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Bach: Harpsichord Works / Richard Egarr


Release Date: 09/10/2002 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 69700   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Richard Egarr has made many recordings and performed for several years with London Baroque, as well as accompanying many musicians in recordings of sonatas for solo instruments and harpsichord. His solo recordings include works by Bach, a complete recording of Froberger, pieces by Gibbons, Louis Couperin and many others. This recording, a rerelease of a disc first published in 1997, is a selection of Bach’s solo keyboard music, and includes three major works - the Partita no. 1, French Suite no. 5, and Italian Concerto.

Egarr performs this music on a beautiful instrument - a harpsichord by Joel Katzman, after Ruckers, that brings out some amazing sounds in these works. Egarr has a light touch in many of these pieces - the
Read more first movement of the opening Partita no. 1, the opening Allemande of the French Suite no. 5 - which fit well with the tone of the instrument. Its crystal-clear sound and resonance are well-suited to this type of playing.

Yet, when listening to the Partita, one may be disappointed by the lack of variety in the tempi of the various movements. Egarr seems most comfortable in a certain mode that allows him to play a somewhat "precious" style; this is excellent in the Sarabande of the partita, but his tempi for some of the other movements, notably the Minuets, seem a bit too slow.

Egarr should be congratulated for his choice of works in this program. Combining three of the more famous works with a number of "smaller" pieces - the little preludes, the two well-known minuets from Anna Magdalena Bach’s notebook, and some of the simple, yet delightful works from Wilhelm Friedemann Bach’s notebook - is an excellent choice. As he points out in the notes, some of these little pieces are tiny gems, that, while brief, contain elements that are quite indicative of Bach’s keyboard music.

Egarr is very convincing in the "discursive" movement of the Italian Concerto, the Andante, where, again, his style seems perfectly in tune with the music behind the music, but in the rapid Presto that closes out the disc, seems to be carried away by a rhythm he is not comfortable with.

Recorded in 1995, this disc gives a glimpse of a performer whose work deserves attention. While I am unfamiliar with his other solo recordings, this disc makes me want to hear more. Seven years after this recording, this performer has undoubtedly grown and developed. While there are some shortcomings to this disc, the selection and instrument alone make it a worthy purchase.

-- Kirk McElhearn, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Prelude in C major, BWV 939 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
2.
Prelude in D minor, BWV 940 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
3.
Prelude in E minor, BWV 941 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
4.
Prelude in C major, BWV 943 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
5.
Prelude for Lute in C minor, BWV 999 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
6.
Fugue in C major, BWV 953 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1723 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
7.
Minuet in G major, BWV 841 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
8.
Minuet in G minor, BWV 842 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
9.
Minuet in G major, BWV 843 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1720; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
10.
French Suite no 5 in G major, BWV 816 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
11.
Prelude in C major, BWV 924 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
12.
Prelude in D major, BWV 925 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
13.
Prelude in D minor, BWV 926 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
14.
Praeambulum in F major, BWV 927 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
15.
Praeambulum in G minor, BWV 930 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
16.
Prelude in F major, BWV 928 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: after 1720; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
17.
Fughetta in C minor, BWV 961 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
18.
Clavierbüchlein no 2 for Anna Magdalena Bach: Minuet in G major, BWV Anh. 114 [attrib. Christian Petzold] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722-1725; Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Notes: This work, originally attributed to J.S. Bach, is currently believed to
have been composed by Christian Pezold. 
19.
Clavierbüchlein no 2 for Anna Magdalena Bach: Minuet in G minor, BWV Anh. 115 [attrib. Christian Pezold] by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1722-1725; Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Notes: This work, originally attributed to J.S. Bach, is currently believed to
have been composed by Christian Pezold. 
20.
Italian Concerto, BWV 971 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1735; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
21.
Prelude in A minor, BWV 942 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 
22.
Partita for Keyboard no 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Richard Egarr (Harpsichord)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
Venue:  Amsterdam, Netherlands 

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