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Partitas BWV 825-830
General Discussions - Part 4 (2004-2011)

Continue from Part 3

Partitas

Bob Henderson wrote (February 3, 2004):
In the near future I will be purchasing sets of the Partitas, one for piano, one for harpsichord. I would appreciate recommendations.

Charles Francis wrote (February 3, 2004):
[To Bob Henderson] Personally, I like the Glenn Gould piano version.

You might also ask in the Bach recordings list for further advice.

Peter Bright wrote (February 3, 2004):
[To Charles Francis] I would not hesitate in recommending Angela Hewitt's set on Hyperion - it is wonderful. Personally, I prefer it to the Gould set (like Gould, she provides great clarity of each line, but her performance is warmer and more fluid - excellent production values too...). On harpsichord my favourite (of only a few that I own) is Trevor Pinnock's - some list members find his approach lacking in in rhythmic flexibility and excitement, but I think it is very fine (I believe it was one of the Gramophone discs of the year when it came out - (which again, tends to put off some members of this list)).

Kirk McElhearn wrote (February 3, 2004):
My personal faves (not necessarily in this order):

Harpsichord:

Scott Ross
Edward Parmentier
Maasaki Suzuki
Lucy Carolan

Piano:
Angela Hewitt
Glenn Gould

Kirk McElhearn wrote (February 3, 2004):
Peter Bright wrote:
< On harpsichord my favourite (of only a few that I own) is Trevor Pinnock's - some list members find his approach lacking in in rhythmic flexibility and excitement, but I think it is very fine (I believe it was one of the Gramophone discs of the year when it came out - (which again, tends to put off some members of this list)). >
Yes, I should add that to my list as well. It's a magnificent recording!

Stephen Benson wrote (February 3, 2004):
[To Bob Henderson] Forced to choose piano and harpsichord desert-island recordings of the partitas, I would have to go with Edward Parmentier on harpsichord and Zhu Xiao-Mei on piano. The partitas provide lots of room for interpretative play, however, and I cherish, among others, the Tureck recording from the late fifties, and on harpsichord, Trevor Pinnock's and Scott Ross's. There are also individual partita recordings which I would not want to be without - Dinu Lipattiís and Maria Joao Piresís B-flats, for example. Her concluding gigue is, for me, one of the real highlights of Bach on record, as is William Kapellís D Major allemande.(And, as an aside, that movement includes a passage that encapsulates for me the genius of Bachís keyboard writing. In mm. 18-19, where the hands are working in contrary motion, the left-hand and right-hand lines repeatedly separate and come back together where they share one note in a sort of tangential kiss before diverging again. The rising progression of four notes that mark the upper boundary of the left hand line ó B, C-sharp, D, and E ó provide the bottom notes of the descending figures in the right hand. That writing reappears later on in the tonic in mm. 50-51. I can think of no other instance in the keyboard literature where the hands work together so simply and so beautifully to create such a magical moment. When Iím troubled, nothing in this world brings me greater peace than playing this movement.)

For an unusual, but fascinating, take on the partitas, Richard Troeger's recording on clavichord provides much pleasure, as well.

Farhad Saheli wrote (February 4, 2004):
For piano I also recommend Carl Seemann on Orfeo. He reminds me of Gould, but much more "lyrical".

 

BWV 825-830 Keyboard partitas

Martin Gellen wrote (September 22, 2004):
Can anyone recommend good recordings on either piano or harpsichord of Bach's partitas for keyboard, BWV 825-830? I have Glenn Gould's recordings of these pieces but I would like to compare interpretations with that of other performers.

Laurent Planchon wrote (September 22, 2004):
Kenneth Weiss/harpsichord on Satirino (distributed by Harmonia Mundi).

