Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784) was the eldest of Johann Sebastian’s five sons. He is often considered the most natural talent in the family and yet, of the three exceptional sons (the others being Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian), WF is noted as much for under-achievement and increasingly difficult personal circumstances as for his musical accomplishments. Living up to the expectations of such a father can never have been easy and one senses that for WF the strain was often too great. His music, at best, is cultivated, sensitive and finely etched, and the Polonaises from 1765 are exquisitely intimate character pieces, aspiring towards the delicate and reflective world of the ‘emfindsamer Stil’ (‘sensitive Style’). The Polonaise in F minor is a beautifully contained example of distilled pathos, an embodiment of F.C Griepenkerl’s early description of these works as ‘the purest and truest expression of a noble, tender and greatly agitated spirit.’
- Trumpet in C
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