Harmonia Early Music

Johann Christian Bach’s Keyboard Music

This week, music from one of the many Bach children.

detail_fortepiano

Photo: Retour1717

Nameplate of a Kisting Fortepiano, Opus 592

Johann Christian Bach was Johann Sebastian’s youngest child of his second marriage to Anna Magdalena. Unlike the rest of his family, he looked outside of Germany for his education and employment. J.C. Bach traveled to London where he eventually found a pretty cushy job as the music master to the queen. His duties included organizing chamber concerts, directing the queen’s band, and giving the queen and her children keyboard lessons.

Susan Alexander-Max has recorded Bach’s Keyboard Sonatas, opus 5 on the Naxos label. She plays these sonatas on an instrument built in 1785. While these sonatas are probably more than the queen or her children could handle, they display the wide range of dynamics that fortepianos could express, unlike the harpsichord.

To purchase this recording, click here.

Music Heard On This Episode

Johann Christian Bach: Sonata in E major: Prestissimo
Susan Alexander-Max, clavichord — Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 5 (Naxos, 2008)
album cover
Johann Christian Bach: Sonata in E major: Prestissimo
Susan Alexander-Max, clavichord — Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 5 (Naxos, 2008)
album cover
Johann Christian Bach: Sonata in D major: Allegro di Molto
Susan Alexander-Max, clavichord — Keyboard Sonatas, Op. 5 (Naxos, 2008)
album cover
Anna Pranger

Anna Pranger moved to Bloomington in 2009 to pursue a degree in music librarianship. Before this, she worked on a degree in music history at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She serves as both an assistant producer for Harmonia and the Music Library Assistant for WFIU.

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