Artistic Temperaments: Jc Bach, Mozart & The Square Piano
THURSDAY 01 JANUARY - 12:00 AM
JC Bach Sonata in C minor, Op 17 No 2
Pieces from the London Sketchbook (1764)
Minuet in G [No 3], Bourée in F[No 8], Presto in B flat [No 36], and Sonata in G minor [Nos 15, 16 & 17]
Bach Sonata in E flat, Op 17 No 3
Mozart Sonata in A minor K.310
Mozart met Old Bach’s youngest son in London in 1764. The style of the keyboard pieces in Mozart’s London sketchbook strongly suggests that Bach introduced him to the English Square Piano.
Bach was a close colleague of Zumpe, the fellow-German who developed the instrument. Mozart so admired JC Bach’s music that in 1772 he arranged some of his Piano Sonatas as Concertos for his own performance.
They met again in Paris in 1778, where Mozart was in the middle of a disastrous tour. Bach became determined to cheer the young man up. He renewed Mozart’s interest in the English Square, whose influence is heard in the great A minor Piano Sonata, composed in Paris. Mozart remained ever grateful to his friend. When he heard of his death he wrote in a letter to his father: ‘A sad day for music’.
David Owen Norris demonstrates important technical features of the instrument during the programme.
FRIDAY 17 – MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2023
Most of the piano music we love best, we’ve never heard as its composer heard it.
Turner Sims, in association with the University of Southampton Music Department, presents a new four-day festival. Join us for a journey back in time to when the first pianos and keyboard instruments were made – and tuned – very differently. The University’s stunning collection of antique instruments – and one of their fine modern grands – will be tuned historically. David Owen Norris and guests help us to rediscover the classics as they would have sounded to those that composed them.
Artistic Temperaments thanks Lucy Coad for the loan of perfectly restored eighteenth-century square pianos.