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Partitas BWV 825-830 & More

Jean Louis Steurman (Piano)

Bach Keyboard Works from Jean Louis Steuerman

K-2

Bach: The Complete Partitas · Italian Concerto · 4 Duets

Duets BWV 802-805 [2:04, 3:19, 2:31, 2:41]
Partitas BWV 825-830 [16:08, 14:28, 12:10, 22:35, 11:03, 25:17]
French Overture in B minor BWV 831 [30:22]
Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971 [11:37]

Jean Louis Steuerman (Piano)

Philips

Apr 1984 (Partitas); Sep 1985 (rest)

2-CD / TT: 152:09

Recorded at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

Donald Satz wrote (April 28, 2001):
Back in the mid-1980's, Philips issued recordings of pianist Jean Louis Steuerman performing Bach's six Partitas for Harpsichord, the French Overture in B minor, the Four Duets, and the Italian Concerto in F major. I remember the time of the releases and the reviews which were not very complimentary. Good reviews or not, Philips decided to reissue these performances in 1997 as part of it's DUO series. I've seen this set in the stores off and on and finally decided to give it a try as I have become quite skeptical lately of Bach recording reviews in the periodicals. The catalog number for this 2-CD set is 456 068.

I'll get to the positives first. Steuerman is always lyrical, poetic, sensitive, tasteful, and pleasureable. These are not performances that anyone would tend to 'hate'; there's nothing in them to offend. I think that many listeners would find Steurerman a delight from start to finish. He might be a good candidate to be selected Bach's Troubadour or Goodwill Ambassador. If there was a Bach "Pop" 40, quite a few of Steurerman's performances would likely grace the list.

But it that all that Bach has to give to us? Steuerman offers us "emotionally correct" Bach - not too much of this, not too much of that. "Depth" is a concept that Steuerman consistently avoids. With little exception, this lack of depth is in every movement where it has significance. "Edge" is a location that Steuerman never enters. "Power" is approached only when there is no other avenue to take, and "urgency" always takes a back seat to flow. Also, Steurerman can be quite cloying at times as in the first Partita's Menuet II. This is all one-dimensional Bach, although it is presented quite well by Steurerman. He probably does best in the quick/cheerful movements having the least depth.

Don's Conclusions: I don't think the Steuerman discs would hold any appeal to a seasoned collector who already has some superb recordings of the works contained on the two CD's; there's just nothing on them to hold the attention. In a way, the set is even worse for novice buyers. They will think they are listening to the real thing, and they will be wrong.

 

Duets BWV 802-805: Details
Recordings:
Until 1950 | 1951-1960 | 1961-1970 | 1971-1980 | 1981-1990 | 1991-2000 | From 2001
General Discussions:
Part 1
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
Duets - A. Hewitt | Duets - E. Koroliov | Duets - Steuerman | Duets - M. Suzuki | Duets - R. Tureck | Duets - G. Weir

Partitas BWV 825 830:
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 - E. Feller 1 | Partitas - E. Parmentier | Partitas - A. Rangell | GV & Partitas - K. Richter | Partitas - B. Roberts | Partitas - S. Ross | Partitas - S. Sager | Partitas - C. Sheppard | 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

Jean Louis Steuerman: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Works:
Bach Keyboard Works from Jean Louis Steuerman

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Last update: żOctober 10, 2006 ż11:46:00