Sonata IV in E-flat (complete)
Sonata in E-flat is included in J.C. Bach's first set of published keyboard sonatas which appeared in London around 1768. The first edition states that the pieces are writted "for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord", although the texture of the writing is most successful on the piano. We know that Bach played the fortepiano in a concert in 1760, in perhaps the first documented commercial performance on the piano as a solo instrument. Sonata in E-flat opens with an amiable Allegro in which dotted rhythms and duple divisions of the pulse are juxtaposed with flowing triplet sections. The arpeggio figurations can sound trite on a modern piano, but on undamped fortepiano strings they develop a a resonance which evokes the piano's closest ancestor, the hammered dulcimer. The concluding Rondeaux has a nostalgic character and Celtic rhythms, perhaps anticipating the melancholy which would follow the Scottish Uprising of the following year.
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