CPE Bach: Complete Works for Keyboard and Violin

Reviewed on Mon 24 Jul, 2017

The dazzling duo partnership of violinist Rie Kimura and keyboard player Pieter-Jan Belder delivers rich dividends on all musical fronts.

Years ago, my older daughter expressed the view that CPE Bach’s music sounds like a busker waiting outside a train station, dreamily meandering across the keys until the next outpouring of passengers warrants a sudden burst of potentially profitable brilliance. That’s very much the sort of image that occurs in the F-sharp Fantasia programmed here (witness the sudden flurry of activity at 10:17, CD 1 track 13), music that pauses for thought one minute, then unexpectedly leaps into action. The dazzling duo partnership of violinist Rie Kimura and keyboard player Pieter-Jan Belder delivers rich dividends on all musical fronts, their pooled technique truly formidable, while their mastery of CPE Bach’s sound-world (which in this instance was originated over a long period) is evidently the result of careful study. Much of this music is deeply expressive: witness the Arioso with variations in A (violin with fortepiano) or the Adagio from the C minor Sonata (Wq 78), where Belder’s elegant harpsichord is answered by Kimura’s intimately mellow violin line, a sound which has an almost ghostly aura about it. Then again, things turn to vivid dancing for the Presto that follows. A most unusual collection, this, and further confirmation that in Bachian terms the father could on occasion be the child to the son.
–Rob Cowan