C.P.E. & W.F. BACH: KEYBOARD SONATAS
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
DAVID MURRAY, piano
"[Murray] plays crisply and clearly, with good rhythm and fine articulation... His instrument is not identified, and although it is a modern piano its dry sound suggests an older vintage, which would be quite appropriate and in any case preferable to a fortepiano or harpsichord."
Repp, American Record Guide [May/June 2022]
"C.P.E. [Bach was] a real talent of course, as is J.C. and even W.F.! There is a nice volume just out that frames such things in the right spirit. It is pianist David Murray and his recording of the Wurttemberg Sonatas 4-6 by C.P.E. Bach and a Keyboard Sonata by W.F. Bach... This one stands out through David Murray's performances, rewardingly forward moving yet also brightly phrased in legato poetics. He sounds very right... Happily recommended!"
Grego Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate [May 2022]
"While purists might favor performances on contemporaneous instruments, I find that all of these sonatas are fully adapted for the modern piano. Given their unusual nature, there is no worry that they might be performed in a static manner, but the complexity requires some considerable study in terms of nuance and phrasing. Fortunately, Murray has achieved this in a manner that brings these works to life. He knows instinctively where the sometimes odd or quirky sequences ought to be emphasized, and his technique is simply brilliant. This should serve as a wonderful model for pianists to explore this repertory, and, moreover, to extend exploration into other works of this transitional period. Kudos to David Murray for providing us with an excellent exemplar of how the music of the Bach sons can be brought to life in a way that I daresay they would take pride in."
Bertil van Boer Fanfare [May/June 2022]
"C.P.E. Bach’s music continues to fascinate me, as I hope it does you. [Murray's playing] captivating in its careful articulation, attention to detail, and ability to “speak” the music rather than making it sing-song-y. All in all, a fine release."
Scott Noriega, Fanfare [May/June 2022]
"All of [David Murray's] abilities come into play in his performance[s]... Murray describes [W.F. Bach's] A Minor Sonata as 'music of unusual power and expression,' comparing it, not unjustly, with the power and spiritual character of Beethoven’s late works. If that praise sounds excessive, just listen to the contemplative beauty of the opening Poco allegro, a quality that deepens in the Largo. Murray also speaks glowingly of the perpetual-motion nature of the Presto finale, which he brings to life before our very ears in a really stunning performance."
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [January 2022]
"As for the playing, one can only applaud... Murray shows a perfect poise in the flashy passages – and there are some passages that could pass for Scarlatti. There is a fine feeling for the polyphonic juggling of voices in both pieces. Stylistically, Murray offers something of a contrast to the recent Hyperion double issue by Marc-Andre Hamelin, preferring moderate tempos and avoiding the sharp articulation for which the Canadian virtuoso is known. MSR has done a good job with this important issue."
Fritz Balwit, Audiophile Audition [December 2021]ON DAVID MURRAY'S PREVIOUS RECORDINGS...
“David Murray obviously relishes [C.P.E. Bach’s Württemberg sonatas], and squeezes every drop of joy out of [them] that he can, with a style and grace that rescue the music from mere historical curiosity.”
Peter Burwasser, Fanfare
“[David Murray’s] technique is exquisitely suited to [C.P.E. Bach’s Württemberg sonatas]: the textures are clean and well-articulated, the tempos supple, ornamentation marvelously incisive and controlled. He follows the scores faithfully and shapes the music expressively.”
American Record Guide
PROGRAM NOTESFrom David Murray: "At some point in the late 1990s I had a life-changing musical experience: I came across Glenn Gould’s recording of Carl Philip Emanuel Bach’s A minor Württemberg Sonata and decided to listen to it. I must admit that my expectations were not high (after all, just how good could it be if I had never heard it?). To my surprise, for the next 15 minutes I stood rooted to the spot. By the time Gould played the opening bars of the third movement I had been converted..."
Known internationally for his advocacy of performing pre-Classical repertoire on the modern piano, award-winning pianist David Murray has performed extensively throughout the United States, making his New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 2005 in a performance described as “First-rate, perfect” in the New York Concert Review. In 2013 he was awarded an Emmy for his performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, performed with the Georgia Southern University Symphony Orchestra. Murray is a contributor to International Piano and Piano Magazine Online, writing articles on topics ranging from early keyboard sonatas to the works of living American composers. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Kentucky and Arizona State University and counts among his teachers Robert Hamilton and Stewart Gordon. Since 2007, he has been a member of the faculty of Georgia Southern University, where he currently serves as Professor of Music and Head of Keyboard Studies.
PROGRAMCARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH (1714-1788)
WÜRTTEMBERG SONATA NO.4 in B-flat major, WQ.49/4, H.32
I. Un poco allegro
WÜRTTEMBERG SONATA NO.5 in E-flat major, WQ.49/5, H.34 [17:53]
III. Allegro assai
WÜRTTEMBERG SONATA NO.6 in B minor, WQ.49/6, H.36 [21:09]
II. Adagio non molto
WILHELM FRIEDEMANN BACH (1710-1784)
KEYBOARD SONATA in A minor, FK NV8
I. Poco allegro
Recorded 9 February, 22 March, 5 April and 28 June 2020 in the Carol A. Carter Recital Hall, Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music, Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.