). This edition is now reprinted, and for the first time made available in study format.

Translation: Eric Jensen, 2003.

Score Data


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160 x 240 mm



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