In the arts, certain families have functioned as dynasties, enriching human expression over time and passing on a craft through generations. Other artists have formed pseudo-families, in which they are united by shared aesthetic goals and values, even if they do not share genetic material. This morning's musical selections center the music of the Bach family, which was active in German territories for over two centuries. While Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) may now be ranked as one of the great patriarchs of Western art music, in the 18th century he would have been eclipsed by the work of several of his gifted sons. J. S. is represented by a movement from one of his keyboard Partitas as well as by a "Sinfonia", the latter conceived as a teaching piece for his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann. Another son, Carl Philip Emmanuel, wrote numerous keyboard sonatas, one of which is included in this morning's Centering Music. C.P.E.'s music is often thought to have influenced Haydn and Mozart in their development of the Classical style.
In late nineteenth-century Spain, several promising young composers studied with the musicologist Felip Pedrell, who instilled in them a passion for expressing their national identity through music. Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados, both Pedrell disciples, were close friends who focused their creativity on the sort of piano works heard during this morning's Meditation and Interlude. So close was their friendship and artistic mission, that Granados would actually complete Albéniz's Azulejos, a work left unfinished at the time of Albéniz's passing.
Read on for programming details, and stay tuned for spoken introductions.
Centering Music: Adam Kent, piano
Sonata in A Major, W. 55, No. 4
C. P. E. Bach
Sinfonia in E Minor, BWV 793
J. S. Bach
Evocación from Iberia, Book I
Mazurka from Escenas románticas
Gigue from Partita No. 1 in Bb Major, BWV 825
J. S. Bach