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Bach: Piano Works / Andrew Rangell


Release Date: 02/21/2006 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9180   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



BACH Little Preludes: in a, BWV 942; in D, BWV 936. Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, BWV 903. Praeludium in G, BWV 902. French Overture in b, BWV 831. Italian Concerto, BWV 971 ? Andrew Rangell (pn) ? Read more class="ARIAL12"> BRIDGE 9180 (61:11)


Andrew Rangell?s discography, if one takes ArkivMusic at its word, is limited to three Bridge CDs: a collection of Beethoven piano sonatas, a recent release containing Schubert?s great B? Sonata, and ?Peruvian Honeymoon,? a disc eponymously named after a piece by Christian Wolff, that also contains works by Mozart, Haydn, Chopin, Stravinsky, and Fartein Valen. These limited listings belie a previous and productive relationship Rangell enjoyed with Dorian records, a label for which he recorded Beethoven?s late piano sonatas and Diabelli Variations (which I have, and they are excellent), the complete Mazurkas of Chopin, Ravel?s Gaspard de la nuit , and both the ?Goldberg? Variations and the keyboard Partitas of J. S. Bach. The current offering then is hardly Rangell?s first excursion into Bach, a composer in whom he has taken a special interest.


Chicago born and Juilliard trained, Rangell has only within the last few years returned to stage and studio following a serious hand injury sustained in 1991. His recovery, considering the fiendish finger flaying of Ravel?s Gaspard , is nothing short of miraculous. His approach to Bach, which he plays here on a Hamburg Steinway Model D, is unapologetically pianistic, by which I mean he makes full use of the tonal palette and range of capabilities afforded by a modern concert grand. He is not lulled, however, by the horsepower under its hood, to indulge in excesses, exaggerations, or mannerisms of style and expression. He knows his Bach, and plays these popular pieces with an informed but not overly scholarly deference to historical context and period practice.


While my personal preference inclines me to hearing this music played on a harpsichord, it cannot be denied that Bach?to a far greater extent than, say, Couperin?works exceptionally well on the piano and benefits in significant ways in the transition. Bach?s keyboard works?predominantly abstract and devoid of the depictive that informs Couperin?s compositions, and not reliant on the mechanical idiosyncrasies of the instrument itself?are nonrepresentational mobiles that speculate in purely musical forms and ideas. Bach?s music is essentially unbound to the medium that produces it, which undoubtedly explains why it survives transplantation as well as it does.


The merely theoretical is made manifest in Rangell?s recording. Many have played these works on piano before, but Rangell?s readings of the pair of contrasting and complementary works that comprise part II of Bach?s Clavierübung ?the French Overture and the Italian Concerto?are worth the price of the disc themselves. No proponent of beating us about the ears with every imitative entry in the contrapuntal badinage, Rangell nonetheless insures that we follow Bach?s bouncing ball with exceptionally clean finger work and precise weighting of voices. The clockwork of the Italian Concerto captivates, but even more did the terpsichorean French Overture make me want to lift my legs and dance?and believe me, these days that takes some doing.


Strongly recommended then, and with wishes for an enduring partnership between Andrew Rangell and Bridge Records.


FANFARE: Jerry Dubins
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Works on This Recording

1.
Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 903 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 11 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2.
Prelude and Fughetta in G major, BWV 902 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 6 Minutes 30 Secs. 
3.
Overture in the French style in B minor, BWV 831 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 26 Minutes 40 Secs. 
4.
Little Preludes (6): no 4 in D major, BWV 936 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 34 Secs. 
5.
Italian Concerto, BWV 971 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 13 Minutes 3 Secs. 
6.
Prelude in A minor, BWV 942 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 08/2003 
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 1 Minutes 2 Secs. 

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