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Paul Turok
Turok’s Choice, June 2009

Sinfonie concertanti and several concertos by J.C. Bach are exceptionally well played by the Budapest Strings with fine soloists (7005, four discs). There are three concertos—two for oboe and one for two violins; the remaining thirteen works are Sinfonie concertanti, in the 18th-century sense (concerted works for various soloists who generally play together rather than separately). The work where J.C. Bach’s influence on young Mozart can be strongly felt is on Side 4, for piano, oboe, violin, cello and orchestra. Not only is it the longest (25 minutes) but its piano writing seems to have served Mozart as a model. The remaining works are extremely pleasant. Bach did not have the compositional stature of his father and his mature compositions can’t compare to those of Mozart, but he was a skilled and gifted composer.

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