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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: mc ukrneal on January 25, 2010, 06:35:03 AM

Title: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 25, 2010, 06:35:03 AM
I took a look searching for some discussion of the partitas, but couldn't find any. My questions involves which version people like. Two fairly new versions came out that I was considering: Schiff and Perahia. I was very interested in the Perahia, but then I saw Schiff did one and I find him interesting as well. So then I was unsure.

Both are high quality piano players. I love Perahia in Chopin's etudes and some Mozart concertos. I heard Schiff's online discussion of the Beethoven sonatas (never bought his version, but educational disucssions for sure). At one point I had considered Hewitt on Hyperion, but I never warmed to her WTC (though I really enjoyed her Italian concerto disc). Has anyone heard these two versions? Or is there someone else I should consider? I am looking for modern sound.

I should also mention that I am less familiar with the partitas.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on January 25, 2010, 07:05:49 AM
Both Schiff and Perahia do well in the Partitas but are easily surpassed by Craig Sheppard on Romeo Records.  Sheppard reminds me of Gould, but with much better sound and an absence of eccentricity and strong humming.

Don't be fooled into going with a "big name"; get Sheppard.  By the way, reviews for the Sheppard set were outstanding.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on January 25, 2010, 08:05:27 AM
Have not heard the Sheppard mentioned by Bulldog.........

The critics love Hewitt/Hyperion but seems too gentle and finely shaded for me, not enough dramatic contrast. I think this version is currently a rosette in Penguin Guide

The critics also love Perahia/Sony recent performance, and it is quite elegant and cleanly performed with nice modern sound, just a bit lacking in ultimate dramatic contrast and excitement for me.......but a version that stays in my collection, a safe recommendation

The new Schiff/ECM seems more to my liking as a reference piano version, live version that has a rythmic clarity and spontaneous feel that is quite refreshing, Schiff sounding better than ever in Bach and one of the very best piano versions available for me

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31UtYFzrd%2BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Todd on January 25, 2010, 08:09:32 AM
I agree with DarkAngel regarding the newer Schiff recording of the Partitas - it's quite good.  Haven't heard the Sheppard, but he is quite a good pianist, so I would be surprised if his Bach wasn't top notch.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Carolus on January 25, 2010, 08:11:53 AM
I've an excelent recording by Carl Seemann. I like it very much.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on January 25, 2010, 09:53:47 AM
I asume you want to confine the discussion to piano.

The new Schiff is very interesting, especially in Partita 6. As DarkAngel says.there’s a great rhythmic clarity, especially in  some of the faster movements.
   
I think Tureck – the early set on Great Pianists – is well worth hearing. Despite a certain lack of humour, a dourness, that recording for me is very special. This is partly because of a sort of confidential tone – you feel as though she is playing very quietly just for you.

I am keen on Gould in some – 4 and 6 especially. I am keen on Fiorentino in 4. I like Pletnev in 6. And I like Rosita Renard in 1. Vedernikov in 3.

And I am right now trying to come to terms with Rubsam’s  set on Naxos. The clarity of the voices is quite breathtaking – you feel sometimes as though you are hearing a dialogue between people, like the different instruments in a string quartet. And his habit of  little hestitations, though strange, can sometimes make the music feel very sincerely and spontaneously expressed. Well worth experimenting with, I would say
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on January 25, 2010, 10:08:11 AM
   
I think Tureck – the early set on Great Pianists – is well worth hearing. Despite a certain lack of humour, a dourness, that recording for me is very special. This is partly because of a sort of confidential tone – you feel as though she is playing very quietly just for you.

And I am right now trying to come to terms with Rubsam’s  set on Naxos. The clarity of the voices is quite breathtaking – you feel sometimes as though you are hearing a dialogue between people, like the different instruments in a string quartet. And his habit of  little hestitations, though strange, can sometimes make the music feel very sincerely and spontaneously expressed. Well worth experimenting with, I would say

I love both the Tureck and Rubsam accounts.  Both artists dig into the depths of the music, unlike some others whose primary goals appear to be to deliver musical beauty under an umbrella of moderate emotions (Perahia comes to mind).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 25, 2010, 02:27:33 PM
To answer an earlier question - yes, only interested in piano versions.

I am not familiar with Sheppard, but I see I will be able to sample his work, so I will give that a listen when I can.

I am less sure of Tureck who some like. I have some works with her (WTC for example), but am not entirely convinced. Without getting into nitty gritty, I think piano Bach needs some extra...how to say it...oompf with a light touch? Schiff often does it (one of the reasons I didn't like his Beethoven from the little I heard - too much of a light touch, although the flip side is that it could be incredibly revealing). Tureck, for me, has some incredible moments, but I don't always find myself engaged.

Just as an aside, the reason I became interested in Bach on piano again was in part due to hearing volume 3 of the Bach transcirptions disc with Piers Lane. It was fantastic and reminded me how much I loved Bach (who I haven't listened to much recently). I'd forgotten I picked up that disc.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on January 25, 2010, 02:45:11 PM
To answer an earlier question - yes, only interested in piano versions.

I am not familiar with Sheppard, but I see I will be able to sample his work, so I will give that a listen when I can.

I am less sure of Tureck who some like. I have some works with her (WTC for example), but am not entirely convinced. Without getting into nitty gritty, I think piano Bach needs some extra...how to say it...oompf with a light touch? Schiff often does it (one of the reasons I didn't like his Beethoven from the little I heard - too much of a light touch, although the flip side is that it could be incredibly revealing). Tureck, for me, has some incredible moments, but I don't always find myself engaged.

If you're not convinced by Tureck's WTC, I doubt you'll find her Partitas convincing either.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Holden on January 25, 2010, 03:48:44 PM
This is the set to have IMO. Schepkin is not a big name and the record label is obscure but only Gould comes close to these interpretations.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61M9VDMTQ8L._SS500_.jpg)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61C1EWTY7YL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 25, 2010, 04:11:39 PM
This is the set to have IMO. Schepkin is not a big name and the record label is obscure but only Gould comes close to these interpretations.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61M9VDMTQ8L._SS500_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61C1EWTY7YL._SS500_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GD1TR15CL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

Holden - I have Rousset on the harpsichord & Roberts (image inserted above) on the piano in these works, but would love to acquire another piano version - Don's Sheppard recommendation went to the top of my list until your posting!  The Amazonian reviews (few but quite good discussions) were excellent - I don't know this pianist - any comparisons of his interpretations of the Partitas vs. others that you own and/or have heard?  Thanks - Dave
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on January 25, 2010, 05:52:59 PM
Of those I've heard: Leonhardt (even without the repeats), Scott Ross, Kenneth Gilbert, Trevor Pinnock on Hanssler or Archiv, Suzuki. 
People often cite Pinnock as the best introduction and all his performances as a harispichordist and conductor offer a masculine and no b.s. approach.

I bet Mortensen is great but haven't heard him, unfortunately.

For piano,

Zhu Xiao-Mei may be the best on piano, incredibly elegant. If you can find a copy, she also is more inventive than Perahia or Hewitt--who is excellent but sometimes like a proper bird hovering and pecking away.
Gould (just keep in mind that he's an avant-garde performer).

Schiff adds these touches and rhythmic mannerisms which are annoying and interfere with musical development. He flutters his eyelashes too much, metaphorically in his playing and literally in performance.

People criticize Gould but that man knew how to bring out counterpoint and he was just a great musician.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: kishnevi on January 25, 2010, 08:22:57 PM
I have both the Schiff and Perahia, but no other recordings of the complete set on piano.   My ears prefer Schiff, although I can't pin down the details to say what exactly pleases me more about his set. 

I also like Martha Argerich's Partita No. 2,  which she did (with an toccata and one of the English Suites) as part of the Bach album she recorded for DG.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on January 25, 2010, 08:29:58 PM
Holden - I have Rousset on the harpsichord & Roberts (image inserted above) on the piano in these works, but would love to acquire another piano version - Don's Sheppard recommendation went to the top of my list until your posting!  The Amazonian reviews (few but quite good discussions) were excellent - I don't know this pianist - any comparisons of his interpretations of the Partitas vs. others that you own and/or have heard?  Thanks - Dave

Dave:

I have a few reviews of Partita recordings on the Bach Cantatas website; Schepkin is included in a six-part review.  Although a fine set, I'm not totally sold on the Schepkin, especially when he gets a little trill-happy (annoying).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Scarpia on January 25, 2010, 08:37:01 PM
I must say the Sheppard recommendation leaves me intrigues, although I have Schiff's Decca sets and a few others, including Hewitt, and find myself quite satisfied with them.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bunny on January 25, 2010, 08:42:43 PM
Of those I've heard: Leonhardt (even without the repeats), Scott Ross, Kenneth Gilbert, Trevor Pinnock on Hanssler or Archiv, Suzuki. 
People often cite Pinnock as the best introduction and all his performances as a harispichordist and conductor offer a masculine and no b.s. approach.

I bet Mortensen is great but haven't heard him, unfortunately.

For piano,

Zhu Xiao-Mei may be the best on piano, incredibly elegant. If you can find a copy, she also is more inventive than Perahia or Hewitt--who is excellent but sometimes like a proper bird hovering and pecking away.
Gould (just keep in mind that he's an avant-garde performer).

Schiff adds these touches and rhythmic mannerisms which are annoying and interfere with musical development. He flutters his eyelashes too much, metaphorically in his playing and literally in performance.

People criticize Gould but that man knew how to bring out counterpoint and he was just a great musician.

I've been trying to get hold of Zhu's Partitas for months, but alas they are out of print and no longer available as an Arkivmusic cd on demand!  The samples at Amazon are wonderful.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on January 25, 2010, 10:49:59 PM
Did you call them? The Zhu Xiao-Mei webpage is still up, says backordered but usually ships in 2-3 weeks, whatever that means.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?site_id=CTRV&album_id=44084

Maybe that's why she moved from Mandala to Mirare, although the latter seem to have acquired the rights to their own issue of her goldberg variations, and harmonia mundi distributed the partitas for Mandala. 

In any case, it's absurd that her cd is out of print and not even available as an mp3 download, whereas countless inferior versions are readily available.
 

Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Holden on January 25, 2010, 11:49:58 PM
Holden - I have Rousset on the harpsichord & Roberts (image inserted above) on the piano in these works, but would love to acquire another piano version - Don's Sheppard recommendation went to the top of my list until your posting!  The Amazonian reviews (few but quite good discussions) were excellent - I don't know this pianist - any comparisons of his interpretations of the Partitas vs. others that you own and/or have heard?  Thanks - Dave

I have Gould (a must have) for his clarity and the ability to wring emotion out of phrases that other pianists merely pass over. There is a lot of dance music in the partitas and this is what Schepkin brings out brilliantly. He also has the ability to make the music become intense (a la Gould) and it is in this sense that he exceeds Gould who struggled to become lyrical where the music asked for it.

Yes, the playing of the ornamentation would leave the purists in a bit of a lather but it fits in with the way he plays the music. I have single versions of the other partitas by Fiorentino, Tureck (dreck), Perahia, and others and there is only one version that I consider to be superior to Schepkin. If you can get hold of Rosita Renard in the first partita it is just fabulous!
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on January 26, 2010, 05:40:01 AM
I have Gould (a must have) for his clarity and the ability to wring emotion out of phrases that other pianists merely pass over. There is a lot of dance music in the partitas and this is what Schepkin brings out brilliantly. He also has the ability to make the music become intense (a la Gould) and it is in this sense that he exceeds Gould who struggled to become lyrical where the music asked for it.

Yes, the playing of the ornamentation would leave the purists in a bit of a lather but it fits in with the way he plays the music. I have single versions of the other partitas by Fiorentino, Tureck (dreck), Perahia, and others and there is only one version that I consider to be superior to Schepkin. If you can get hold of Rosita Renard in the first partita it is just fabulous!

Schepkin & Sheppard
Posts here got me doing some research and based on short music samples I have placed order for these two sets. Many artists are too gentle/elegant/refined with these suites of dance music and samples from Schepkin sound like my kind of guy, must have some energy and passion in this work.

Love that critical description someone above had of Angela Hewitt's gentle style.......
like a bird fluttering above and softly pecking away at the keyboard below, indeed  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on January 26, 2010, 05:59:49 AM
I bet Mortensen is great but haven't heard him, unfortunately.

Yes, he is outstanding, right on the top together with Leonhardt, Gilbert and Suzuki.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on January 26, 2010, 06:44:24 AM
The new Schiff/ECM seems more to my liking as a reference piano version, live version that has a rythmic clarity and spontaneous feel that is quite refreshing, Schiff sounding better than ever in Bach and one of the very best piano versions available for me

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31UtYFzrd%2BL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

See some recommendations for the older Schiff/Decca paritas.......if you have not investigated his new live ECM series it may be well worth your time. The new Schiff performances are more vibrant and fresh sounding, flexible flowing rythms, an improvement from my perspective unless you like a more precise analytic style
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: George on January 26, 2010, 07:29:15 AM
Gould is the only complete set I own. That is because I am very happy with it.

I also have the Tureck (on GPOTC) and the Renard (VAI).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bunny on January 26, 2010, 08:51:53 AM
Did you call them? The Zhu Xiao-Mei webpage is still up, says backordered but usually ships in 2-3 weeks, whatever that means.

http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?site_id=CTRV&album_id=44084

Maybe that's why she moved from Mandala to Mirare, although the latter seem to have acquired the rights to their own issue of her goldberg variations, and harmonia mundi distributed the partitas for Mandala. 

