Author Topic: Bach English Suites on piano  (Read 19210 times)

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DavidW

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Bach English Suites on piano
« on: February 25, 2010, 10:09:33 AM »
Looking for a recording of the Bach English Suites on piano and is played transparently without excessive ornamentation, and not too fast, but I'm not interested in Gould.  Anyone know of anything that would fit the bill?

btw I've already searched and can't find much discussion of this topic on the past.  But if you know of something I overlooked, by all means share with me the link.

Offline Opus106

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DavidW

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2010, 10:32:21 AM »
Nah I'd been there, mostly French Suites discussion.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2010, 10:47:33 AM »
For a set try Perahia.

Supplement it with Gieseking (2, 3 4 and 6); Pogorelich (2 and 3); Richter (1, 3,  4 and 6)

Rübsam's interesting -- but I suspect you will think the ornamentation excessive.


« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 10:53:02 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

DarkAngel

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 11:15:15 AM »
Looking for a recording of the Bach English Suites on piano and is played transparently without excessive ornamentation, and not too fast, but I'm not interested in Gould.  Anyone know of anything that would fit the bill?

Perahia and Hewitt fit that description, Perahia slightly better for me.........
 
 
 
 
 
 

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 11:37:53 AM »
Honestly I do not favour Bach on piano that much. And still I have owned all in all seven recordings of the English suites played on piano. How do these things happen??

My facorite on piano is Wolfgang Rübsam, either his Naxos recording or his somewhat earlier Bayer recording. Some may - undeservedly do I think - find him too individual and idiosyncratic, and then I also think I can recommend the more mainstream Robert Levin on Haenssler or my countryman Sverre Larsen on Danish Classico. "Played transparently without excessive ornamentation" is true of Sverre Larsen IMO. But I can not find a link to this recording. If you want, I can send you a burnt copy.

Maybe it is only me, but I find Gould´s English suites irritating and Andras Schiff´s blend.
I have not heard Hewitt.
It's better to act today than to regret tomorrow.
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Bulldog

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 01:57:40 PM »
Looking for a recording of the Bach English Suites on piano and is played transparently without excessive ornamentation, and not too fast, but I'm not interested in Gould.  Anyone know of anything that would fit the bill?

Although I'm not a big fan of Perahia, his English Suites are excellent and should satisfy your needs.  Hewitt might also, although her ornamentation could be troublesome for you.  Rubsam would definitely be a problem.  Levin is a little heavy-handed.  Schiff is much too mannered.  Yup, it's Perahia for you; DarkAngel and Mandryka know what they're talking about.

DavidW

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2010, 02:30:47 PM »
Oh nice got a consensus fast. :)

Tomorrow I will order Perahia.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2010, 03:49:13 PM »
Although I'm not a big fan of Perahia, his English Suites are excellent and should satisfy your needs.  Hewitt might also, although her ornamentation could be troublesome for you.  Rubsam would definitely be a problem.  Levin is a little heavy-handed.  Schiff is much too mannered.  Yup, it's Perahia for you; DarkAngel and Mandryka know what they're talking about.

Don - currently I own Hewitt in the English Suites & Schiff in the French Suites on piano - bought these long ago when a member of the BMG club; Perahia might be a 'better fit' for me, but will need to give these an updated listening!  BTW, quite happy w/ my Alan Curtis 3-CD set of both suites on the harpsichord (another recommendation from you!) - Dave  :D

Offline Clever Hans

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2010, 04:12:59 PM »
I prefer pianists that actually take risks, since Bach on the piano is already experimental.

Pogorelich for 2 and 3.








Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2010, 04:36:20 PM »
Looking for a recording of the Bach English Suites on piano and is played transparently without excessive ornamentation

That's a relatively hard request, considering those suites were meant to be heavily ornamented and virtuosic in nature (heck, each suite starts with a concerto. This is when Bach was still under the influence of Handel and Vivaldi). If you want plastic perfection you are going to have to turn to the Partitas.

Gould may be way over the top at times but he still pulls it off relatively well. Both Perahia and Hewitt are far too bland and boring to do those compositions justice. Personally, i'd just stick with harpsichord though. Try Kenneth Gilbert if you haven't already, he is particularly good here.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 04:45:06 PM by Josquin des Prez »

Bulldog

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2010, 05:51:52 PM »
I prefer pianists that actually take risks, since Bach on the piano is already experimental.

Pogorelich for 2 and 3.

