by Daniel Hathaway
For the forty-third edition of the Baroque Performance Institute, which has drawn a hundred students of early music to the Oberlin Conservatory this summer, Kenneth Slowik, artistic director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society in Washington, D.C. and artistic director of BPI, has chosen to focus on the legacy of Johann Sebastian Bach. “It’s always a great pleasure to do the Bach legacy, but the other great spur was the 300th anniversary of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach”, born in 1714 “into a remarkable family of musicians.”
More like a dynasty perhaps, because the surname “Bach” was nearly synonymous with “musician” in eighteenth-century Thuringia, accounting for more than 50 musicians with the Bach surname before Johann Sebastian’s sons began traveling into the wider world.
And debunking the widespread notion that the music by the most famous of Bachs, C.P.E.’s father Johann Sebastian, was denounced by his sons as old-fashioned and all but forgotten after his death in 1750, a highlight of this year’s institute, which runs from June 15-29, will be the partial reeanactment on June 27 of a famous charity concert C.P.E. gave in Hamburg in 1786. [Read more…]