In any case, it's absurd that her cd is out of print and not even available as an mp3 download, whereas countless inferior versions are readily available.

I did contact Arkiv, and the recording is oop and they don't have the license for any Mandala recordings.  I guess that's one that got away. Btw, Harmonia Mundi doesn't list any Zhu Xiao-Mei recordings, but the Mirare Goldbergs are the ones recorded for Mandala so perhaps they will one day reissue the Partitas as well.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on January 26, 2010, 04:03:32 PM
Yes, he is outstanding, right on the top together with Leonhardt, Gilbert and Suzuki.

Hmm, is Amazon.de the only source for this recording?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 26, 2010, 04:17:09 PM
Dave:
I have a few reviews of Partita recordings on the Bach Cantatas website; Schepkin is included in a six-part review.  Although a fine set, I'm not totally sold on the Schepkin, especially when he gets a little trill-happy (annoying).

Thanks Don for the above reference; including your excellent reviews, there are even others - I would recommend those reading this thread and trying to make a decision on one or more sets of these works to take a look at the site above - I've often gone there for discussion of the Bach Cantatas, but there is plenty more.

In addition, I've read a number of other outstanding reviews on Sheppard's Partita recordings, and have decided to obtain this set - now, still may get others?  :D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on January 26, 2010, 04:38:34 PM
Thanks Don for the above reference; including your excellent reviews, there are even others - I would recommend those reading this thread and trying to make a decision on one or more sets of these works to take a look at the site above - I've often gone there for discussion of the Bach Cantatas, but there is plenty more.

Yes, a ton of reviews of Bach's harpsichord and organ works.  Under most of these reviews are comments from other folks; a reader can get much insight from all that is offered.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on January 31, 2010, 06:04:28 AM
Both Schiff and Perahia do well in the Partitas but are easily surpassed by Craig Sheppard on Romeo Records.  Sheppard reminds me of Gould, but with much better sound and an absence of eccentricity and strong humming.

The wheel is turning.........

My 2CD Sheppard partitas arrived and found them very impressive, just the way I like them. These are lively highly  animated versions that dance as they should not the stiff academic versions so often heard or the gentle pecking of Hewitt's rosette rated version, would rank this set right up at the very top of piano versions I have heard, very happy with piano versions:
-Sheppard
-Gould
-Schiff (ECM)
Wish Sheppard had nicer graphics for CD artwork, regardless I have also placed an order for his WTC I.

Next up for listening is the Schepkin partitas set......I am hoping for similar results  :)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on January 31, 2010, 06:20:27 AM
Hmm, is Amazon.de the only source for this recording?

You can surely acquire them from the producer, but I do not know if this will be cheaper.

Link:
http://www.steeplechase.dk/kontrapunkt/index.html

Choose KontrapunktCatalog and schroll down to Bach
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on January 31, 2010, 06:26:07 AM
Hmm, is Amazon.de the only source for this recording?

And maybe here, a little cheaper

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//32133-34.htm
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bunny on January 31, 2010, 08:50:40 AM
The Shepard Partitas are available from Amazon (US) both as a cd and as a download.  No need to order them from Germany with the killer delivery charges (€ 12.99 - or something ridiculous like that).  You can find them at Amazon here (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FI9OMM/ref=dm_dp_cdp?ie=UTF8&s=music) and here (http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Klavierübung-Part-I/dp/B00127U59Q/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 31, 2010, 09:01:07 AM
The Shepard Partitas are available from Amazon (US) both as a cd and as a download.  No need to order them from Germany with the killer delivery charges (€ 12.99 - or something ridiculous like that).  You can find them at Amazon here (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FI9OMM/ref=dm_dp_cdp?ie=UTF8&s=music) and here (http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-Klavierübung-Part-I/dp/B00127U59Q/ref=dm_cd_album_lnk)

This set can also be ordered from Sheppard's Website HERE (http://www.craigsheppard.net/home.htm) for $15 plus S/H which I did not too long ago - order is 'in the mail' - shipping a little steep @ $5, but about the same as the price on Amazon - looking forward to their arrival!  :D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on January 31, 2010, 09:01:27 AM
And maybe here, a little cheaper

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/product//32133-34.htm

Great, I will make this my next purchase. Thank you.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bunny on January 31, 2010, 09:32:16 AM
Great, I will make this my next purchase. Thank you.

Try Barnes & Nobel for the best price (around &13.00 if you are a member.)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on January 31, 2010, 10:42:29 AM
See some recommendations for the older Schiff/Decca paritas.......if you have not investigated his new live ECM series it may be well worth your time. The new Schiff performances are more vibrant and fresh sounding, flexible flowing rythms, an improvement from my perspective unless you like a more precise analytic style

I haven't reached a conclusion about Schiff's ECM Partitas, but my first impressions are not favorable.  Overall, I'm not a big fan of The Schiff/Decca Bach recordings except for his WTC.  Then, he comes up with a vital and assertive reading of the Goldbergs on ECM.  Based on that recording, I had high hopes for his new Partitas.  However, at the moment I feel he falls back on the type of interpretations prevalent on his Decca discs.  Well, it's just preliminary with only two hearings so far.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on January 31, 2010, 11:28:08 AM
Try Barnes & Nobel for the best price (around &13.00 if you are a member.)

All I see there is the Italian Concerto and French Ouverture disc.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bunny on January 31, 2010, 12:01:22 PM
All I see there is the Italian Concerto and French Ouverture disc.

Put Craig Sheppard into the search box (music or all departments) and you will find a list of his recordings.

Here's the link to the partitas:

http://music.barnesandnoble.com/JS-Bach-The-Six-Keyboard-Partitas/Craig-Sheppard/e/675754901424/?itm=1&USRI=craig+sheppard (http://music.barnesandnoble.com/JS-Bach-The-Six-Keyboard-Partitas/Craig-Sheppard/e/675754901424/?itm=1&USRI=craig+sheppard)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on January 31, 2010, 12:36:40 PM
Put Craig Sheppard into the search box (music or all departments) and you will find a list of his recordings.

Here's the link to the partitas:

http://music.barnesandnoble.com/JS-Bach-The-Six-Keyboard-Partitas/Craig-Sheppard/e/675754901424/?itm=1&USRI=craig+sheppard (http://music.barnesandnoble.com/JS-Bach-The-Six-Keyboard-Partitas/Craig-Sheppard/e/675754901424/?itm=1&USRI=craig+sheppard)

Ha, two conversations in parallel. I was talking about Mortensen, not Sheppard, sorry.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Holden on January 31, 2010, 11:49:45 PM
The wheel is turning.........

My 2CD Sheppard partitas arrived and found them very impressive, just the way I like them. These are lively highly  animated versions that dance as they should not the stiff academic versions so often heard or the gentle pecking of Hewitt's rosette rated version, would rank this set right up at the very top of piano versions I have heard, very happy with piano versions:
-Sheppard
-Gould
-Schiff (ECM)
Wish Sheppard had nicer graphics for CD artwork, regardless I have also placed an order for his WTC I.

Next up for listening is the Schepkin partitas set......I am hoping for similar results  :)

I've sampled the Sheppard to get an idea of style and if you liked him, which I did, you could quite possibly be blown away by the Schepkin. I used the 2nd Partita as my main source. What Schepkin achieves, like Gould, is an amazing clarity. Unlike Gould, Schepkin lets rip where the music calls for it and the dance like elements really shine.

I'd be interested in your opinion. Once I'd heard the Schepkin it was hard to return to Gould.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: George on February 01, 2010, 07:29:16 AM
I've sampled the Sheppard to get an idea of style and if you liked him, which I did, you could quite possibly be blown away by the Schepkin. I used the 2nd Partita as my main source. What Schepkin achieves, like Gould, is an amazing clarity. Unlike Gould, Schepkin lets rip where the music calls for it and the dance like elements really shine.

I'd be interested in your opinion. Once I'd heard the Schepkin it was hard to return to Gould.

Wow, that Schepkin sounds good. However, I have his WTC book one but didn't enjoy it as much as a number of my other WTC recordings. maybe his style is better suited to the Partitas? 
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on February 01, 2010, 07:52:45 AM
I've sampled the Sheppard to get an idea of style and if you liked him, which I did, you could quite possibly be blown away by the Schepkin. I used the 2nd Partita as my main source. What Schepkin achieves, like Gould, is an amazing clarity. Unlike Gould, Schepkin lets rip where the music calls for it and the dance like elements really shine.

I'd be interested in your opinion. Once I'd heard the Schepkin it was hard to return to Gould.

I was able to listen to Schepkin's Partitas which are indeed very good, but overall I give slight edge to Sheppard set, mainly in the slow and mid-tempo movements he is more interesting and colorful, always kept my interest level high, both excell at faster sections.

Also I feel Schepkin 2nd CD with partitas 5,6 and misc works fared better than 1st CD with partitas 1,2,3,4.
Seems strange that there would be any difference, but found them more impressive. I will of course be keeping the Schepkin partitas in my collection, but those Sheppard partitas mentioned by Bulldog are outstanding for me ranking right at the very top of piano versions.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 01, 2010, 09:19:49 AM
Wow, that Schepkin sounds good. However, I have his WTC book one but didn't enjoy it as much as a number of my other WTC recordings. maybe his style is better suited to the Partitas?

I have the opposite opinion, finding his WTC superior to his Partitas and Goldbergs.  Why?  Fewer bad habits such as in the "trill-happy" category.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: George on February 01, 2010, 09:56:58 AM
I have the opposite opinion, finding his WTC superior to his Partitas and Goldbergs.  Why?  Fewer bad habits such as in the "trill-happy" category.

Thanks. That's useful info, as my dislike of his WTC might mean that I will like his Partitas.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on February 01, 2010, 12:05:27 PM
Bulldog
 
Will I be equally pleased with Craig Sheppard's WTC I .........
(since I am thrilled with his partitas)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 01, 2010, 12:43:15 PM
Bulldog
 
Will I be equally pleased with Craig Sheppard's WTC I .........
(since I am thrilled with his partitas)

Well, I do find Sheppard's Partitas better than his WTC which I feel has some mannerisms.  Also, in the Partitas, Sheppard always gives each voice equal weight, a trait I don't notice as much in his WTC.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 01, 2010, 12:44:52 PM
Thanks. That's useful info, as my dislike of his WTC might mean that I will like his Partitas.

Given that the two of us often have different tastes, you might have something there (or not).  You'll have to give the set a listen to find out.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 01, 2010, 03:20:37 PM
In the mail today - Bach Partitas w/ Sheppard - ordered from him directly - he signed and dated the back of the liner notes - a nice touch.

All that I expected - beautiful playing, nuances, balance, and sound recording - short applause at the end of each work, and virtually no audience noise during the performances - just listening to disc 1 at the moment.

Liner notes by Sheppard - a chuckle on pg. 4 - the publication dates are advanced a century - surprised that mistake was not picked up, but no big deal - this is a CONTENDER!  ;D


(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachPartitasSheppard/778798259_J6bJV-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on February 01, 2010, 04:10:24 PM
In the mail today - Bach Partitas w/ Sheppard - ordered from him directly - he signed and dated the back of the liner notes - a nice touch.

All that I expected - beautiful playing, nuances, balance, and sound recording - short applause at the end of each work, and virtually no audience noise during the performances - just listening to disc 1 at the moment.

(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachPartitasSheppard/778798259_J6bJV-O.jpg)

I wonder if Bunny has the Sheppard set yet..........this has her name on it  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bunny on February 01, 2010, 04:15:42 PM
I wonder if Bunny has the Sheppard set yet..........this has her name on it  ;)

Not yet.  I'm enjoying Zhu Xiao-Mei's set right now.  That is a very satisfying set.  I've also found the Sheppard set very inexpensively, and expect it sometime this week.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: val on February 04, 2010, 12:28:38 AM
To me, the best version (on harpsichord) is the one of Leonhardt.

Since you prefer the piano, then my choice would be Perahia. But let's not forget Lipatti's version of the First Partita, perhaps his best recording.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on February 04, 2010, 02:13:33 AM
To me, the best version (on harpsichord) is the one of Leonhardt.

Which one?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 04, 2010, 06:23:17 AM
To me, the best version (on harpsichord) is the one of Leonhardt.

Well, after acquiring Sheppard on the piano in these works; I do not have a harpsichord version - hmmm! 

So, what may be some of the top recommendations for the non-piano versions of the Partitas?  Thanks -  :)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on February 04, 2010, 06:42:29 AM
Well, after acquiring Sheppard on the piano in these works; I do not have a harpsichord version - hmmm!
So, what may be some of the top recommendations for the non-piano versions of the Partitas?  Thanks -  :)

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/5194MXFZ17L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

4CD Andreas Staier set my reference harpsicord partitas. Right behind are strong  Rousset and newest Pinnock versions

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514WXFFDAQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg) (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41DDAG697TL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 04, 2010, 06:51:47 AM
OOPS - I was wrong!  :-[  I do have that Rousset box, but just forgot what was included - will play later today!

Thanks DA for the recommendations and the reminder - still 'all ears' - a second set would be fine w/ me -  :)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 04, 2010, 08:44:56 AM
The most rewarding Partitas on harpsichord I've heard comes from Karl Richter on a Teldec set also having the Goldbergs (rec. 1958, partitas in 1960).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on February 04, 2010, 09:15:05 AM
What kind of harpischord does Richter use?