Thinking back to the Pogorelich disc, his take on the Prelude of Suite no. 2 is the most exciting I've ever heard; the propulsion is amazing.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2010, 06:11:40 PM »
I prefer pianists that actually take risks, since Bach on the piano is already experimental.

There's nothing particularly experimental in playing Bach on piano, and Bach was never experimental to begin with. He knew perfectly well what he wanted to achieve, and his music should be played as naturally and as perfectly as possible, regardless of the instrument used.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 06:19:29 PM by Josquin des Prez »

Offline XB-70 Valkyrie

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2010, 10:33:22 PM »
This recording, of a live Richter performance, was made shortly after his heart surgery, and not too long before he died. The interpretations are introspective (but not in a gimmicky way) and relaxed, with minimal ornamentation. Despite his age at the time, they still embody his characteristic muscular sound and virtuosity (good sound quality too). And the cover photo is nice too. Highly recommended.



http://www.amazon.com/Bach-English-Suites-Nos-Richter/dp/B0002SPPBE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1267165642&sr=1-4
If you really dislike Bach you keep quiet about it! - Andras Schiff

Offline Clever Hans

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2010, 06:16:59 AM »
There's nothing particularly experimental in playing Bach on piano, and Bach was never experimental to begin with. He knew perfectly well what he wanted to achieve, and his music should be played as naturally and as perfectly as possible, regardless of the instrument used.

Exactly how would you define experimental, or does the word have no meaning?

Even though this doesn't necessarily follow as an argument from what you said, I'll remind you that playing can be natural and perfect and still take risks and be experimental, e.g. Pogorelich in practically everything. Obviously, you know this because you find Perahia and Hewitt bland. I'm also a big fan of Gilbert's English Suites, incidentally.

Nothing experimental about performing music with an instrument on which it was not written? It's almost experimental by definition to use a pianoforte, to make a decision about precise and sensitive dynamics in place of those texturally realized or implied--unless you think there is no difference between a Steinway and a clavichord. Just because we're so used to hearing a piano doesn't make it not an experimental activity, at least with a smart pianist.

In any case,
Bach never experimental? Hello! Art of Fugue, or listen to his organ music after listening to Buxtehude, or his exploration and synthesis of concerto styles. And experiments build on other experiments by others, e.g. The Well-tempered Clavier's exploration of keys and possibly temperament.

I suppose you know that he knew what he wanted to achieve, after having a séance with him? As a young composer he had no doubts, struggles, or preoccupations, just like all geniuses, right...
« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 06:19:02 AM by Clever Hans »

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2010, 05:38:59 PM »
In any case,
Bach never experimental? Hello! Art of Fugue, or listen to his organ music after listening to Buxtehude, or his exploration and synthesis of concerto styles. And experiments build on other experiments by others, e.g. The Well-tempered Clavier's exploration of keys and possibly temperament.

Bach saw music as a purely practical affair. He was loath of lingering over theoretical problems and preferred to solve those problems before even committing his ideas to ink and paper. There's nothing experimental about his work because to experiment implies a level of uncertainty which is completely absent in his music. You never get to see the tribulations which led to the application of a particular idea, you only see the final result. I know that to apply contemporary sensibilities to the older masters is all the rage this days, but it just doesn't work that way.

I suppose you know that he knew what he wanted to achieve, after having a séance with him? As a young composer he had no doubts, struggles, or preoccupations, just like all geniuses, right...

He had a period of struggle. That period was long over when he wrote the English Suites.

Scarpia

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2010, 05:49:09 PM »
Thinking back to the Pogorelich disc, his take on the Prelude of Suite no. 2 is the most exciting I've ever heard; the propulsion is amazing.

Yes, that recording was striking.  A shame Pogorelich aged like unpasteurized milk not like fine wine.   :'(


Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2010, 07:01:34 PM »
The depth of Bach's invention is mindblowing and it's found in all areas of his music!

Failing to understand the argument +1. Experimental != invention.

DavidW

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2010, 07:08:28 PM »
XB that looks good, I might buy that in the future. :)

I have ordered Perahia for now.

About Gould, I didn't want him because even though I love his Goldberg Variations I tired of his French Suites, and I suspect the same would happen with the English Suites.  He is hit and miss with me, sorry. :)

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach English Suites on piano
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2010, 09:34:46 PM »
Bach tirelessly experimented and tried all sorts of things.

No, he never tried anything. He envisioned a concept, an idea, and then labored to actualize it. Once again you are trying to attach a level of uncertainty in his music which simply doesn't exist.