Gabriel Jackson wrote (September 22, 2004):
Martin Gellen wrote:
"Can anyone recommend good recordings on either piano or harpsichord of Bach's partitas for keyboard, BWV 825-830? "
Gustav Leonhardt on Virgin Veritas (very cheap). A great, great artist.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (September 22, 2004):
[To Martin Gellen] My favourite is Rosalyn Tureck's recording, even if the sound isn't very great (recorded from 1956 to 58). 2 CD-set - Philips - Great Pianists of the 20th Century. Tureck's sensibility is incredibly beautiful and moving.

Leila Batarseh wrote (September 22, 2004):
[To Martin Gellen] My favorites on harpsichord are Verlet's second recording on Astree, Parmentier's on Wildboar, and Suzuki's on BIS. Unfortunately, I don't know where you can get Verlet's (I got mine on ebay), but I think Parmentier's is available from several online sources, and you can still get Suzuki's for about $15 from: www.berkshirerecordoutlet.com.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (September 22, 2004):
Leila Batarseh wrote:
< Unfortunately, I don't know where you can get Verlet's (I got mine on ebay), >


Blandine Verlet's first recording seems to be available on Amazon.fr
http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000041A7

and the second (on Astrée label) on Amazon.uk: Amazon.co.uk

Donald Satz wrote (September 22, 2004):
[To Leila Batarseh] My favorites are Leonhardt and Tureck.

Riccardo Nughes wrote (September 22, 2004):
[To Donald Satz] Which Leonhardt Don? DHM or Virgin?

Riccardo Nughes wrote (September 22, 2004):
< Gustav Leonhardt on Virgin Veritas (very cheap). A great, great artist. >
Look out for the new reissue, featuring also the English Suites
http://secure.mdt.co.uk/EU_asp/NR_eu.asp?curpage=1&code=&begins=&all=leonhardt&all2=

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 22, 2004):
< Can anyone recommend good recordings on either piano or harpsichord of Bach's partitas for keyboard, BWV 825-830? >
Parmentier on harpsichord. My recommendations and reasoning in the discussion a long time ago:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachRecordings/message/8035
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachRecordings/message/7612
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachRecordings/message/7619

Wataya (#6 only) on clavichord. Several recommendations of the Wataya (still available?) are in this archived discussion from 2001: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Var-Hill-Teacher.htm

Zhu on piano. http://ac.aup.fr/~a34355/zhu/disco.htm

Jan Hanford wrote (September 22, 2004):
[To Martin Gellen] My favorites are:

piano - Richard Goode (Nonesuch)
harpsichord - Trevor Pinnock (Hänssler version)
harpsichord - Huguette Dreyfus (Denon - sadly out of print)

Donald Satz wrote (September 22, 2004):
[To Riccardo Nughes] The 1983 Leonhardt on DHM.

Uri Golomb wrote (September 22, 2004):
I join the recommendations of Leonhardt (i don't know his Virgin version, but I very much enjoyed his Deutsche Harmonia Mundi recording) and Suzuki (see my review: http://www.goldbergweb.com/en/discography/2003/5339.php). I also enjoyed Pinnock's version on Hanssler, though not as much as the other two. I should note, however, that both Suzuki and Pinnock have received some bad reviews on this list -- not all listeners have the same tastes...

On piano, Tureck is thoughtful and often revelatory, but occasionally too serious -- a more dance-like lilt would not have hurt. I don't know Agnela Hewitt's Partitas, but judging from her French and English Suites, I
believe her Partitas should also be superb (for my review of the latter, see http://www.goldbergweb.com/en/discography/2004/21050.php -- though I've given it five stars, not the four stars that appear in the published version).

From what I've read of Parmentier, I have good reason to believe that I, too, would enjoy his recordings -- I look forward to knowing them some day.

Finally, check this link -- http://www.bsherman.org/Bachonclavichord.htm -- for a review of the Partitas on the clavichord. I haven't heard this recording yet, but it certainly sounds intriguing.