Didn't a couple of you guys say that Staier was more of a classicist? His Schubert lieder with Prégardien and Beethoven cds with Sepec et al. are fantastic. 
I also saw him play Haydn in Carnegie hall recently and he was excellent.

I would still like to hear more commentary on his partitas (aside from the Gramophone review), and of course he has his goldbergs coming out soon. 

The Leonhardt DHM partitas are out of print. I've been trying to get hold of them for a while. I understand it has more of the repeats. The virgin issue is great but has no repeats, except maybe in a sarabande or two, I think.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 04, 2010, 10:02:13 AM
What kind of harpischord does Richter use?

The booklet has no information on it.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: DarkAngel on February 04, 2010, 10:16:17 AM
The most rewarding Partitas on harpsichord I've heard comes from Karl Richter on a Teldec set also having the Goldbergs (rec. 1958, partitas in 1960).

That is very nice work by Richter................
too bad I can't find any decent price for the 2CD Teldec set with Goldberg  :(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBkwB98_dmk&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBkwB98_dmk&feature=related)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 04, 2010, 10:34:09 AM
I noticed that the Richter set costs almost $100 used on Amazon.  Although great music-making, such a high price should be met with "no way".
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: George on February 04, 2010, 10:38:27 AM
I noticed that the Richter set costs almost $100 used on Amazon.  Although great music-making, such a high price should be met with "no way".

Better yet, met with another way.  0:)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: MN Dave on February 04, 2010, 10:38:36 AM
I noticed that the Richter set costs almost $100 used on Amazon.  Although great music-making, such a high price should be met with "no way".

Makes cents.  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on February 04, 2010, 10:46:05 AM
What kind of harpischord does Richter use?
Probably Neupert model Bach two manual 16,8 - 8,4 with lute stop on lower manual.


Didn't a couple of you guys say that Staier was more of a classicist?
Yes, his Bach is mostly straight on, fast, bordering the inarticulate.

The Leonhardt DHM partitas are out of print. I've been trying to get hold of them for a while. I understand it has more of the repeats. The virgin issue is great but has no repeats, except maybe in a sarabande or two, I think.
Right. If you want I may send you a copy.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on February 04, 2010, 10:49:43 AM
I noticed that the Richter set costs almost $100 used on Amazon.  Although great music-making, such a high price should be met with "no way".

Hair raising indeed. In these ears Richters Partitas and Goldbergs from the 1950es are stiff and mechanical (sewingmachine, you know).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Clever Hans on February 04, 2010, 11:16:48 AM
Right. If you want I may send you a copy.

That is very kind of you. PM sent.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 04, 2010, 12:12:03 PM
Hair raising indeed. In these ears Richters Partitas and Goldbergs from the 1950es are stiff and mechanical (sewingmachine, you know).

I don't notice anything of that sort when I listen to the set.  Do you have large ears or small ones? :D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: mc ukrneal on February 04, 2010, 01:24:59 PM
I don't notice anything of that sort when I listen to the set.  Do you have large ears or small ones? :D

Maybe he's a replicant?  :o
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 04, 2010, 01:40:33 PM
Maybe he's a replicant?  :o

Nope, he's one of our veteran members. ;)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on February 04, 2010, 03:14:25 PM
I don't notice anything of that sort when I listen to the set.  Do you have large ears or small ones? :D

Have you got ears at all?? ;D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Bulldog on February 04, 2010, 03:28:54 PM
Have you got ears at all?? ;D

Three of 'em.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on September 05, 2010, 05:12:18 AM
I have written quite much about Walcha, among other this about his harpsichord recordings (from the thread:Bach on the harpsichord):

Helmut Walcha the harpsichordist is (was) not that different from Helmut Walcha the organist.



Stylistically Walcha was entirely his own. . . In practice his tempi are often fast. His playing is insistent rhythmically but also stiff and mechanical, including the metrical execution of ornamentation. And he never adds ornamentation, even when the music cries out for this. On the other hand his part playing is outstanding and very clear, - this may be the greatest force of his music making. He uses rather much 16´ in his registrations, and this is probably justified, as Bach had access to such instruments and was known to prefer Gravitas at least in organ-registration. Walcha built up his own system of articulation, which implies more legato, than now is considered decent. What e.g. annoys me very much, is his preference for overtied upbeats creating rhythmically odd syncopated effects. His touch is rather forceful  (the effect stressed by the close miking) as if he was playing on a mechanical tracker organ with a heavy action.

What stands out as being the hallmarks of his playing, is his ability to display the intellectual structure (the counterpoint at most) of Bach´s music by means of his extraordinary clear part playing. At the same time his insistent rhythm and forceful touch endows the music with very much intensity, often bordering a kind of extasy. So in addition to his intellectual approach, his music making also has got a strong physical effect. This reflects in my opinion the intrinsic nature of Bach´s music, and it is in this synthesis where Walcha may be considered unsurpassable, even if he - from a HIP point of view - got some of the details wrong. Personally I consider his EMI harpsichord recordings mandatory for every Bach-lover.

 


Listening to a couple of Partitas -- 4 and 6.

I thought that 6 was particularly successful -- but 4 left me a bit cooler. In 6 , in the Allemande and  Corrente especially, the machine like rhythms are irresistable, and he's very dramatic in the Sarabande. I just felt that in 4 the sewing machine never became quite so ecstatic. And in the Sarabande of 4 I am so used to more romantic style: maybe it's just a question of my own inflexibility, my own expectations. The Allenand was better.

It made me think:

Who else plays these partitas objectively? -- I see there's some discussion here  of Richter. I must try to hear that.

and

(OT in a way) Did Walcha play classical music in this way? I mean, Walcha's modernist style in Haydn and maybe even Mozart would be quite something.

Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on September 05, 2010, 07:35:54 AM
Who else plays these partitas objectively? -- I see there's some discussion here  of Richter.

No one nowadays. You must go to the preauthentic "true to the score" age.
Karl Richter (Teldec) and Martin Galling (Vox) would be candidates, but none of them reaches Walcha´s intensity, and Galling is often rather dull and uninspired. Ralph Kirkpatrick (Archive) may be a candidate too, his style is individual, rather strict, but colourful.

(OT in a way) Did Walcha play classical music in this way? I mean, Walcha's modernist style in Haydn and maybe even Mozart would be quite something.

His repertoire was mainly made up of Bach and North German baroque organ music, and he did not record other than that, but he also knew by heart some more modern organ works (Rheinberger, Hindemith, Distler and Karg-Elert among others). He could even play a number of Mozart´s and a few of Beethoven´s piano sonatas. I have never seen anybody comment his Mozart or Beethoven style.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: mjwal on September 05, 2010, 11:40:02 AM
I have taken much pleasure in Gould and Tureck, (less in Perahia - too pearly smooth for me) and last winter I discovered Kipnis's harpsichord versions, which I like a lot. I have the 2nd by  Kirkpatrick on LP and I like that too. Whether any of these are "objective" or not I can't say.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Verena on September 05, 2010, 07:35:24 PM

For those (still) looking for Zhu Xiao-Mei's beautiful Bach Partitas: They are available as (high-quality) mp3s from this shop:
http://www.admusicam.com/T%C3%A9l%C3%A9chargement-musique/Par-interpr%C3%A8tes/de-N-%C3%A0-Z/Zhu-XIAO-MEI/Bach-Partitas.html
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: czgirb on December 28, 2010, 07:49:05 PM
Both Schiff and Perahia do well in the Partitas but are easily surpassed by Craig Sheppard on Romeo Records.  Sheppard reminds me of Gould, but with much better sound and an absence of eccentricity and strong humming.

Don't be fooled into going with a "big name"; get Sheppard.  By the way, reviews for the Sheppard set were outstanding.

So ... Craig Sheppard's better ... but pity ... it's impossible to get that here.
So ... whose close behind him ... Piano and Harpsichord
Thank you.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: PaulSC on December 28, 2010, 08:17:28 PM
So ... Craig Sheppard's better ... but pity ... it's impossible to get that here.
So ... whose close behind him ... Piano and Harpsichord
Thank you.
Personally I like Perahia's partitas better than Sheppard's, and Sheppard's better than Schiff's.

But my favorite piano versions of the partitas are Goode (Nonesuch) and Tipo (EMI).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on December 03, 2016, 03:14:33 AM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Verlet-K08%5BAstree%5D.jpg)

I've been listening to Blandine Verlet's 1991 recording of Bach's E major partita.

The performance is unusual for its radiance. It's not that darker emotions aren't there, they are, it's that she resolves them always by a sense of rejoicing, even in the Allemande. I know someone who  said that he thought that her style doesn't suit Bach here, but for my part I can't imagine a more suitable approach for a man of faith, for a composer whose music reflects his trust in God.

More generally, the Colmar Ruckers is well recorded and it's good to have it tuned mean tone. Her style has now transcended the classicism of her Bach recordings of the 1980s and the emotional wildness of her early recordings for Philips.

I think this partita performance is a masterpiece, full of food for thought, and I'm looking forward to trying to make sense of the rest.

By the way, does anyone think these partitas are a cycle? If so, the sense of rejoicing seems a particularly Christian, Lutheran, dare I say Bachian, way to end.

Oh and a final question. Can someone  who has the Cd say whether she writes anything interesting in the booklet?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Jo498 on December 03, 2016, 03:42:46 AM
There is a book on Bach by some Immanuel Tröster, an oddball and obscure private scholar who argued that the Art of the Fugue was the last and 5th part of Clavierübung and as far as I recall he also correlated the 6 partitas with certain christian feast days and theological contents.
I might not remember correctly or the theory might stem from someone else but as far as I recall the partitas were ordered through the church year with the e minor as the last one concerning "death and eternity" (The B flat is Xmas, the c minor probably the Passion, and so on, but as I said, I am not at all sure)

http://www.alain-gehring.de/
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on December 03, 2016, 06:06:21 AM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Verlet-K08%5BAstree%5D.jpg)

The incipit of this putative cycle is the B flat major suite, which I think has often been played quasi-gallantly by keyboardist. What I mean is it is voiced so as to avoid dissonance, and to bring out memorable melodies. I have sometimes even heard it played like simple domestic music, without grandiose and deeply meaningful gestures or symphonic colours.
 
Not so for Verlet in this her second recording.

I don't think anyone I know voices this music remotely like she does. The voices are staggered to create drama and the occasional dissonance. This is particularly effective in the heart of the music, the sarabande.  And memorable in the  closing gigue, which made me think of Haydn's clock - but unlike Haydn's clock Verlet's Bach never goes off the rails. Verlet's clock is . . . clockwork.

Her pacing tends to be slow, and her rhythms rather uninflected, and this give the impression of strength and weight.

It also gives the impression of po-faced constipation.

This is the least light, least graceful, least playful performance of the partita that I recall hearing.

Me no like.


Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on December 04, 2016, 12:55:59 AM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Verlet-K08%5BAstree%5D.jpg)

The overture in Verlet's 1991 recording of the fourth partita made me think of a ballet, an elegant dance by Lully at Versilles in a play by Molliere perhaps, the voices are given such a strong character and seem to twerk around each other so cleverly.

Cleverly, and deliberately. There's a total absence of éclat. And that has an enormous structural consequence for the partita as a whole. In a traditional performance the Allemande offers a great contrast to the first movement, a moment of reflection and calm after the fireworks party. But in Verlet 1991, there is no party, and the Allemande's mood is not at all dissimilar from the overture - the mood of sophisticated constipated po-faced dance.

And so on and so forth for the other movements. Even the Sarabande.

I conclude that this is a most unsatisfactory performance of the fourth partita because it is uniform and linear.

Me no like.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on December 10, 2016, 01:29:10 PM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Verlet-K08%5BAstree%5D.jpg)

When I listen to Verlet's Astree recording of the  2nd partita (826), I think of struggle, battle. Her voicing is extraordinary: the voices are so staggered there's no rapprochement between them, as if they are trapped in their own private and unreconciled worlds, left to fight it out. This Carteresque feeling is no doubt augmented by the tuning, which produces some interesting dissonances when the voices clash.

The result is humane, about human life, with its trials and challenges and discords, its agony and its passion. More humane than spiritual.

Also her way of playing never lets me forget the physicality of the music making: I'm aware of the performer as someone in an intense toil with both instrument and music, like Jacob with the angel. This sort of musical laboured-ness is a good thing. It's the labour of expression.

I think this a great and imaginative performance of a great and imaginative piece of music, one of the major high points of the set.



Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on December 11, 2016, 09:59:59 AM
I just heard Konstantin Lifschitz play all 6 in one concert--a marathon for both him and the audience! Anyway, if and when he records them, they will be a must-have unless you are a HIP purist. He made full use of a modern grand's dynamic and tonal resources, and his astounding technique allows him to bring out the voices very clearly regardless of how fast he plays.

Until he records them, I enjoy Igor Levit's and Vladimir Festsman's recordings.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on December 17, 2016, 02:36:50 PM
I received this disc today and really like it. Warmly expressive playing, along with tremendous feats of virtuosity, all captured in richly resonant sound (perhaps a little too resonant at times.) It's on the IY label, presumably his own. I certainly hope he records the other three someday soon!

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71%2ByqqkxjCL._SL500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on January 03, 2017, 12:11:06 AM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Weiss-K03%5BAnbroisie%5D.jpg)

I think that, with this recording, I've finally found my soul mate.

No one I have heard plays Bach's counterpoint as dramatically and as imaginatively as Kenneth Weiss. Each voice independent and characterful, never (or rarely) one voice accompanying another, always two or more voices in animated conversation like a Haydn quartet. And the result is never an arbitrary crash of musical lines: the texture sounds beautiful, complex, natural.

