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Bach: 6 Partitas / Andras Schiff


Release Date: 08/25/2009 
Label:  Ecm   Catalog #: 4766991   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  András Schiff
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A very special disc.

This disc is something very special indeed. Twenty-five years after recording the Partitas in the studio for Decca, Schiff returns to them in a live recording from the wonderfully intimate acoustic of the Neumarkt Reitstadel. The performances radiate such warmth, spontaneity and joy as to reinforce one’s beliefs in Schiff, Bach and the power of music as a whole.

One of the things that makes this recording unique is Schiff’s reordering of the works. He points out in the CD booklet that Bach would never have dreamt of hearing all of the Partitas performed in order on one evening, so there is no reason to be historically uncomfortable with this. He orders them according to descending
Read more keys: G - a - B flat - c - D - e. “Each major key is followed by a minor key, and the partita with the greatest musical substance forms the final capstone.” It’s very effective and, if anything, makes for a more satisfying musical experience than simply listening to them in order, starting with the cheerful fifth partita, working through to the craggy grandeur of the sixth which finally slips from E minor into G major.

Schiff clearly thrives on the excitement of the live event: there is a sense of the unrepeatable about this disc, as if you are eavesdropping on a private recital that can only happen once. This stamps these works with a sense of love and sheer affection that really make them come alive. Schiff’s technique is as assured as ever: every note of this music has been in his blood for decades and he brings acres of experience to bear on each bar. The unaffected simplicity of the opening Praeludium of the B flat is like a sorbet after the heavier textures of the A minor gigue. The filigree lightness of the Allemande that follows feels like it is like floating in midair. To so successfully go on to play the gorgeously expansive Sarabande is a tribute to Schiff’s great artistry. The c minor partita has solemnity coupled with remarkable delicacy, while the D major combines grandeur and subtlety with remarkable artistry. The final partita has a remarkable sense of scale to it, the final gigue sounding massive, almost titanic until that final E major chord which comes with an undeniable sense of journey’s end.

As a recital or as a sheer display of great music making this is hard to beat. It is a testament to the great relationship that ECM - who recently won a Gramophone Award for label of the year - have with their artists that this record was made at all, never mind the sense of warmth and affection that permeates every note. The sound is close and warm without ever being clinical and it all provides a tremendously satisfying experience. I repeat: a very special disc.

-- Simon Thompson, MusicWeb International


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Works on This Recording

1.
Partita for Keyboard no 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Germany 
3.
Partita for Keyboard no 3 in A minor, BWV 827 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Partita for Keyboard no 4 in D major, BWV 828 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Germany 
5.
Partita for Keyboard no 5 in G major, BWV 829 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
6.
Partita for Keyboard no 6 in E minor, BWV 830 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  András Schiff (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 

Featured Sound Samples

Keyboard Partita no 1: Gigue

Sound Samples

Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828: Ouverture
Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828: Allemande
Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828: Courante
Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828: Aria
Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828: Sarabande
Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828: Menuet
Partita No.4 in D , BWV 828: Gigue
Partita No.5 in G, BWV 829: Praeambulum
Partita No.5 in G, BWV 829: Allemande
Partita No.5 in G, BWV 829: Corrente
Partita No.5 in G, BWV 829: Sarabande
Partita No.5 in G, BWV 829: Tempo di Minuetta
Partita No.5 in G, BWV 829: Passepied
Partita No.5 in G, BWV 829: Gigue
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: Fantasia
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: Allemande
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: Corrente
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: Sarabande
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: Burlesca
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: Scherzo
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827: Gigue
Partita No.1 in B flat, BWV 825: Praeludium
Partita No.1 in B flat, BWV 825: Allemande
Partita No.1 in B flat, BWV 825: Corrente
Partita No.1 in B flat, BWV 825: Sarabande
Partita No.1 in B flat, BWV 825: Menuet I
Partita No.1 in B flat, BWV 825: Menuet II
Partita No.1 in B flat, BWV 825: Gigue
Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826: Sinfonia
Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826: Allemande
Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826: Courante
Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826: Sarabande
Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826: Rondeau
Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826: Capriccio
Partita No.6 in E minor, BWV 830: Toccata
Partita No.6 in E minor, BWV 830: Allemanda
Partita No.6 in E minor, BWV 830: Corrente
Partita No.6 in E minor, BWV 830: Air
Partita No.6 in E minor, BWV 830: Sarabande
Partita No.6 in E minor, BWV 830: Tempo di Gavotta
Partita No.6 in E minor, BWV 830: Gigue

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