Carl Bach’s Character Piece
La Caroline, Wq. 117/39, H. 98, is a character piece for on one's own keyboard in A minor, written by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Bach wrote a number of character pieces which were often gathered together and produced as a set. These character pieces were based on the same works composed by François Couperin.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, also Karl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, was a German Classical period composer and performer, the fifth child and second son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach.
When he was ten years old C.P.E. Bach entered the Thomasschule in Leipzig, of which in 1723 his father had become Kantor, and continued his education as a student of jurisprudence at the University of Leipzig (1731) and of Frankfurt an der Oder (1735). In 1738 he took his degree, but at once deserted all prospects of a legal career and purposeful to commit himself to music.
A few months later C.P.E. Bach obtained an appointment in the service of the crown prince of Prussia, on whose accession in 1740 he became a member of the royal household. He was by this time one of the most skilled clavier-players in Europe, and his compositions, which day from 1731, involved about thirty sonatas and concert pieces for his favorite instrument. His character was recognized by the two sets of sonatas which he devoted respectively to Frederick the Great and to the grand duke of Württemberg; in 1746 he was given a promotion to the post of chamber musician, and for 22 years allocated with Carl Heinrich Graun, Johann Joachim Quantz, and Johann Gottlieb Naumann the sustained favor of the king.
The content of C.P.E. Bach's work, though full of invention, lies within a somewhat narrow emotional range, but it is not less sincere in thought than polished and felicitous in phrase.