He also believes that the music is expressive and he uses rubato to give it expression. But the hesitations are never jolting, they always seem biologically integrated with the music's flow.

At times dancing, at times lyrical, each partita is revealed to be a rich, strange and satisfying entity in itself. The harpsichord is muscular and rich sounding, superbly recorded.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on January 07, 2017, 11:05:57 AM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Weiss-K03%5BAnbroisie%5D.jpg)

I think that, with this recording, I've finally found my soul mate.

No one I have heard plays Bach's counterpoint as dramatically and as imaginatively as Kenneth Weiss. Each voice independent and characterful, never (or rarely) one voice accompanying another, always two or more voices in animated conversation like a Haydn quartet. And the result is never an arbitrary crash of musical lines: the texture sounds beautiful, complex, natural.

He also believes that the music is expressive and he uses rubato to give it expression. But the hesitations are never jolting, they always seem biologically integrated with the music's flow.

At times dancing, at times lyrical, each partita is revealed to be a rich, strange and satisfying entity in itself. The harpsichord is muscular and rich sounding, superbly recorded.

I just sold that on Amazon--did you by any chance buy it?

I'm enjoying my recent purchase of Sergey Schepkin's re-make. At times I think his playing could use a little more Russian muscle, but there's no denying the clarity and beauty he brings to them.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81cUBkBkSNL._SL500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on January 07, 2017, 11:12:20 PM
I just sold that on Amazon--did you by any chance buy it?

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81cUBkBkSNL._SL500_.jpg)

No I have it through spotify. What did you think of it?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on January 08, 2017, 10:19:46 AM
No I have it through spotify. What did you think of it?

I liked it well enough, but since I'm running out of storage space and prefer Bach on the piano, it had to go!
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on January 18, 2017, 07:51:41 PM
(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Verlet-K08%5BAstree%5D.jpg)

The incipit of this putative cycle is the B flat major suite, which I think has often been played quasi-gallantly by keyboardist. What I mean is it is voiced so as to avoid dissonance, and to bring out memorable melodies. I have sometimes even heard it played like simple domestic music, without grandiose and deeply meaningful gestures or symphonic colours.
 
Not so for Verlet in this her second recording.

I don't think anyone I know voices this music remotely like she does. The voices are staggered to create drama and the occasional dissonance. This is particularly effective in the heart of the music, the sarabande.  And memorable in the  closing gigue, which made me think of Haydn's clock - but unlike Haydn's clock Verlet's Bach never goes off the rails. Verlet's clock is . . . clockwork.

Her pacing tends to be slow, and her rhythms rather uninflected, and this give the impression of strength and weight.

It also gives the impression of po-faced constipation.

This is the least light, least graceful, least playful performance of the partita that I recall hearing.

Me no like.

Just dug this recording up (On Spotify, of course - Verlet is always synonymous with OOP) and listened to the 1st partita. Gotta agree with you - had rather high expectations, from her WTC, Froberger, and Couperin, but came away with a big "meh." I won't use po-faced constipation to describe her playing here, but while the Colmar Ruckers (albeit recorded less closely than in her other recordings - the sound suffers as a consequence), the birds tweeting in the museum courtyard, the expressive agogics, even the little gasp she makes before starting are there, the loving brilliance isn't. The dissonances in her meanish tuning are also slightly annoying.

Oh well. I'll check out the other five partitas to see if they are better.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on January 18, 2017, 08:15:44 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUCm4lKDnls

I've been following this guy, Wim Winters, for a while, not only for his videos but also because he's one of the few performers I know who can make a clavichord sing (rather than just buzz). He's recording a new Partitas set on tape that he plans to release on both Vinyl and CD, and is posting videos of him making the recordings (amusingly, with his wife managing the tape recorder!).

I like his slow, relaxed tempos, and while his playing lacks the air of nobility and sophistication of say, Leonhardt, it is very full of humanity - I think the clavichord's sound is best described as "Homely" :)

The trills and arpeggiations on Clavichord seem rather more awkward than ones on Harpsichord, though. And the rather pianoforte-oriented sound makes me think more "early Classical" rather than "late Baroque," as I usually think when listening to the Partitas.

I love the sudden outburst of the trill in the middle of the contemplative Sarabande :D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 21, 2017, 07:23:44 AM
Just found this on itunes:

(http://www.kojimarokuon.com/_src/sc2531/alcd1160.jpg)

Most of the set was well-played but not distinctive, but I did like how she played the Capriccio of the 2nd partita with a sense of inégale, making it like a dainty, carefree French dance. (almost like Rameaus?)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: GioCar on February 26, 2017, 12:31:59 AM
A brand new release



VERY interesting!

Already available in Europe.


Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: zamyrabyrd on February 26, 2017, 12:34:50 AM
The thrills and arpeggiations on Clavichord seem rather more awkward than ones on Harpsichord, though. And the rather pianoforte-oriented sound makes me think more "early Classical" rather than "late Baroque," as I usually think when listening to the Partitas. I love the sudden outburst of the thrill in the middle of the contemplative Sarabande :D

Do you mean "trills"? "Thrills" is also interesting...
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 26, 2017, 05:38:55 PM
A brand new release



VERY interesting!

Already available in Europe.

Impressions: Excellently played; fluid and supple. But to me, not a unanimous "buy" - I'm more than happy with my Leonhardt, Weiss, and Dubreuil.

Do you mean "trills"? "Thrills" is also interesting...

Autocorrect isn't always my friend!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on March 07, 2017, 12:38:19 PM
Impressions: Excellently played; fluid and supple. But to me, not a unanimous "buy" - I'm more than happy with my Leonhardt, Weiss, and Dubreuil.



I've listened to 4 and 6.  Energetic extrovert virtuosic performances; loads of grandeur and nobility; totally convincing, I never thought to myself "ooh that's strange"; big emotional range. 

I thought there were some interesting new musical ideas - ornamentation in the sarabande of 6 for example,  a disturbingly urgent and fantastic toccata, and Hantai type static electricity in the French Overture.

The gigue for 6, which Egarr thinks is the climax of the whole series and a musical depiction of Christ's scourging, is absolutely extraordinary for its intense brutal pain.

Nice Ruckers style instrument well recorded.

Provocative essay on numerology and symbolism by Egarr in the booklet.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on March 07, 2017, 04:56:43 PM
I've listened to 4 and 6.  Energetic extrovert virtuosic performances; loads of grandeur and nobility; totally convincing, I never thought to myself "ooh that's strange"; big emotional range. 

I thought there were some interesting new musical ideas - ornamentation in the sarabande of 6 for example,  a disturbingly urgent and fantastic toccata, and Hantai type static electricity in the French Overture.

The gigue for 6, which Egarr thinks is the climax of the whole series and a musical depiction of Christ's scourging, is absolutely extraordinary for its intense brutal pain.

Nice Ruckers style instrument well recorded.

Provocative essay on numerology and symbolism by Egarr in the booklet.

I don't know why, I feel like the 6th Sarabande is one of those pieces which seem beautiful as written, but not as played-- I love the piece and can sort of hear in my head how I would like it to be played, but I haven't heard anyone, on harpsichord or piano, play it to my satisfaction. Most of the time, they just play it too fast for me.
Egarr is more or less the same, but added in some quite nice ornaments.

I'm listening to the 2nd right now - so far, I'm impressed with what I'm hearing. I'll report back.

(Is it only me, or did Spotify's audio quality decrease after their re-design of the website? I must be hearing things.)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on April 02, 2017, 12:59:36 AM
I don't know why, I feel like the 6th Sarabande is one of those pieces which seem beautiful as written, but not as played-- I love the piece and can sort of hear in my head how I would like it to be played, but I haven't heard anyone, on harpsichord or piano, play it to my satisfaction. Most of the time, they just play it too fast for me.
Egarr is more or less the same, but added in some quite nice ornaments.

I'm listening to the 2nd right now - so far, I'm impressed with what I'm hearing. I'll report back.

(Is it only me, or did Spotify's audio quality decrease after their re-design of the website? I must be hearing things.)

Listened to this again and was pleasantly amazed!
2nd time through, I'm catching a lot of details - fluidity, virtuosity, and brilliance - that I missed in my first listen
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 02, 2017, 01:35:16 AM
Listened to this again and was pleasantly amazed!
2nd time through, I'm catching a lot of details - fluidity, virtuosity, and brilliance - that I missed in my first listen

Do have a listen to Siegbert Rampe's partitas if you've got time, they're in spotify,  I love them.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on April 04, 2017, 10:29:41 PM
Do have a listen to Siegbert Rampe's partitas if you've got time, they're in spotify,  I love them.
Odd, I can't find it. Sounds promising, though.

But I did find this... thoughts?  ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH-QuoPLJU4
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 05, 2017, 05:26:02 AM
Odd, I can't find it. Sounds promising, though.

But I did find this... thoughts?  ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH-QuoPLJU4

 Here's the Rampe

https://play.spotify.com/track/03FSfQshKd956UE4fcGaFA?play=true&utm_source=open.spotify.com&utm_medium=open

I'll listen to the Hill properly later -- playful like Koopman and expressive like Rubsam
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on April 05, 2017, 07:03:49 PM
I just sold that on Amazon--did you by any chance buy it?

I'm enjoying my recent purchase of Sergey Schepkin's re-make. At times I think his playing could use a little more Russian muscle, but there's no denying the clarity and beauty he brings to them.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81cUBkBkSNL._SL500_.jpg)

I like the recording and his French Suites.
FYI, Cornelia Herrmann.  Crispy.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 06, 2017, 03:44:51 AM
Premont shared with in another thread. Wim Winters on clavichord. Wonderful so far. If it were available to buy, I would buy it. I'm almost done with #1 and I'm sold.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE-0Ux1PYiU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE-0Ux1PYiU)

Should I try Troeger again?  I couldn't get into any of his recordings. And he disappeared it seems like. Maybe I should try him again. My sense is that Winters is more sensitive and expressive. And the instrument on this is more pleasing.
Any other clavichord recordings out there?
Lots of posting of piano here but I wonder which is best. I have Rubsam but it hasn't grabbed me.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 06, 2017, 07:39:37 AM

Any other clavichord recordings out there?


Yes, Yuko Wataya recorded Partita 6, I've never found an affordable copy of the CD.



Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 06, 2017, 10:16:59 AM
Premont shared with in another thread. Wim Winters on clavichord. Wonderful so far. If it were available to buy, I would buy it. I'm almost done with #1 and I'm sold.



WW makes this comment

Quote
The keyboard music in the early 18th c ("Germany") was looking for micro-expression, and you can compare the evolution harpsichord - clavichord with of the recorder - traverse. Articulation is something that was done often according to the textbook (all articulated, or all legato, or first two legato and then articulated), but there is much more expression to be made than this. Like a traverse player would do. i recently played some concerts with a very good traverse player and learned again so much. Same motifs however, should (well, ""should"""), let say, they benifit from having the same execution, the listener will recognize them easier and the overall structure will become clearer.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on April 06, 2017, 08:29:10 PM
1st and 2nd recordings by Pinnock. I like the both. I wonder if he re-recorded Partitas because he was unhappy about the recording sound, not his performance, of the first issue.

P.s. The LP jacket of the first recording must be exquisite.

Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on April 06, 2017, 10:08:57 PM
Premont shared with in another thread. Wim Winters on clavichord. Wonderful so far. If it were available to buy, I would buy it. I'm almost done with #1 and I'm sold.

I follow Wim's Channel on and off - he's recorded the complete partitas just this January (videos of the complete recording sessions are online) and is planning to release them on both CD and Vinyl.

As of now, though, he's into Mozart. Eccentric, but quite convincing interpretations, especially since he plays at significantly slower, more relaxed speeds than most do, justifying it with the postulation that metronome marks should be halved. see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yd7LWi4wus I don't know what to make of it, as such extraordinary claims should have extraordinary evidence (so to say), but musically it seems to be quite valid.

Is it just me, or does the Sarabande from the 6th suite seem to be one of those pieces that are "too good to be played?" To me, it should remind me of Froberger's Tombeau or the Allemande of Rameau, delicate and somber. But most make it into mere trifles; Winters comes close in mood but not quite. I'd like to hear it on Lautenwerk for more of a sense of style brise.

I'm listening to the Pinnock right now, and it's excellent. Colorful, playful, and sunny - probably the flip side of Winters, who is as introverted and poignant as the "Winters" suggests.
Sadly, the Rampe isn't avaliable on this side of the pond.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 06, 2017, 10:43:16 PM
I follow Wim's Channel on and off - he's recorded the complete partitas just this January (videos of the complete recording sessions are online) and is planning to release them on both CD and Vinyl.

As of now, though, he's into Mozart. Eccentric, but quite convincing interpretations, especially since he plays at significantly slower, more relaxed speeds than most do, justifying it with the postulation that metronome marks should be halved. see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yd7LWi4wus I don't know what to make of it, as such extraordinary claims should have extraordinary evidence (so to say), but musically it seems to be quite valid.

Is it just me, or does the Sarabande from the 6th suite seem to be one of those pieces that are "too good to be played?" To me, it should remind me of Froberger's Tombeau or the Allemande of Rameau, delicate and somber. But most make it into mere trifles; Winters comes close in mood but not quite. I'd like to hear it on Lautenwerk for more of a sense of style brise.

