Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Cello Concerto in A Major, W. 172

        A son of J.S. Bach’s first marriage, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, was the most distinguished of his siblings, and was the most important composer in northern Germany in the second half of the eighteenth century. His father, of course, was the most significant composer of the Baroque period, whose death in 1750 marked the end of that musical style. The interim period before the development of the so-called “classical” style of Haydn, and Mozart, Gluck and Beethoven is one that defies easy description. Perhaps the best way to conceive of it is simply as “mid-century” style--a time of profound changes in European music. Baroque musical style began to wane by the 1730s and the music that we are familiar with by Mozart and Haydn came into being by the 1770s and 80s.