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 22, 2004):
< Finally, check this link -- http://www.bsherman.org/Bachonclavichord.htm -- for a review of the Partitas on the clavichord. I haven't heard this recording yet, but it certainly sounds intriguing. >
It's worth hearing, but I don't find myself returning to it very often. I agree with a comment from (I think it was) Jim Morrison a few years ago here, that the performances are generally so fast in that set it doesn't seem to matter so much what instrument he's playing them on. Troeger's fingerwork is very well controlled, and impressive, but I feel that more of the musical richness would come out clearly at slower tempos and with more nuances along the way.

I'm curious about a sentence in that Sherman article. "Charles Rosen once suggested that the best keyboard instrument for a Bach fugue is the one that draws the least attention to itself." Why? Shouldn't the instrument itself contribute to the holding of the listener's attention? The more the instrument takes care of, in that regard, the less hard the player has to work to bring out the musical lines clearly! And, the more attentive the listeners are, for whatever reasons, the more they'll notice in the music.

Anne Smith wrote (September 23, 2004):
Uri Golomb said;
< On piano, Tureck is thoughtful and often revelatory, but occasionally too serious -- a more dance-like lilt would not have hurt. I don't know Agnela Hewitt's Partitas, but judging from her French and English Suites, I believe her Partitas should also be superb >
I agree about Angela Hewitt. I was reluctant to write in about her because I don't have the CD. I merely heard it once on the radio. Angela Hewitt was (maybe still is) a dancer. IMO she is at her best in the dance movements.

Peter Bright wrote (September 23, 2004):
[To Jan Hanford] I would also add Angela Hewitt's recording - one of her many outstanding Bach discs (her Toccatas and French Suites are also revelatory). I was relatively disappointed with her Goldbergs and her first disc (Inventions) was well below her later standards. By the way, has anyone else heard her (just released) final Bach disc of various pieces (see: http://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/details/67499.asp)? I have it, but I haven't made up my mind yet. The first work (BWV904) is tremendous, but my interest (so far) wanes in the subsequent works.

Additionally, I am 100% with Jan on Trevor Pinnock's most recent Hänssler recording on harpsichord (although it is not consistently highly rated among other list members primarily, I think, because of Pinnock's relatively uniform pacing within each movement).

Jan Hanford wrote (September 23, 2004):
[To Peter Bright] A few weeks ago I bought all the Angela Hewitt Bach cd's. So far I find the majority of her playing to be extraordinary: lyrical, excellent clarity of voices, sane tempos. But some of her playing does not contain all the qualities I enjoy. I also was disappointed in her Goldberg Variations, they don't have the lyrical quality so many of her other discs have.

She is particularly good at dances (English Suites, etc. and her Couperin is fabulous) and her Well-Tempered Clavier is wonderful. The discs with miscellaneous works on them, like the one Peter indicated below, are good but not consistent enough for me.

Perhaps a reason might be that since those works are not meant to be grouped together they don't always work well when they are. I find this true of many recordings in general that lump together unrelated works; sometimes the disc is compelling, sometimes it fails.

But, overall, I enjoy her playing very much. And her Partitas are excellent. Not my favorite but highly recommended.

Peter Bright wrote (September 23, 2004):
[To Jan Hanford] Thanks Jan,

I had also meant to include her English Suites as a 'must have' - I prefer her to Murray Perahia in these works, but, on the other hand, Perahia reaches more deeply into the Goldbergs and brings off a version that for me hasn't been matched on piano by anyone else.

By the way, as she clearly states that this CD of various peices is to be her last Bach recording, I guess that she has no intention (at least in the foreseeable future) to record the Art of Fugue. A shame...

