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Partitas BWV 825-830
Played by Blandine Verlet


Bach: Complete Partitas For Harpsichord

1. Partitas BWV 825-830 [18:04, 17:50, 20:17, 23:29, 18:18, 22:26]
2. French Overture BWV 831 [27:12]

Blandine Verlet (Harpsichord)


Feb 1977 [1]; Mar 1978 [2]

2-CD / TT: 146:08

Recorded in Holland. 1st recording of Partitas BWV 825-830 by B. Verlet.
Review: Partitas by Blandine Verlet
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Bach: Partitas

Partitas BWV 825-830 []

Blandine Verlet (Harpsichord)

Astrée Auvidis - Naïve


2-CD / TT: 121:05

2nd recording of Partitas BWV 825-830 by B. Verlet.
Review: Partitas by Blandine Verlet
Buy this album at:

Blandine's partitas

Kirk McElhearn wrote (August 30, 2002):
This discussion made me get them out and put them on... The beautiful sound of the Ruckers and her very French style of playing make this one of the best. I think the sound and instrument might be even better than Parmentier.

Pierce Drew wrote (August 30, 2002):
[To Kirk McElhearn] I totally agree! Actually, I got this set based on your recommendation and am very glad that I did. The instrument has a brilliant sound, and the tuning, though a bit strange to my ears at first (probably from having listened to too many "manicured" recordings), sheds new light on this endlessly delightful, fascinating music. Verlet's approach is adventurous, and I am grateful for a new perspective from a master harpsichordist.

If you love the Partitas, this recording is a must have. It's worth the extra shipping from Europe -- and also carry it, I believe.


Clarinets and Verlet's Partitas

Craig Schweickert wrote (September 4, 2002):
Jim wrote:
< How about a relatively simple question from a man whose cd collection has little in the way of clarinet music. Anybody have recommendations for exceptional clarinet recordings? >
The two Classical/Romantic composers who wrote most sublimely for the clarinet are Mozart and Brahms. (Weber almost makes it into the club but his music, while delightful, lacks the humanity and depth of the other two.) Their works have been so frequently and so competently recorded it's hard to come up with a single recommendation. Here are a few, some of them a bit off the beaten path.

Mozart's two outstanding solo works for the clarinet are the concerto and the quintet. The L'Oiseau-Lyre disk that Francine mentioned is a classic and deservedly so. Pay plays a basset clarinet, the instrument Mozart wrote it for (tho' since the original doesn't exist the part is a partial reconstruction). Harnoncourt's recent recording with the VCM (paired with the oboe concerto and the harp and flute concerto) is also worthy, tho', like the Hogwood disk, the tempos tend to the leisurely. There's also a rather good performance by Hoeprich (sp?) with Bruggen and TOOT18C on Philips, tho' for me the star of that disk is the coupling, the exquisite clarinet quintet. Neidich and Archibudelli recorded a very good performance of the quintet on Sony, as did the slightly more wayward Meyer and the Mosaiques on Astrée (both are coupled with the Kegelstatt Trio, which gets a better performance from Archibudelli and Levin).

Another not-to-be-missed Mozartian clarinet experience is "Parto, ma tu ben mio" from La Clemenza di Tito. Usually referred to as a mezzo aria with a basset clarinet obligato, I think of it more as a mezzo and clarinet love duet, a thought only reinforced by the fact that Mozart wrote the obligato part for his close friend Stadler (for whom he also composed the clarinet concerto and quintet) and that, like the other players in the orchestra (which wasn't relegated to a pit), Stadler faced the stage and so had eye contact with the mezzo as they performed. The performance by Anne Sofie von Otter and Leslie Schatzberger in Gardiner's recording (track 19) is worth the detour; get your diskmonger to play it the next time you're in the store and you'll be a believer, too. (You also might want to leave it on for a track or two to get a taste of Varady's stupendous Vitellia.)

Nearly all of Brahms' music for clarinet dates from an indian summer at the end of his life. Stolzman's recordings of the sonatas and quintet are modern classics (some call him cool; I think he has exquisite taste). There's a wonderful historic recording of the quintet played by the Busch Quartet with Reginald Kell; the coupling is usually the horn trio with Aubery Brain (Denis's father); I believe it's been issued on both Pearl and Testament. Berkes and Jando's Naxos recording of the clarinet sontatas is not to be sneezed at. For something really different, try Hacker, Ward-Clarke and Burnette on period instruments (including an 1860s Erard) on Amon Ra; the disk inlcudes both sonatas and the trio for clarinet, viola and cello, all of which receive reserved but, I think, truthful performances.

< Even though I don't have Verlet's Partitas, either set, I hear from good sources that her first recording of them, perhaps her first recording of anything, does not represent the Verlet that we know from her recent Couperin, Froberger and Bach WTK, Goldbergs, In other words, if you haven't heard any of her recent work, then you may be in for surprise when you finally do. >
Picked up the Astrée recording on Saturday and have listened to it once. First impressions: a beautiful harpsichord beautifully (tho' closely) recorded; tangy tuning indeed!; tempos more measured than I would have expected; challenging, insightful interpretation. Am impatiently awaiting the arrival of Parementier's set but am already inclined to agree with Drew that Verlet's thought-provoking and at times revelatory performance is an essential supplement for lovers of these works. Hope eventually to write up a more detailed review but not until I've found time to post some musing about problems I'm having with Labadie's Goldbergs.

PS Please excuse the duplication with BPL's post, which came in as I was about to send this off.

Donald Satz wrote (September 4, 2002):
[To Craig Schweickert] Labadie's Goldbergs on Dorian are problematic because he uses two performance styles. One is an intimate consort-sounding style which I find attractive. The other style is the "Hollywood Bowl" approach that puts me in a foul mood - it isn't Bach, it's Warner Bros.


Verlet in the partitas: a comparison?

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 30, 2003):
Some here have mentioned having both of Blandine Verlet's recordings of the partitas: Philips and Astree. I have the Philips...both on LP and CD. Has the Astree ever been released in the US?

What are the differences in this remake? (I do have most of her other Bach on Astree, and some of her earlier Bach on Philips LPs; am interested specifically in the way she's changed her interpretations of the Partitas.) She's so good at French repertoire...!

And: doesn't even list her at all, anymore. What gives?


Partitas BWV 825-830: Details
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

Blandine Verlet: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Partitas by Blandine Verlet | Verlet’s Goldberg Variations
Discussions of Instrumental Recordings: Discussions:
Partitas BWV 825-830 - played by Blandine Verlet | Goldberg Variations BWV 988 - played by Blandine Verlet

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Last update: Friday, June 16, 2017 15:54