C.P.E. Bach Sonatas for Keyboard & Violin

Kristian Bezuidenhout, Rachel Podger

Original Recording Format: DSD 256
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The Baroque dream team of Rachel Podger (Violin) and Kristian Bezuidenhout (Harpsichord and Piano) interpret the astonishing music of C.P.E. Bach’s Violin Sonatas in C minor, B minor, D major and G minor. The two early sonatas here from the 1730s resemble the older style of his father.

Listening to these works, you can imagine J.S. Bach glancing over Emanuel’s shoulders while he wrote them as a teenager at home in Leipzig. The later sonatas, written 30 to 50 years later, reveal an emancipated composer whose developed musical language embodies the ‘Empfindsamer Stil’, the directly emotional and rhetorical style characteristic of northern-german music of the time.

Rachel Podger says “It was wonderful to delve into the specific musical world that belongs to C.P.E. Bach for this recording with Kris. These violin sonatas are (quite unfortunately!) largely overshadowed by the classical Viennese sonatas of Mozart and Beethoven. Part of his genius is that he is full of surprises and unpredictable turns, and this was hugely enjoyable for me during the musical partnership with the wonderful Kristian Bezuidenhout.”

Rachel Podger, Violin
Kristian Bezuidenhout, Harpsichord & Piano


Please note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Sonata in G minor - untitled
Sonata in G minor - Adagio
Sonata in G minor - Allegro
Sonata in C minor - Allegro moderato
Sonata in C minor - Adagio ma non troppo
Sonata in C minor - Presto
Arioso con Variazioni
Sonata in B minor - Allegro moderato
Sonata in B minor - Poco Andante
Sonata in B minor - Allegretto siciliano
Sonata in D Major - Poco Adagio
Sonata in D Major - Allegro
Sonata in D Major - Adagio
Sonata in D Major - Menuet I,II

Total time: 01:11:58

Additional information





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Analog to Digital Converter

Horus, Merging Technologies at DSD 256


Van den Hul, *exclusive use of Van den Hul 3T cables

Mastering Engineer

Jared Sacks

Mastering Room Monitors

Grimm Audio LS1


Brüel & Kjær 4006, Schoeps


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Original Recording Format


Rens Heijnis, Custom Design


Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

Recording Engineer

Jared Sacks

Recording Location

St. John The Evangelist in Upper Norwood, London during May 2022

Release DateApril 28, 2023

Press reviews


Rachel Podger solidifies her esteemed standing in the realm of baroque violinists with a remarkable rendition of CPE Bach’s Sonatas, accompanied by the equally accomplished South African keyboard virtuoso, Kristian Bezuidenhout. (…) In the ‘Arioso con variazioni Wq.79’ the violin plays a subservient role, enhancing and enriching Bezuidenhout’s eloquent and deeply nuanced performance of the piece’s five variations. A captivating synergy between Rachel Podger and Kristian Bezuidenhout radiates throughout this recital, breathing life into every bar of these sonatas, making it challenging to envisage more exceptional interpretations. The SACD recording, produced in the resonant acoustics of St John the Evangelist in Upper Norwood, London in May 2022, attains sonic perfection. The impeccable engineering of Jared Sacks, renowned for its remarkable realism, captures both artists in harmonious equilibrium, epitomizing the standard of excellence we’ve come to anticipate from his productions.

Complementing this outstanding release are authoritative liner notes by Professor Timothy Jones that contribute to the comprehensive allure of this offering from Channel Classics

Opus Klassiek

The accompanying press release referred to it as a “dream team”: British violinist Rachel Podger and South African fortepianist and harpsichordist Kristian Bezuidenhout. And so it is, given this duo’s achievements in both the concert hall and the studio and what this album has to offer. (…) In terms of playing technique – it is in line with the high expectations – there is no question but also the instrumental baroque rhetoric is fully addressed thanks to these four master hands. The sense of style is downright impressive, the understanding of the subject matter no less and the musicality of these interpretations may be called exemplary. That the keyboard instrument predominates obviously means a more subordinate role of the violin within the given proportions, but that does not take away from the fact that the many sparkling dialogues will make the most indulged enthusiast’s mouth water; and certainly in this recording technical framework that puts the three instruments in the best imaginable light and the balance is equally ideal. In short, a very special achievement by all concerned!

Positive Feedback

Ah, and THIS is how it’s done, my friends. A completely scrumptious new release from the queen of the Baroque violin, Rachel Podger. In partnership with keyboardist Kristian Bezuidenhout, Rachel gives to us a bit over an hour of completely entrancing music by the often underestimated Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach…

There should be nothing underestimated about these keyboard and violin sonatas. They are imaginative, innovative, sublime. Add to this the impeccable performances, with that breath of life Rachel delivers so well in all of her performances, the excellent partnership with Kristian Bezuidenhout, and the utterly delightful recording quality from Jared Sacks, and one has an album to savor again and again. It is a must listen recording.

As with so many of Rachel Podger’s recordings, I am completely enchanted once again. She plays with such a high degree of emotional communication that I find her recordings unnervingly striking every chord within me. There is pure joy in her performances, one feels her connection with music, the composer and her audience. Even with music of great tenderness and sadness, it is her joy in sharing the most profound degrees of emotion that come across every time. She seeks those subtle delicacies and makes them sound spontaneous and alive. And there is no bravura here, no “look at me, see what I can do.” Everything she does is simply and utterly in service to the composer and to the music.

And when these works are performed by two such creative talents as Rachel Podger and Kristian Bezuidenhout, the resulting recital is a listening experience of pure joy.


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