 

The final Gigue of 6th Partita

Luke Hubbard wrote (February 8, 2005):
Donald Satz wrote:
"The Gigue concludes Partita No. 6 and the set as well. Personally, I find it unusual music to end the set. This fugue has as Hewitt puts it, "severe counterpoint", and I agree fully. Much of it is harsh in spirit with relief coming at needed intervals for contrast."
I cannot disaggree more. I see the final Gigue as one of the most remarcable creations in the history of music, an unearthly combination of utmost depth and utmost beauty, an exemplary counterpoint, cannonically consistent with a very simple yet potent contrasting theme. I can't properly explain the effect it had on me when I first heard it. It's an intellectual satisfaction of most profound nature, an experience of ultimate perfection, something which stands strong against any aestetic deconstruction.

I recommend to everyone disaggreeing with me listen to Scott Ross (Bach 2000 CDs). It has urgency, clarity of voices, exceptional harpsichord, exceptional sound quality, but what makes it so iresistible is a sort of quiet nostalgia that literally makes me cry.

 

Partitas on piano

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (November 8, 2005):
I'm looking for a "recent" complete recording of the 6 Partitas performed on piano. I already have Tureck's (Great Pianists - Philips). It's beautiful of course, but the 1958 recording quality is starting to bother me... On a
couple of sites, I listened to some samples from the recordings of Rübsam, Rangell, Roberts and Hewitt. Hewitt is the one who catches the most my ears...

Does anyone have another suggestions ? Are there more recent recordings then the 4 above ? Thanks.

Thomas Boyce wrote (November 8, 2005):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] I can only recommend a harpsichord recording, Trevor Pinnock. And Suzuki is great also, but I love Pinnock's muscle.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 8, 2005):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] On harpsichord I'm most fond of Edward Parmentier's set. On piano I like Zhu Xiao-Mei, João Carlos Martins, András Schiff, Wolfgang Rübsam, and Glenn Gould.

In May 2004 Robert Hill gave a especially beautiful radio performance of #1 on fortepiano. Just an aircheck recording, though, no commercial release.

Is Yuko Wataya's clavichord recording of #6 still available?

Stephen Benson wrote (November 8, 2005):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] My favorite piano recording of recent years is the 1999 recording by Zhu Xiao-Mei on Mandala 4958/59. Her interpretations are characterized by great clarity, elegance, taste, expressivity, and a wonderful sense of play.

Donald Satz wrote (November 8, 2005):
[To Thomas Boyce] I also think highly of the Pinnock. Concerning piano versions, I just completed a review of a Harmonia Mundi disc covering three of the Partitas and played by Cedric Tiberghien. In that review, I mention a few alternative versions, and I'll post the review within a few minutes.

Richard Bradbury wrote (November 9, 2005):
[To Donald Saatz] What about Richard Goode's recordings of all six? I know you've been keen about other of his work and I wonder what you think of these.

Craig Schweickert wrote (November 9, 2005):
Brad Lehman wrote:
< Is Yuko Wataya's clavichord recording of #6 still available? >
I got a copy from www.mymusic.com a couple of years ago on your recommendation. They now list it as no longer available. A pity, that.

Paul Dirmeikis wrote (November 9, 2005):
Thank you very much for all your opinions and recommendations. Joined to all my listenings of samples, they made me hesitate between the two ladies, Angela Hewitt and Zhu Xiao-Mei. Then tempi, variety of dynamics, polyphonic readability, and recording sound quality, (plus an interesting price on Priceminister website), made me finally incline to order Hewitt's set.

Thanks again.

Donald Satz wrote (November 10, 2005):
[To Richard Bradbury] I find Goode's Partitas one of the better recordings, but he's a little too polite for my tastes. Both he and Perahia get more praise for their Bach than I would offer.

Margaret Mikulska wrote (November 10, 2005):
[To Paul Dirmeikis] There is a recent (2000) recording by Ewa Pobłocka, a very good Polish pianist. Unfortunately I can't comment on this particular recording of hers, since I really dislike harpsichord and clavichord music played on the modern piano. Nor can you listen to the samples, because Polish on-line stores don't have music samples on their web sites. I can only tell you that such recording exists and that she's very good in other repertory.

