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J. S. Bach: Toccata, Partita, English Suite / Martha Argerich

Release Date: 06/13/2000 
Label:  Dg The Originals Catalog #: 463604   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martha Argerich
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 50 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

An outstanding disc that’s also a highlight of DG’s reissue series The Originals. Here is Bach-playing of direct power and sensitivity, expertly captured by the recording team.

The reissue of Martha Argerich’s recordings, their reappearance in this or that format, testifies to the unique and enduring nature of her magisterial temperament and musicianship. This Bach recital, first issued in 1980, reissued in DG’s Galleria series and partially celebrated (the C minor Partita) in Philips’s Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century, is now revived on DG’s The Originals. Admirers will of course have heard Argerich in the Second Partita, on the wing, so to speak, in a superlative live performance dating from 1978-79 (and with
Read more the Bouree from the Second English Suite for an encore) on EMI. Yet even they will surely admit that these slightly later studio recordings carry an extraordinary authority and panache.

Argerich’s attack in the C minor Toccata could hardly be bolder or more incisive, a classic instance of virtuosity all the more clear and potent for being so firmly but never rigidly controlled. Here, as elsewhere, her discipline is no less remarkable than her unflagging brio and relish of Bach’s glory. Again, in the Second Partita, her playing is quite without those excesses or mannerisms that too often pass for authenticity, and at 2'14'' in the Andante immediately following the Sinfonie she is expressive yet clear and precise, her following Allegro a marvel of high-speed yet always musical bravura. True, some may question her way with the Courante from the Second English Suite, finding it hard-driven, even overbearing, yet Argerich’s eloquence in the following sublime Sarabande creates its own hypnotic authority. Her final Gigue is a triumph of irrepressible vitality yet, throughout, you are reminded of the comprehensiveness of Argerich’s Bach, the way his alternations of robust and interior musical thinking are so tellingly and vividly characterised.

It only remains to add that the dynamic range of these towering, intensely musical performances has been excellently captured by DG.

-- Bryce Morrison, Gramophone [2000]

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Works on This Recording

Toccata in C minor, BWV 911 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1717; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1979 
Venue:  Lankwitz Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 10 Minutes 58 Secs. 
English Suite no 2 in A minor, BWV 807 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1715; Weimar, Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1979 
Venue:  Lankwitz Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 20 Minutes 10 Secs. 
Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Martha Argerich (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Germany 
Date of Recording: 02/1979 
Venue:  Lankwitz Studio, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 18 Minutes 56 Secs. 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 PROBABLY MY FAVORITE PIANIST OF ALL RECORDED HIST June 10, 2015 By A. Ames (New York, NY) See All My Reviews "I've adored Argerich's Bach recording since I first heard it in 1980 (during my near-quarter-century working for DGG). The way she plays a little phrase in the Second Partita (BWV 826) first heard @ 5.35, and again @ 6.39, 7.45, and 8.48 minutes just knocks me out -- still, after 35 years (!)" Report Abuse
 A Cherished Favorite February 25, 2014 By bess holloway (Boulder, CO) See All My Reviews "Some recordings are like dear friends, you can't imagine life without them! This disc is one such companion." Report Abuse
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