I'm listening to the Pinnock right now, and it's excellent. Colorful, playful, and sunny - probably the flip side of Winters, who is as introverted and poignant as the "Winters" suggests.
Sadly, the Rampe isn't avaliable on this side of the pond.
I couldn't find Rampe either. I'm curious to check Suzuki's Sarabande. I can't wait for the recording by WW. I need it. I'm sorry to say I think the Partitas are not convincing on piano. Some individual pieces maybe. But not generally. It could work well in the clavichord. I'm surprised there are not more versions out there.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 06, 2017, 11:06:53 PM



Is it just me, or does the Sarabande from the 6th suite seem to be one of those pieces that are "too good to be played?" To me, it should remind me of Froberger's Tombeau or the Allemande of Rameau, delicate and somber. But most make it into mere trifles; Winters comes close in mood but not quite. I'd like to hear it on Lautenwerk for more of a sense of style brise.

Suzuki is very dramatic and weighty. Not exactly like Froberger (Froberger seems despondent to me) but not a trifle. Actually, Mortenson does make it sound like Froberger by being more hesitating - in a good way.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on April 06, 2017, 11:37:08 PM
Suzuki is very dramatic and weighty. Not exactly like Froberger (Froberger seems despondent to me) but not a trifle. Actually, Mortenson does make it sound like Froberger by being more hesitating - in a good way.

Listened to both of them, and they're great! Especially Mortenson.

Another thing: I know I probably bring this up often, but I was shocked/surprised hearing the Capriccio of the 2nd suite being taken in such a slow manner. I like it, but do you know anyone else who does the same thing? Most just rush through it, which has its charm, but I like the mood a slower interpretation gives. Or does it not work on the harpsichord?
(Referring to Winters here)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 07, 2017, 12:22:50 AM
1st and 2nd recordings by Pinnock. I like the both. I wonder if he re-recorded Partitas because he was unhappy about the recording sound, not his performance, of the first issue.

He probably re-recorded the partitas on Robert Levin's request.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 07, 2017, 12:28:51 AM

Another thing: I know I probably bring this up often, but I was shocked/surprised hearing the Capriccio of the 2nd suite being taken in such a slow manner. I like it, but do you know anyone else who does the same thing? Most just rush through it, which has its charm, but I like the mood a slower interpretation gives. Or does it not work on the harpsichord?

I do not subscribe to the thought, that Bach intended the capriccio played that slow. I admit that Winters' interpretation works, but he makes another, non-idiomatic, piece of it.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 07, 2017, 12:39:23 AM
WW makes this comment

The keyboard music in the early 18th c ("Germany") was looking for micro-expression, and you can compare the evolution harpsichord - clavichord with of the recorder - traverse. Articulation is something that was done often according to the textbook (all articulated, or all legato, or first two legato and then articulated), but there is much more expression to be made than this. Like a traverse player would do. i recently played some concerts with a very good traverse player and learned again so much. Same motifs however, should (well, ""should"""), let say, they benifit from having the same execution, the listener will recognize them easier and the overall structure will become clearer.

The parallel harpsichord - clavichord, recorder - traverse flute strikes me as being nonsense. It is actually about four very different instruments with their own independent story.

And the idea of consistent articulation has not been invented by Winters. On the contrary it has been "good Latin" since the 1950es (Leonhardt and so on), Even Walcha played in this way.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 07, 2017, 01:18:34 AM
Listened to both of them, and they're great! Especially Mortenson.

Another thing: I know I probably bring this up often, but I was shocked/surprised hearing the Capriccio of the 2nd suite being taken in such a slow manner. I like it, but do you know anyone else who does the same thing? Most just rush through it, which has its charm, but I like the mood a slower interpretation gives. Or does it not work on the harpsichord?
I'm not sure about this. I have to admit I only listened to the first partita without concentration. Listening a little more, I'm not sure I will like this whole set. This is like what Watchorn does with the WTC? Maybe I am childish, but I lose patience with repeatedly slow tempos. I need variation and it really depends on what the "whole" is like. But, I do think the clavichord is a great instrument for the partitas. I feel that the partitas benefit from sharp tones. Am I crazy? The round tones of the piano don't work for me here. I've repeatedly dissed Troeger and I feel a little bad about it. I wonder if someone can tell me what Troeger does that is special? I think Mortenson is my favorite even though he's got such a weird sound going.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on April 07, 2017, 11:44:47 AM
I also don't think the Capriccio "should" be played that leisurely, but well, it works!

I found a video on which he discusses the tempo of the Capriccio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxZT8rpls0E

Some eccentric stuff on the channel, like Schubert's Gretchen or Beethoven's Waldstein played on Clavichord (with quite good results, I must say!)

As for the slow tempos, I'm also not a typical fan of them (Koopman's one of my guilty pleasures  :) ) and had a massive allergic reaction agains W.W.'s partitas at first, but it won me over later. It seems that he made some different tempo choices in his actual recording, but I haven't bothered to go through all the recording sessions to find out where and how.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 07, 2017, 04:34:24 PM
I also don't think the Capriccio "should" be played that leisurely, but well, it works!

I found a video on which he discusses the tempo of the Capriccio
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxZT8rpls0E

Some eccentric stuff on the channel, like Schubert's Gretchen or Beethoven's Waldstein played on Clavichord (with quite good results, I must say!)

As for the slow tempos, I'm also not a typical fan of them (Koopman's one of my guilty pleasures  :) ) and had a massive allergic reaction agains W.W.'s partitas at first, but it won me over later. It seems that he made some different tempo choices in his actual recording, but I haven't bothered to go through all the recording sessions to find out where and how.
I'll probably purchase the recording when it comes. I'm interested.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on April 07, 2017, 06:30:36 PM
I'll probably purchase the recording when it comes. I'm interested.

I'm eyeing Mortensen's partitas, any highlights to look out for?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 07, 2017, 10:01:04 PM
I'm eyeing Mortensen's partitas, any highlights to look out for?
Others can characterize it better than I can. It's hotly recorded. Clear lines of counterpoint. 
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Paul_Thomas on April 07, 2017, 11:29:08 PM
1st and 2nd recordings by Pinnock. I like the both. I wonder if he re-recorded Partitas because he was unhappy about the recording sound, not his performance, of the first issue.

P.s. The LP jacket of the first recording must be exquisite.

He has stated on record that he much prefers his second recording, I have only heard the DG one though...
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 08, 2017, 02:11:41 AM
I'm eyeing Mortensen's partitas, any highlights to look out for?

It is elegant and colorful. Recommendable throughout.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Dry Brett Kavanaugh on April 08, 2017, 06:35:03 AM
He has stated on record that he much prefers his second recording, I have only heard the DG one though...

I appreciate the info!
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 08, 2017, 07:01:33 AM
I'm eyeing Mortensen's partitas, any highlights to look out for?

There's a quality to Mortensen here which I think is quite distinctive, it's hard for me to explain but I think it's to do with how he creates drama and tells a story. The voices are independent and expressive, but not in a rapport. The drama doesn't come from a rapport between the voices like you hear in Egarr for example, or in Weiss. The result is a bit like in Carter's quartets - people all talking at the same time without listening to each other. And that to me makes the music sound very busy - a lot going on.

The above is probably nonsense, see what you think when you have the recording.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 11, 2017, 02:32:23 AM
This is Genzoh Takehisa on Silbermann fortepiano.
(http://img.hmv.co.jp/image/jacket/190/63/1/7/107.jpg)
I've purchased this and just managed to listen to the 4th partita. My initial impression is good. I didn't know this performer. He produces a 10 minute allemande - so, slow tempo there - and generates lots of sensitivity with his use of agogics/hesitations. He's got a real feel and obvious affection for his instrument. It sounds like you really have to know the silbermann well to tame it this way. There's lots of imagination here and I'm surprised with what he does - his decisions. I could see the silbermann getting on people's nerves after a while though. It's clanky and stilted sometimes (especially in the courante, it works much better in the Allemande and sarabande). It works some places better than others, definitely. He sounds like he's fighting with his instrument in the gigue, but it's not a bad thing.   
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on May 01, 2017, 07:17:44 PM
Is it just me, or does the Sarabande from the 6th suite seem to be one of those pieces that are "too good to be played?" To me, it should remind me of Froberger's Tombeau or the Allemande of Rameau, delicate and somber. But most make it into mere trifles; Winters comes close in mood but not quite. I'd like to hear it on Lautenwerk for more of a sense of style brise.

I'm playing the Froberger tombeau right now, and I have no idea why I saw any resemblance between it and the Sarabande.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 01, 2017, 08:24:46 PM
I'm playing the Froberger tombeau right now, and I have no idea why I saw any resemblance between it and the Sarabande.

Both to be played "with discretion" maybe - does that indication ever get into Bach? Can you infer it from the music? What does it mean anyway?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on May 01, 2017, 11:39:11 PM
Both to be played "with discretion" maybe - does that indication ever get into Bach? Can you infer it from the music? What does it mean anyway?

https://books.google.dk/books?id=NkAv6a0lNZIC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=con+discrezione&source=bl&ots=tdmQ4yojzx&sig=sTFju-wkw1Qw2hY6THBkTmlJWbg&hl=da&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXiYjl5tDTAhWPUlAKHZEXCx44ChDoAQg3MAI#v=onepage&q=con%20discrezione&f=false
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 02, 2017, 07:44:19 AM
https://books.google.dk/books?id=NkAv6a0lNZIC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=con+discrezione&source=bl&ots=tdmQ4yojzx&sig=sTFju-wkw1Qw2hY6THBkTmlJWbg&hl=da&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjXiYjl5tDTAhWPUlAKHZEXCx44ChDoAQg3MAI#v=onepage&q=con%20discrezione&f=false

I can't get to read that, some sort of copyright restriction in the UK!
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: kishnevi on May 02, 2017, 08:22:38 AM
I can't get to read that, some sort of copyright restriction in the UK!

Ditto here in the USA
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on May 02, 2017, 11:24:25 AM
Too bad. It can't be copied. It is a rather long discussion about the meaning of "with discretion" , which Bach uses in the D-major toccata.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on May 04, 2017, 11:32:50 PM
(http://img.hmv.co.jp/image/jacket/190/63/1/7/107.jpg)This is worth a listen. Takeshika gets the most out of his Silbermann fortepiano by way attentive rubato/articulation. Seems this chap never studied with anyone of note. He's kind of a mystery.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 06, 2017, 08:04:34 AM
(http://img.hmv.co.jp/image/jacket/190/63/1/7/107.jpg)This is worth a listen. Takeshika gets the most out of his Silbermann fortepiano by way attentive rubato/articulation. Seems this chap never studied with anyone of note. He's kind of a mystery.

It's too hard to buy, I really don't want to go to iTunes, I use PC and it's painful.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on May 06, 2017, 08:06:26 PM
It's too hard to buy, I really don't want to go to iTunes, I use PC and it's painful.
That's too bad. I really like this more and more. I wonder about this musician. He doesn't fit the usual profile of musicians coming out of Japan (in terms of training).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: amw on June 24, 2017, 03:41:05 AM
Can anyone rec an ideal recording of Partita 6, BWV 830? Piano, harpsichord, clavichord, whatever. In particular looking for: architectural performances of the fugue, ferocity and intensity in the Courante, a Sarabande that isn't rushed, and a Gigue that isn't plodding and has significant tragic power.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on June 24, 2017, 04:27:58 AM
Just starting by thinking of piano, have you heard Sokolov Kissingen 2004? (Or Bolzano the same year, I think Kissingen has better sound.) Or Pletnev in Rocque D'Antheron or Amsterdam? Also Youri Egorov may be worth hearing too, and Tureck (the one on her Great Pianists. )But best of all, Rübsam on Naxos.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: amw on June 24, 2017, 04:43:02 AM
I haven't. I am listening to Sokolov on youtube at the moment and it's definitely interesting. And will investigate the others as well.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Jo498 on June 24, 2017, 05:01:08 AM
As far as I recall Rübsam might qualify for "plodding" in the Gigue...
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: amw on June 24, 2017, 05:08:29 AM
Sokolov was quite nice, with good tempi. I will listen to that youtube video again, since of course he hasn't recorded the damn thing.

I will explore some more after a bit of sleep. I was comparing recordings of the G minor fugue from WTC II in search of a new complete set, and finally settled on the interpretation by Bob van Asperen as least unsatisfying, only to realise that I actually own his WTC and have done so for at least a year. That's generally a good sign that I'm starting to lose it.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on June 24, 2017, 06:09:06 AM
As far as I recall Rübsam might qualify for "plodding" in the Gigue...

Ah yes, maybe. But I forgot a really good piano one with a gigue which is definitely not plodding and may well heave the desired " full of tragic power", a live one by Roger Woodward on a CD released by Celestial Harmonies.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Jo498 on June 24, 2017, 06:28:36 AM
There are certainly others with a fairly slow gigue (and it certainly is an uncommonly slow and serious gigue). I'll probably not have leisure to compare but as far as I see I have:

Marcelle Meyer (this one is probably not plodding)
Gould
Martins
Anderszewski
Sheppard
Rübsam

Jaccottet
Ross

(probably forgot one, hiding in box). Maybe because Gould was the first I heard, I am fond of a slowish Toccata movement (which is my favorite movement anyway).

