Symphony in B flat major, H.658

Among the admirers of C. Ph. E. Bach was the Austrian ambassador to Prussia, Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who, on one of his visits to Hamburg, commissioned him to write several symphonies, giving complete freedom to his imagination without thought of the difficulty of performance. Thus in 1773 the Six Symphonies for Strings were born, praised by his contemporary Johann Friedrich Reichardt as ‘an original and daring flow of ideas, the most beautiful, daring and humorous creation to come from the quill of genius’. SYMPHONY No. 2 has the vitality characteristic of C.Ph.E. Bach, a rapid virtuosic movement in the outer movements with sudden changes in dynamics and harmony and a melancholic slow movement approaching the world of the so-called “sensitive style”.

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