 

The Partitas BWV 825-830 - Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 31, 2007):
Following previous discographies of Bach's keyboard works (Inventions & Sinfonias, Duets, English Suites, French Suites, Neglected Suites, WTC 1, Goldberg Variations), I have added now a comprehensive discography of the Partitas BWV 825-830. AFAIK, this is the first ever web-discography of this group of works

As previously, I have used every possible source I could find, including web-catalogues, web-stores, web-magazines, artists' websites, labels' websites and other websites, as well as various printed catalogues and my personal collection.

You can find the list of recordings of the Partitas split into several pages, a page for a decade, through the main page of BWV 825-830 at the BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV825-830.htm
This page includes, as usual, internal links to reviews & discussions, as well as external links to other pages about these works.

The list includes both recordings of complete sets (all 6 Partitas) and recordings of individual Partitas. Except of a few cases, recordings of individual movements are not included. All in all, 170 albums with the Partitas are listed. As in previous discographies in the BCW, each recording is listed only once. All the issues of each recording are presented together. If a performer has recorded the Partitas more than once, the info includes also the recording number.

I have also compiled all the discussions of the Partitas from 2001 onwards (about 150 messages). The discussions are arranged chronologically. If the recordings of the Partitas by a certain performer are discussed, they are compiled into a dedicated page. Links to the discussion pages can be found at the starting page above, and at the recording pages.

Please also notice that for most albums there is a link at the cell of the album title. This link takes you to the page of the soloist, in which you can find other Bach recordings by this artist.

With such popular works as the Partitas, it seems unavoidable that I have missed some (or many) recordings of them. If you are aware of a recording of the Partitas not listed in these pages, or if you find an error or missing information, please inform me, either through the BRML or to my personal e-mail address.

 

BCW: Partitas BWV 825-830 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 6, 2011):
The discography pages of the Partitas BWV 825-830 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV825-830.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date. 313 different recordings are presented, both of the complete set and of individual Partitas, but not of individual mvts.
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

BCW: Discographies of the 6 Partitas & the French Overture

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 27, 2013):
The discography pages of J.S. Bash's 6 Partitas and French Overture (sometimes called the 7th Partita) on the BCW have been updated. The discographies are arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade. The discography pages are inter-linked. You can start, for example, at the last decade page (2010-2019) and go backward to pages of previous decades.
Partitas BWV 825-830 (359 recordings of complete works):
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV825-830-Rec8.htm
French Overture BWV 831 (110 recordings of the complete work):
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV831-Rec8.htm
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

Partitas BWV 825-830: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019
Comparative Review:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
Partitas - P. Anderszewski [McElhearn] | Partitas - P. Anderszewski [Satz] | Partitas - L. Corolan & I. Kipnis | Partitas - F. Kempf | Partitas - E. Feller 1 | Partitas - E. Parmentier | Partitas - A. Rangell | GV & Partitas - K. Richter | Partitas - B. Roberts | Partitas - S. Ross | Partitas - C. Rousset | Partitas - S. Sager | Partitas - C. Sheppard [Morrison] | Partitas - C. Sheppard [Satz] | Partitas - J.L. Steuerman | Partitas - M. Suzuki [McElhearn] | Partitas - M. Suzuki [Henderson] | Partitas - C. Tiberghien | Partitas - R. Troeger | Partitas - B. Verlet | Partitas - K. Weiss | Rübsam - Part 2 | Rübsam - Part 3
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Part 4 | MD: Partita No. 1 in B flat major BWV 825
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
Partitas - P. Anderszewski | Partitas - V. Dondysh | Partitas - played R. Goode
|
Partitas - R. Kirkpatrick | Partitas - A. Rangell | Partitas - S. Ross | Partitas - A. Schiff | Partitas - M. Suzuki | Partitas - B. Verlet | Partitas - K. Weiss | Partitas - R. Woolley | Partitas - Z. Xiao-Mei

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Last update: żNovember 3, 2013 ż09:48:28