I listened to Anderszewski, Meyer and Sheppard. Anderszewski is too quirky for me, I am afraid (his approach seemed to work best in the a minor partita). Meyer is good but quite "cool". I liked Sheppard's Toccata a lot; it's quite slow but all the other movements are more on the normal to fastish side, I'd say, he is not plodding in any movement. And I like his overall quite a bit but he is not fierce in the Corrente and might not be dramatic enough for amw in the gigue.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on June 29, 2017, 10:52:59 PM
Too bad. It can't be copied. It is a rather long discussion about the meaning of "with discretion" , which Bach uses in the D-major toccata.
Something similar I just found, makes total sense. It's indeed how I like my Bach Sarabandes.

Quote
Although some writers have equated “discretion” with variable tempo, in my view that was not its original meaning. Rather, it referred initially to the abandonment of the strict measurement of time, that is, of the precise counting of notes within the beat. It reflected the rise of a specifically Baroque style of written-out embellishment which, unlike earlier types of melodic and harmonic elaboration, involved the irregular division of the beat.

http://4hlxx40786q1osp7b1b814j8co.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/david-schulenberg/files/2016/11/froberger_discretion.pdf
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on June 30, 2017, 05:58:32 AM
Something similar I just found, makes total sense. It's indeed how I like my Bach Sarabandes.

http://4hlxx40786q1osp7b1b814j8co.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/david-schulenberg/files/2016/11/froberger_discretion.pdf

I wonder what you'll make of this, initially I thought there was too much discretion, like David Cates's style, but now I'm starting to like it

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71PqJ%2B-X1CL._SX522_PJautoripRedesignedBadge,TopRight,0,-35_OU11__.jpg)

Discretion is a strange term. The 1694 Acadamie Française dictionary gives the meaning as both to do with holding back and circumspection on the one hand, and acting as you please on the other. In particular "à discrétion" seems to mean as you feel like, but you know, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.



Quote from: http://artflx.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/dicos/pubdico1look.pl?strippedhw=Discretion&submit=
On dit, que Les soldats vivent à discretion, Quand ils vivent comme il leur plaist chez leurs hostes, & sans autre regle que leur volonté.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: aukhawk on June 30, 2017, 02:03:38 PM
Exactly.  Discretion means discretion - that's why it's a word.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: amw on July 04, 2017, 07:51:37 PM
I listened to a few versions of Partita 6 for harpsichord over the last few days.

I have really warmed to Richard Egarr's recording, which has a kind of unrelenting intensity that gives it cumulative power. First recording of Egarr in post-1685 music that I've enjoyed.

Elina Mustonen has a very good Toccata but the Sarabande doesn't work for me, I think because the ornamentation is given too much weight and it sounds mannered as a result. The Gigue is constantly being pulled back tempo-wise, not sure why, and it's also quite loud with the 4', 8' and 16' stops coupled the whole way through. If people recorded harpsichord CDs at realistic levels, that wouldn't be a problem, but apparently there's a rule that all harpsichords have to be normalised to 0DB and you're not allowed to be a record company if you don't follow it.

Paul Badura-Skoda really likes messing with the harpsichord stops. This can work sometimes, I guess, and gave some relief after Mustonen's aural assault. Apart from that, he's basically playing harpsichord with piano articulation so some things don't really come off, and the Sarabande is a bit rushed (5:13 with all the repeats?). Reasonably enjoyable though. If he'd recorded an Italian Concerto, or the English Suites, on harpsichord that would probably be more worth it.

I can see why people might call Andreas Staier superficial but I still find his recording quite exciting and dramatic. Can't exactly call it a recording of Great Tragic Power, but the Courante and Gigue are where I like them to be tempo-wise. After hearing Egarr's Sarabande I am not so kindly disposed to Staier's though—definitely the weakest movement, which is not great in BWV830 where it's the emotional and spiritual heart of the piece.

Christophe Rousset is presumably who Staier was taking notes from: virtuosic, crisp, aerated. I guess it's also better. I can't get fully behind the slow sad Courante full of sighing figures, but the Sarabande is great; not personal or introspective like Egarr, more like an oration. Probably because he double-dots everything which makes it more stately. I prefer introspective, but still good. Gigue is in 24/8 instead of 4/2, as some harpsichordists prefer, which I've never found convincing. Particularly because in the Gigue Bach distinguishes clearly between anapaestic and dactylic rhythms decorating the basic dotted rhythm, whereas in the hands of Rousset or András Schiff or whoever these just turn into undifferentiated quavers. As well, the result is the kind of "limping" rhythm that Bach himself was critical of, at least according to Leadbetter.

Ton Koopman only picked up half of the meaning of "discretion", the part about doing what you like. The part about circumspection clearly passed him by. At the same time it.... kind of works. He plays the Toccata like he's actually warming up before a performance (tastar le corde) and therefore differentiates from the relatively strict Fugue, which most performers don't bother to do. Courante is grotesque, though maybe I'll like it someday, and he skips the second repeat in the Sarabande which is a bummer as it's one of the better performances in a good tempo (would be 7:15 with the repeat). Mordents in the Gigue are somewhat inappropriate, since mordents were meant to be happy and cheerful in Bach's day iirc (there's a reason he uses only a few in the Sarabande, with its written out agréments presumably intended to demonstrate to keyboard students the typical mode of ornamentation in such a movement; and I think they only appear at the brighter moments e.g. modulation to G major), and it is very hard to make this Gigue cheerful.

More to come possibly.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on July 04, 2017, 09:01:25 PM



Ton Koopman . . .  and it is very hard to make this Gigue cheerful.



Blandine Verlet (Astrée) does a more cheerful gigue, I think it's worth catching becase she makes the whole partita solar, radiant.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on July 06, 2017, 03:27:56 AM
(http://www.batagov.com/covers/BACH%20front%20cover.jpg)

Quote from: Anton Batagov http://www.batagov.com/zvuki/BACH_en.htm


Each section of his music should be repeated twice, and I play them in different tempos with different articulation, as if contemplating a crystal from different points of view, or living a life twice choosing different scenarios. The tempos are mostly slow, but it's not about the tempos per se. Every sound appears spontaneously, as though it was an improvisation, and reveals another meaning, another kind of expressiveness. It's like zooming in on a picture to see every detail in high resolution. This meditative concentration has its inner non-linear flow of time. Time is a relative thing. It is not necessary to be Einstein or an astronaut going to the final frontier to see that this is true. You don't have to be a Buddhist monk to realize that all our concepts are relative and empty. Anyway, it's clear that Bach's music contains all of our post-modernism, all of our minimalism, as well as jazz, rock, and many other styles. . .The E minor Partita is like a Passion without words, and the D major Partita is a mystery of Christmas. . . Every note, every intonation, every chord in Bach's music convey the truth that makes everything else insignificant. That's why it sounds so uncompromising, sometimes even ruthless, while being so dazzlingly beautiful. There is no path to light that would not go through Calvary.


What's interesting to me about these comments is how he seems to see the music as a sequence of sounds, rather than as phrases. Probably I'm taking him too much at his word.

And then we have the idea of repeating everything.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Drasko on July 06, 2017, 03:53:20 AM
What's interesting to me about these comments is how he seems to see the music as a sequence of sounds, rather than as phrases. Probably I'm taking him too much at his word.

It's kind of logical, if it's played slow enough at one point you lose intelligibility of the phrase and you're left with just sequence of sounds.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on July 06, 2017, 04:04:19 AM
It's kind of logical, if it's played slow enough at one point you lose intelligibility of the phrase and you're left with just sequence of sounds.

I think it's just something he says, I'm sure it's a mistake to take him too seriously and pour over his words!
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: aukhawk on July 09, 2017, 03:24:45 AM
What's interesting to me about these comments is how he seems to see the music as a sequence of sounds, rather than as phrases. Probably I'm taking him too much at his word.

It's a legitemate point of view, though unusual to see it voiced by a performer who surely must have the bigger picture in mind to some degree.

As a listener and not a performer, I can relate entirely to the idea of music as a stream of sounds, and not a structure.

The pedant in me takes umbrage at his phrase "repeated twice" though!  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: amw on July 09, 2017, 04:00:05 AM
I'm sorry, but a 16 minute long performance of the toccata from Partita VI makes no sense. Slowing the music down to individual sounds only reveals that the individual sounds are uninteresting in themselves. Bach's music is not about sound in itself, it is about the physical act of performance. Isolating the individual actions required to produce those sounds removes them from their context of cumulative physical effort. It's like playing just the right hand of a Mozart piano sonata.... yes, all the important stuff is there, but it's missing something fundamental to what makes it good music.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on July 09, 2017, 04:26:07 AM
I'm sorry, but a 16 minute long performance of the toccata from Partita VI makes no sense. Slowing the music down to individual sounds only reveals that the individual sounds are uninteresting in themselves. Bach's music is not about sound in itself, it is about the physical act of performance. Isolating the individual actions required to produce those sounds removes them from their context of cumulative physical effort.

I agree very much about this. Listen f.x. to Maximianno Cobra playing Art of Fugue. Particularly absurd is Cpt. I, but also the rest of the work more or less.

https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/MaximiannoCobra10
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: aukhawk on July 11, 2017, 02:39:16 AM
I'm sorry, but a 16 minute long performance of the toccata from Partita VI makes no sense.

I've now listened to some of this recording (didn't have time to listen to it all, see below) - and, while I maintain that like what I read in Batagov's text quoted upthread, I've got to agree that as 'music by Bach' this is just a disaster.   >:(
In general his idea of varying the repeat seems to consist of playing the initial exposition at half speed or even slower, and the repeat at something approaching a 'normal' tempo.  The effect could be somewhat reminiscent of Bach's Partita No.1 for Violin, in which each movement is followed by a 'double' - but at these slow tempi the listener just loses patience.

Taking the final movement of Partita 6, the Gigue - just the exposition from start to the start of the repeat, generally takes about 1 minute 20 (Hewitt 1:17, Perahia 1:16, Levit 1:20 - Suzuki on harpsichord is a bit slower at 1:28).  Batagov takes 4:05 to play this section.  :(
Total durations of Partita 6 - Perahia 30:30 - Batagov 61:46

You'd think Bach's music was indestructible - murder attempts by Walter Carlos, the Swingle Singers and others have failed in the past.

Avoid - except of course for curiosity value.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on December 08, 2017, 08:57:39 PM
I've now listened to some of this recording (didn't have time to listen to it all, see below) - and, while I maintain that like what I read in Batagov's text quoted upthread, I've got to agree that as 'music by Bach' this is just a disaster.   >:(
In general his idea of varying the repeat seems to consist of playing the initial exposition at half speed or even slower, and the repeat at something approaching a 'normal' tempo.  The effect could be somewhat reminiscent of Bach's Partita No.1 for Violin, in which each movement is followed by a 'double' - but at these slow tempi the listener just loses patience.

Taking the final movement of Partita 6, the Gigue - just the exposition from start to the start of the repeat, generally takes about 1 minute 20 (Hewitt 1:17, Perahia 1:16, Levit 1:20 - Suzuki on harpsichord is a bit slower at 1:28).  Batagov takes 4:05 to play this section.  :(
Total durations of Partita 6 - Perahia 30:30 - Batagov 61:46

You'd think Bach's music was indestructible - murder attempts by Walter Carlos, the Swingle Singers and others have failed in the past.

Avoid - except of course for curiosity value.
I gave this a try and can't help but conclude that he turns Bach into a disjointed muddy mess. It loses musicality, if that makes sense. It's a shame too, because think his idea of minimalism in Byrd works just fine. But, in that case, he's not experimenting with the music as much as picking out parts of the repertoire that reflect some minimalist atmosphere and working within that structure.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Josquin13 on December 12, 2017, 08:26:27 AM
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned my favorite set of 6 Partitas (on piano) performed by Virginia Black: a former pianist that became a harpsichordist for several decades, but now has returned to playing Baroque music (Bach & Scarlatti) on the piano in recent years.  Black's 6 Partitas offer the best of both worlds--a harpsichordist's knowing insights into Baroque style, but tastefully translated to the piano (an attractive compromise for those that suspect Gould's Bach is more about Gould than Bach, yet resist the sound of a harpsichord):



I hope Black will record more Bach on the piano, as her set has been one of my favorite Bach piano purchases over the past 10-15+ years.

I would also give a favorable mention to Ivo Janssen's 6 Partitas.  Even though I now prefer Black in this music, Janssen's set is very fine.  The same is true for Vladimir Feltsman's 6 Partitas.

Otherwise, among harpsichord versions, I've lately found myself reaching for Pascal Dubreuil's set on Ramée, which gets better with repeated listening, along with a set from Kenneth Weiss (a more recent purchase).  I've come to prefer both to Pieter-Jan Belder's 6 Partitas (my former favorite), whose Partita playing is also excellent, but unlike Dubreuil & Weiss, Belder hasn't been given the most ideal sound (by Brilliant):



In addition, I've got Richard Egarr's set is on my wish list, along with Andras Schiff's ECM set (though I'm not a big fan of Schiff's Decca Bach recordings).
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on February 17, 2018, 04:55:35 AM

In addition, I've got Richard Egarr's set is on my wish list, along with Andras Schiff's ECM set (though I'm not a big fan of Schiff's Decca Bach recordings).

I have Egarr on my desk; very nicely played but ultimately not as impressive as i've found his WTC to be.  Schiff's ECM, meanwhile, is my favorite piano version... doesn't begin to compare to the straight-laced, frankly boring Decca recording. It's much more about dance.

