Piano Music - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach


1714 (Weimar) - 1788 (Hamburg)
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a German composer, church musician and teacher. Among his most famous pupils was his youngest brother Johann Sebastian Bach and the Czech pianist-composer Jan Ladislav Dussek.



📖 "My principal aim, especially of late, has been directed toward playing and composing as vocally as possible for the keyboard, despite its defective sustaining powers. This is no easy matter if the sound is not to be too thin or the noble simplicity of melody ruined by excessive noise… I believe that music must, first and foremost, stir the heart. This cannot be achieved through mere rattling, drumming, or arpeggiation, at least not by me."
Bach's Autobiography, quoted in William J. Mitchell in Introduction to C. P. E. Bach's Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments


📖 "It is because I have never liked excessive uniformity in composition or taste, because I have heard many different kinds of good things, because it has always been my opinion that the good should be accepted regardless of where it may be found, even when it appears in small details of a piece; it is because of these considerations and the assistance provided by a God-given natural ability that the variety which is attributed to my compositions has arisen."
Bach's Autobiography, quoted in William J. Mitchell in Introduction to C. P. E. Bach's Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments


📖 "I have observed with greatest satisfaction the change that has come over the world of keyboard playing since the publication of my Essay. I can assert without boasting that since its appearance, teaching and playing have improved."
In Hamburger unparteiischer Correspondent (11 January 1773)


📖 "What comprises good performance? The ability through singing or playing to make the ear conscious of the true content and affect of a composition."


📖 "A musician cannot move others unless he too is moved. He must of necessity feel all of the affects that he hopes to arouse in his audience, for the revealing of his own humour will stimulate a like humour in the listener."


📖 "According to my principles, every master has his true and certain value. Praise and criticism cannot change any of that. Only the work itself praises and criticizes the master, and therefore I leave to everyone his own value."

Quotes by Carl Philip Emanuel Bach


From the Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach article in the Grove Music Dictionary:


(b Weimar, March 8, 1714; d Hamburg, Dec 14, 1788). Composer and church musician, the second surviving son of (7) Johann Sebastian Bach (24) and his first wife, Maria Barbara. He was the most important composer in Protestant Germany during the second half of the 18th century, and enjoyed unqualified admiration and recognition particularly as a teacher and keyboard composer.
(Christoph Wolff and Ulrich Leisinger)


Download and explore the music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach on the Petrucci Music Library website.







Explore Recordings of C. P. E. Bach's Keyboard Music


Sonata in B Minor, H.245
Georges Cziffra, piano














































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