C. P. E. Bach’s soaring Ascension Oratorio released in new recording by Bart Van Reyn, Il Gardellino & Vlaams Radiokoor
Radical, daring and extremely refined: that’s how C. P. E. Bach saw his new path for the Oratorio. Encouraged by his godfather Telemann and liberated from the yoke of the capricious Frederick of Prussia, he found himself in Hamburg with an audience hungry for new music.
Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu did indeed leave its traces: both Haydn and Beethoven showed great interest after a series of three performances conducted by Mozart in Vienna. Not only did it pave the way for Haydn’s oratorios, but there are also clear influences on the Pamina arias in Die Zauberflöte written a few years later. C. P. E. Bach wrote to his publisher Breitkopf, “I think this is the best work I have ever written.”