All that said I should confess: I totally dig the Batagov recording. Yes, it's Philip Glass masquerading as Johann Sebastian Bach, but it is totally intoxicating.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: amw on February 17, 2018, 05:42:02 AM
I sort of stopped my Bach partita hunting a while back with the Egarr set, which I enjoy quite a bit (have been debating deleting others from my hard disk, since harpsichord recordings take up a lot of space, but probably will just buy a new hard disk instead bc who knows, maybe I’ll someday want to hear Badura-Skoda again or whoever). On the stream-o-sphere I quite liked Dubreuil and Alard, but not enough to buy either of them for some reason. Dubreuil also has great album artwork. Still haven’t heard the Weiss, but want to, and also I think there’s a set by Scott Ross that I don’t know anything about??

Schiff on ECM is definitely a good piano set although I keep coming back to Maria Tipo, who turns Bach into Brahms but it’s not actually awful. Probably I should stop singing her praises at every opportunity because the rest of you are tired. >.> The other pianist who started recording Bach partitas but has never done a cycle and who I like is Edna Stern. Maybe she’ll do some future Bach recordings on a fortepiano. The Virginia Black set looks interesting tho.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on February 17, 2018, 06:30:55 AM
I sort of stopped my Bach partita hunting a while back with the Egarr set, which I enjoy quite a bit (have been debating deleting others from my hard disk, since harpsichord recordings take up a lot of space, but probably will just buy a new hard disk instead bc who knows, maybe I’ll someday want to hear Badura-Skoda again or whoever). On the stream-o-sphere I quite liked Dubreuil and Alard, but not enough to buy either of them for some reason. Dubreuil also has great album artwork. Still haven’t heard the Weiss, but want to, and also I think there’s a set by Scott Ross that I don’t know anything about??

Schiff on ECM is definitely a good piano set although I keep coming back to Maria Tipo, who turns Bach into Brahms but it’s not actually awful. Probably I should stop singing her praises at every opportunity because the rest of you are tired. >.> The other pianist who started recording Bach partitas but has never done a cycle and who I like is Edna Stern. Maybe she’ll do some future Bach recordings on a fortepiano. The Virginia Black set looks interesting tho.

Was it Scott Ross's final studio recording? It's operatic -- lots of brute feeling like some sort of stand and deliver opera singer, presented in gigantic long phrases. Doesn't vary his touch much.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on February 17, 2018, 01:22:35 PM

Was it Scott Ross's final studio recording?

Almost. His last recording was the Frescobaldi CD.

Quote from: Mandryka

It's operatic -- lots of brute feeling like some sort of stand and deliver opera singer, presented in gigantic long phrases. Doesn't vary his touch much.

Did he ever vary his touch much?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: kishnevi on February 17, 2018, 05:29:29 PM
I sort of stopped my Bach partita hunting a while back with the Egarr set, which I enjoy quite a bit (have been debating deleting others from my hard disk, since harpsichord recordings take up a lot of space, but probably will just buy a new hard disk instead bc who knows, maybe I’ll someday want to hear Badura-Skoda again or whoever). On the stream-o-sphere I quite liked Dubreuil and Alard, but not enough to buy either of them for some reason. Dubreuil also has great album artwork. Still haven’t heard the Weiss, but want to, and also I think there’s a set by Scott Ross that I don’t know anything about??

Schiff on ECM is definitely a good piano set although I keep coming back to Maria Tipo, who turns Bach into Brahms but it’s not actually awful. Probably I should stop singing her praises at every opportunity because the rest of you are tired. >.> The other pianist who started recording Bach partitas but has never done a cycle and who I like is Edna Stern. Maybe she’ll do some future Bach recordings on a fortepiano. The Virginia Black set looks interesting tho.

If you like Tipo--, perhaps you would like Ashkenazy, who turns Bach into Chopin.  The approach may be perverse, but I think it works excellently.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on February 17, 2018, 07:15:56 PM
(http://img.hmv.co.jp/image/jacket/190/63/1/7/107.jpg)This is worth a listen. Takeshika gets the most out of his Silbermann fortepiano by way attentive rubato/articulation. Seems this chap never studied with anyone of note. He's kind of a mystery.
I'm just going to bump this. It's not a go-to recording. It's one for a rainy day. I'm bumping it hoping someone out there might acquire it and give me their opinion. I think this is one of the only fortepiano versions out there and I think it's very good. He doesn't play it safe vis a vis agogics. He's very inventive, never phoning it in. Sometimes the instrument seems like a bit of a struggle but it's part of the fun of this one.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on March 30, 2018, 05:45:51 AM
Latest addition to the Partita discography:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/8432719--bach-j-s-partitas-nos-1-6-bwv825-830
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Gordo on March 30, 2018, 06:00:12 AM
Latest addition to the Partita discography:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/8432719--bach-j-s-partitas-nos-1-6-bwv825-830

Great news! We need more recordings by him... An instantaneous must-have to me.   :)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 01, 2018, 02:55:49 PM
I've been revisiting James Weaver's version - on LP only, part of a big Smithsonian Bach box that came out in the late 1970s.

A great-sounding late analog recording with a very precise, light harpsichord tone, easy on the ears. Weaver attacks this music with a lot of energy and it sounds frenetic at times, with a swinging, improvisatory feel that reminds me of Scarlatti. This is very far from "cosmic" Bach. An unusual approach perhaps, but I like it a lot as a contrast to my more standard piano versions by Perahia and Sheppard.

Smithsonian really ought to reissue this one in some form. The extensive notes and accompanying 73-page reproduction of Bach's original score are nice touches, representative of LP sets at their best.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Que on April 01, 2018, 10:43:15 PM
Great news! We need more recordings by him... An instantaneous must-have to me.   :)

Agreed!  :)

Menno van Delft need to get more recordings out there.

Q
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 01, 2018, 10:58:54 PM
Agreed!  :)

Menno van Delft need to get more recordings out there.

Q

I thought the last thing he did was unlistenable. Transcriptions for two harpsichords of opera music by Rameau. Of course it may have been the music which put me off.

(http://cms.new-art.nl/assets/image.php?width=290&image=/content/img/new_products/1434573038.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Que on April 01, 2018, 11:31:40 PM
I thought the last thing he did was unlistenable. Transcriptions for two harpsichords of opera music by Rameau. Of course it may have been the music which put me off.

(http://cms.new-art.nl/assets/image.php?width=290&image=/content/img/new_products/1434573038.jpg)

I have that, definitely a crazy disc.  :)

But he can play Bach - his Art of the Fugue in the Brilliant Bach Edition (1999) is one of the best interpretations I know.

Q
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: aukhawk on April 02, 2018, 12:14:57 AM
I've been revisiting James Weaver's version - on LP only, part of a big Smithsonian Bach box that came out in the late 1970s.

A great-sounding late analog recording with a very precise, light harpsichord tone, easy on the ears. Weaver attacks this music with a lot of energy and it sounds frenetic at times, with a swinging, improvisatory feel that reminds me of Scarlatti. This is very far from "cosmic" Bach. An unusual approach perhaps, but I like it a lot as a contrast to my more standard piano versions by Perahia and Sheppard.

I've seen a theory somewhere that Bach's Partitas show the influence of Scarlatti.  It seems a bit unlikely to me, not least because the publication dates don't stack up - Scarlatti's 30 Essercizi were published a handful of years after Bach's Partitas - though that says nothing about the composition dates of course.  Nor is there any evidence of contact between the two men - not like there is between Scarlatti and Handel for instance.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Gordo on April 02, 2018, 12:33:55 AM
he can play Bach - his Art of the Fugue in the Brilliant Bach Edition (1999) is one of the best interpretations I know.

Q

I think the same. And, IMO, his Toccatas are at the same level.

He also recorded a fantastic disk with Müthel's music, played on clavichord.  :)

 

Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Que on April 02, 2018, 12:49:35 AM
I think the same. And, IMO, his Toccatas are at the same level.

He also recorded a fantastic disk with Müthel's music, played on clavichord.  :)

+1 (2X)  8)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 02, 2018, 12:55:37 AM
I think the same. And, IMO, his Toccatas are at the same level.

He also recorded a fantastic disk with Müthel's music, played on clavichord.  :)

There's also the Bach sonatas with violin accompaniment by Johannes Leertouwer, and an Opfer.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on April 02, 2018, 05:51:44 AM
I've seen a theory somewhere that Bach's Partitas show the influence of Scarlatti.  It seems a bit unlikely to me, not least because the publication dates don't stack up - Scarlatti's 30 Essercizi were published a handful of years after Bach's Partitas - though that says nothing about the composition dates of course.  Nor is there any evidence of contact between the two men - not like there is between Scarlatti and Handel for instance.

All true. However, this is really just my response to the interpretation - saying "it sounds a bit like Scarlatti" is not the same as saying "this must have been influenced by Scarlatti."
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 02, 2018, 05:55:15 AM
All true. However, this is really just my response to the interpretation - saying "it sounds a bit like Scarlatti" is not the same as saying "this must have been influenced by Scarlatti."

I think it is the Goldberg variations which have been mentioned as being influenced by Scarlatti, not the partitas.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on April 02, 2018, 05:57:40 AM
I've seen a theory somewhere that Bach's Partitas show the influence of Scarlatti.  It seems a bit unlikely to me, not least because the publication dates don't stack up - Scarlatti's 30 Essercizi were published a handful of years after Bach's Partitas - though that says nothing about the composition dates of course.  Nor is there any evidence of contact between the two men - not like there is between Scarlatti and Handel for instance.
I don't hear this at all. Hmm...I'd like to see the quote. What aspect of it I wonder?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 02, 2018, 06:07:51 AM
I don't hear this at all. Hmm...I'd like to see the quote. What aspect of it I wonder?

All the trills in var 14 maybe. Did Scarlatti write a lot of AABB stuff?
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 02, 2018, 06:23:16 AM
All the trills in var 14 maybe. Did Scarlatti write a lot of AABB stuff?

As well as all Scarlatti's sonatas are AABB stuff.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 02, 2018, 06:55:54 AM
As well as all Scarlatti's sonatas are AABB stuff.

Thought so.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: aukhawk on April 02, 2018, 08:28:13 AM
I think it is the Goldberg variations which have been mentioned as being influenced by Scarlatti, not the partitas.

Only if one is viewed as the antidote to the other, surely?  ;)  Like comparing mogadon with caffeine  ;)

(Yes, I think it was the AABB structure that was being referred to in the 'theory' I originally mentioned, from a sleevenote I think.  I must say I wasn't aware it was that much of an innovation, whoever adopted it first.)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 02, 2018, 08:41:39 AM
Only if one is viewed as the antidote to the other, surely?  ;)  Like comparing mogadon with caffeine  ;)

(Yes, I think it was the AABB structure that was being referred to in the 'theory' I originally mentioned, from a sleevenote I think.  I must say I wasn't aware it was that much of an innovation, whoever adopted it first.)

The AABB structure has been used for dance movements in keyboard suites since the beginning (e.g. Froberger), so I do not understand, that this feature as such should remind of Scarlatti. And if we in Bach's music seek stylistic and formal influence from Scarlatti, we should rather think of the obviously late Fantasia c-minor (the one with the unfinished fugue) or some of the preludes from WTC II (g-sharp minor, a-minor e.g.).

Someone (forgot whom) thought, that the 30 variations of the Goldberg's was an allution to Scarlatti's 30 Essercizi per Gravicembalo K 1 - 30, the only of his sonatas which were published while Scarlatti was alive.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: aukhawk on April 02, 2018, 08:48:48 AM
Yeh well - exact contemporaries, but Scarlatti something of a late developer - no reason at all to suppose their spheres ever intersected at all - I'm sorry I raised it! 
:-[ :-\
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 02, 2018, 08:53:58 AM
Glen Wilson thinks that Martini is a bigger influence on the Goldbergs than Scarlatti

http://www.glenwilson.eu/musician.html

Quote
Another contemporary virtuoso who undoubtedly jolted Bach into an effort to emulate and surpass was Domenico Scarlatti. In the late 30's and early 40's of the eighteenth century, dozens of his Sonatas were published in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, and some of them must have come into the hands of Bach, who was always on the lookout for the latest in musical trends and even ran a kind of sales agency for music. Just as the publication of Handel's Suites in 1721 may have goaded Bach into issuing the Partitas, so the Thomaskantor was not the man to allow Scarlatti's quantum leap in idiomatic, virtuoso keyboard style to pass without a response. I would also mention, as pure speculation, another publication by an Italian: G. B. ("Padre") Martini's harpsichord Sonatas, superbly engraved at Amsterdam sometime around 1740. The date usually given is 1742, the year the Goldberg Variations are thought to have been published. But neither work can be dated with certainty, and it is also possible Bach knew the Sonatas in manuscript. In any case Martini's print contains two sets of Aria and Variations, a Corrente in Canon, and figuration and ornamentation more similar to those in Bach's work than any other I know of. Martini's whole language is more baroque than that of the "galant keyboard player" (as Quantz calls him) Scarlatti. Strangely enough, Bach's youngest son Johann Christian later studied counterpoint with Martini, who was to Italy what J. S. Bach was to Germany: the rear guard of the retreating polyphonic tradition.

(He comes across as such a grump in the essay on harpsichord and organ

http://www.glenwilson.eu/musician.html)

Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 02, 2018, 11:06:04 AM
Glen Wilson thinks that Martini is a bigger influence on the Goldbergs than Scarlatti

Well, the greatest influence on the Goldbergs was probably Buxtehude's Aria La Capricciosa variations.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on April 06, 2018, 11:43:01 PM
Well, the greatest influence on the Goldbergs was probably Buxtehude's Aria La Capricciosa variations.

