Always full of surprises, CPE Bach sharply puts the brakes on in the first movement of his D major Concerto, halting the music’s helter-skelter sprint to accommodate a second subject in the shape of a minuet. As in the conventional way of things, he does it twice, so second time round in the recapitulation it is not quite so alarming. A third tug on the reins leads directly into a slow movement typical of CPE’s Empfindsamkeit (‘sensibility’), with lots of keyboard decoration embellishing the simple melody, and then we’re off again at full tilt for the finale. This music is an apt vehicle for Anastasia Injushina’s limpid pianistic facility and taste, but the touches of individuality in the writing and the work’s significance in the development of the keyboard concerto are outweighed by reams of stock, note-spinning gestures. For repeated listening? Probably not.
The two JC Bach concertos are neat products of their time (1770), elegantly shaped and, particularly in the E flat Concerto, Op 7 No 5, with a strength of idea that might not have shamed Haydn or Mozart. Injushina plays this one with grace and spirit, underpinned by spry orchestral support from Gothóni and the Hamburg Camerata. Bach père then has the last word with his E major Concerto, BWV1053, the unassailable masterpiece in a strangely uneven if historically interesting compendium of concertos by different generations of the Bach family. In all of them Injushina, on a modern Steinway, is discreetly expressive and rhythmically buoyant. (Gramophone 06/2013)