So many influences! Incl. Frescobaldi's Bergamasca in which Frescobaldi varies the “Bergamasca melody” that is at the base of Bach’s quodlibet of “Kraut und Rüben / haben mich vertrieben” and “Ich bin so lang nicht bey dir g’west”.

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/12/grab-it-while-you-can-frescobaldis.html (http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2009/12/grab-it-while-you-can-frescobaldis.html)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 07, 2018, 07:46:20 AM
Don't forget HWV 442, a chaconne. Listen to the Gräbner harpsichord here, I can't find a lighter and more delicate and nuanced performance on youtube I'm afraid.

https://www.youtube.com/v/uJecU5LZR90
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 07, 2018, 08:18:11 AM
I find Kraus' articulation oldfashioned overdone in a pianistic way, and the work as such is very patience-consuming for the player as well as for the listener IMO.  I prefer this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJZAt3a2a7A
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on April 07, 2018, 08:22:47 AM
I can't bear the harpsichord, I mean I can imagine it as continuo but either Kraus doesn't play it well or it's just not a very refined instrument.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on April 07, 2018, 09:00:02 AM
I can't bear the harpsichord, I mean I can imagine it as continuo but either Kraus doesn't play it well or it's just not a very refined instrument.

But he uses the same harpsichord for both chaconne's.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on May 17, 2018, 03:28:26 PM
(http://img.hmv.co.jp/image/jacket/190/63/1/7/107.jpg)This is worth a listen. Takeshika gets the most out of his Silbermann fortepiano by way attentive rubato/articulation. Seems this chap never studied with anyone of note. He's kind of a mystery.
It’s my mission to get one more person to listen to this. I find the partitas, unlike other keyboard works of Bach, don’t translate as well to instruments other than the harpsichord. However, employing flexibility and imagination, Takehisu creates an enjoyable version on the fortepiano. I wouldn’t recommend it as one’s only recording, or even as a second or third one. But for lovers of the partitas I think it’s worth acquiring. 
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SergeCpp on May 07, 2020, 03:55:08 AM
Here I post my preferences in Partitas. These preferences are rather old (~2012-14) but I think they are worth to publish here. From that time I've discovered many of new interpretations (some of them are new only for me and recorded before that noted timemark). But they are not so carefully and inspectfully listened as those in this good old list. Later I'll try to post some of new findings (of them are real beauties as I seen at first quick and partial listening).

Lists are ordered (top is more suitable for me).

Harpsichord

Masaaki Suzuki (2001)
Edward Parmentier (1991)
Nicholas Parle (2002)
Trevor Pinnock (1998-99)
Scott Ross (1988)
Christophe Rousset (1992)
Kenneth Gilbert (1984-85)
Pascal Dubreuil (2007)

Piano

Gianluca Luisi (2005-07)
Andras Schiff (1983)
Craig Sheppard (2005)
Sergey Schepkin (1995)
Angela Hewitt (1996-97)
Wolfgang Rubsam (1992)
Ramin Bahrami (2005)
Andras Schiff (2007)
Vladimir Ashkenazy (2009)
Irma Issakadze (2010)
Zhu Xiao-Mei (1999)

//
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on May 07, 2020, 05:31:30 AM
Here I post my preferences in Partitas. These preferences are rather old (~2012-14) but I think they are worth to publish here. From that time I've discovered many of new interpretations (some of them are new only for me and recorded before that noted timemark). But they are not so carefully and inspectfully listened as those in this good old list. Later I'll try to post some of new findings (of them are real beauties as I seen at first quick and partial listening).

Lists are ordered (top is more suitable for me).

Harpsichord

Masaaki Suzuki (2001)
Edward Parmentier (1991)
Nicholas Parle (2002)
Trevor Pinnock (1998-99)
Scott Ross (1988)
Christophe Rousset (1992)
Kenneth Gilbert (1984-85)
Pascal Dubreuil (2007)

Piano

Gianluca Luisi (2005-07)
Andras Schiff (1983)
Craig Sheppard (2005)
Sergey Schepkin (1995)
Angela Hewitt (1996-97)
Wolfgang Rubsam (1992)
Ramin Bahrami (2005)
Andras Schiff (2007)
Vladimir Ashkenazy (2009)
Irma Issakadze (2010)
Zhu Xiao-Mei (1999)

//
I think Mortenson is great too, as is Leonhardt.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 07, 2020, 05:48:15 AM
It’s true that Suzuki, when he’s on form, he’s very very good - and he was on form in that recording of partitas. Colourful and refined instrument too, polished studio sound.

I’ve just picked up a recording of Schiff playing this music in Berlin a couple of years ago, if anyone wants it they can PM me, I think the sound is good.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SergeCpp on May 07, 2020, 06:38:28 AM
I think Mortensen is great too, as is Leonhardt.
Leonhardt (1990) recording is too energetic for me. And I listened to it many times in ~2008 before knowing of other interpretations (Pinnock 1998-99 as I recall) and made my choice then. The same situation (as I can remember) with his English Suites, I really like his 1973 recording but his 1984 recoring is not suitable for me.

I not heard Partitas recording of Mortensen (absent on YouTube), but listened to his Goldberg Variations (1989). I not remember why but his GV are in my not suitable list. But I remember good words about Mortensen Partitas said in ~2007 on Russian Classical Forum (ForumKlassika). So, I twice interested now. Thank you! It is strange for me to remember such old mention but I immediately recalled it while reading your note.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2020, 09:56:09 AM
There's something about Mortensen's harpsichord playing which I'm not keen on and I find it quite hard to put into words, it's to do with the textures. I find that the textures he makes are somehow dense with notes, airless even, which I'm not so keen on myself. It may be the instrument (uniform colours?)  and the room (slightly resonant?) or the engineering (?) as much as anything else. I don't know.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on May 08, 2020, 10:05:03 AM
There's something about Mortensen's harpsichord playing which I'm not keen on and I find it quite hard to put into words, it's to do with the textures. I find that the textures he makes are somehow dense with notes, airless even, which I'm not so keen on myself. It may be the instrument (uniform colours?)  and the room (slightly resonant?) or the engineering (?) as much as anything else. I don't know.

I always thought the sound of Mortensen's partitas reminded of the sound of Walcha's - despite the two different instruments. I wonder whether too close miking might be the common denominator. The way the music comes "right up in your face" makes it sound denser than it probably was at the venue.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SergeCpp on May 08, 2020, 11:19:23 AM
There's something about Mortensen's harpsichord playing which I'm not keen on and I find it quite hard to put into words, it's to do with the textures. I find that the textures he makes are somehow dense with notes...
It is possibly exactly the reason why Mortensen's recording of GV is in my not suitable list.

I also see quite frequently that performers (both harpsichordists and pianists) swap Aria with Sarabande in 4th Partita and Air with Sarabande in 6th Partita. Even Gianluca Luisi swaps! With Luisi recording there is even more strange situation — there was also movement names swapped (so they are were incorrectly marked then). I read in Schulenberg book (The Keyboard Music of J.S.Bach) about these short movements (Aria and Air) but don't remember any statement about swapping. For me ordering Aria and Air before Sarabande is preferable and I'm accustomed to it (and I do re-swap in my playlists).

* * *

Several of my recent discoveries for harpsichord, they are quite good at first glance. Two completely new names (for me) and Lucy Carolan (I heard of her long ago and remembered). Allemande timings (of 4th Partita) are 11:32, 10:16 and 11:48.

(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/812XMqD1tSL._SL500_.jpg)

Bach Partitas — Mireille Lagace (Harpsichord) (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_nf3_QgjSJ8BJ400UeAfKlOoCXWIb_ZPQE)


(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/91s6pDhPOPL._SL500_.jpg)

Bach Partitas — Lucy Carolan (Harpsichord) (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kezb5AjDWvzJau3BGyyQJRi6JbxZ8TmcA)


(https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/810aBir0gWL._SL500_.jpg)

Bach Partitas — Peter Sykes (Harpsichord) (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_k9h7O0vu2b5LmyadZRlH_0v4DCe9sy8sk)

//
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 08, 2020, 11:05:46 PM
Here I post my preferences in Partitas.

Have you heard Menno Van Delft? Or Blandine Verlet (Philips)? Or Genzoh Takehisa? Or Rosalyn Tureck (the Great Pianists of the c20 performance.)

Not necessarily recommend, but I do think they’re all challenging in different and interesting ways.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SergeCpp on May 09, 2020, 12:22:37 AM
Have you heard Menno Van Delft? Or Blandine Verlet (Philips)? Or Genzoh Takehisa? Or Rosalyn Tureck...

Menno van Delft's recording of AOF (1999) is high in my preference list. Several weeks ago I've checked his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaOCbASzCGx2LxK1K9f0NWQ) and found Partitas on Clavichord (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_n9P4TbRXTMB_7lHIAY5Jq0u2_0CJdRaBo). I tried (from ~2007) to listen to Clavichord but it is too hardly understandeable instrument (its sound) for me. I'd checked then this recording and switched off after minute or so. But recently I've encountered Wim Winters performance (https://youtu.be/gE-0Ux1PYiU) and liked it (but anyway cannot listen the whole set at once). I'm definitely not ready for Clavichord sound. Yet.

Blandine Verlet — yes, many times (and awaiting of Blandine Rannou Partitas, not know whether she recorded them). But now both Verlet's recordings (1977 and 2001) are in my not suitable list. Cannot remember the reason. But remember that listened to both of them many times (around ~2010s).

Genzoh Takehisa — no. I noted his name above but cannot find his Partitas set on YouTube. Will wait (hope eventually will be there). Thank you for pointing!

Rosalyn Tureck — yes, many times. But for now her recording (1956-58) is in my not suitable list. And this is not matter of tempos (I highly like Wolfgang Rubsam's slow recordings). Maybe it is matter of old sound quality.

Even Murray Perahia's recording of Partitas (2007-09) is in my not suitable list. Too soft as I remember; maybe there also another factors because soft Vladimir Ashkenazy's recording (2009) is in my preference list (though not high there).

//
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: (: premont :) on May 09, 2020, 01:01:46 AM
Have you heard Menno Van Delft? Or Blandine Verlet (Philips)? Or Genzoh Takehisa? Or Rosalyn Tureck (the Great Pianists of the c20 performance.)

Not necessarily recommend, but I do think they’re all challenging in different and interesting ways.

I am tempted to add

Pieter-Jan Belder and
Martin Gester on harpsichord and

Virginia Black on piano.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 09, 2020, 02:17:46 AM
Menno van Delft's recording of AOF (1999) is high in my preference list. Several weeks ago I've checked his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaOCbASzCGx2LxK1K9f0NWQ) and found Partitas on Clavichord (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_n9P4TbRXTMB_7lHIAY5Jq0u2_0CJdRaBo). I tried (from ~2007) to listen to Clavichord but it is too hardly understandeable instrument (its sound) for me. I'd checked then this recording and switched off after minute or so. But recently I've encountered Wim Winters performance (https://youtu.be/gE-0Ux1PYiU) and liked it (but anyway cannot listen the whole set at once). I'm definitely not ready for Clavichord sound. Yet.

Blandine Verlet — yes, many times (and awaiting of Blandine Rannou Partitas, not know whether she recorded them). But now both Verlet's recordings (1977 and 2001) are in my not suitable list. Cannot remember the reason. But remember that listened to both of them many times (around ~2010s).

Genzoh Takehisa — no. I noted his name above but cannot find his Partitas set on YouTube. Will wait (hope eventually will be there). Thank you for pointing!

Rosalyn Tureck — yes, many times. But for now her recording (1956-58) is in my not suitable list. And this is not matter of tempos (I highly like Wolfgang Rubsam's slow recordings). Maybe it is matter of old sound quality.

Even Murray Perahia's recording of Partitas (2007-09) is in my not suitable list. Too soft as I remember; maybe there also another factors because soft Vladimir Ashkenazy's recording (2009) is in my preference list (though not high there).

//

I think the only way to get Takehisa is Itunes, at least if you're not in Japan. The Tureck I have a great soft spot for, it was my introduction to this music I guess. The Verlet (both of them) seem to me interesting failures -- I mean, the high points are high, the low points are low. I don't like Van Delft either.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: Mandryka on May 09, 2020, 02:19:46 AM
I am tempted to add

Pieter-Jan Belder and
Martin Gester on harpsichord and

Virginia Black on piano.

And I will add Rampe and Egarr and . . . enough already.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: milk on May 09, 2020, 03:56:19 AM
Have you heard Menno Van Delft? Or Blandine Verlet (Philips)? Or Genzoh Takehisa? Or Rosalyn Tureck (the Great Pianists of the c20 performance.)

Not necessarily recommend, but I do think they’re all challenging in different and interesting ways.
I thought I had that Tureck but I don't. Hmm...It's not that easy to find.
I think Tureck is a unique performer. I can't say she's much like anyone else. I don't listen to her often but she always makes a strong impression.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SergeCpp on May 09, 2020, 05:59:55 AM
The Tureck I have a great soft spot for, it was my introduction to this music I guess.
And mine. Together with Gould. I listened to them both infinitely and cannot understand why the Partitas are work of genius. I suppose some switch in me not triggered. And it was earlier recording of Schiff that trigger switch inside me.
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: aukhawk on May 09, 2020, 12:56:48 PM
And I will add Rampe and Egarr and . . . enough already.

Well I will add one on piano - Igor Levit
even-handed and steady (ie, a bit slower than average)
Title: Re: Bach Six Partitas
Post by: SergeCpp on May 21, 2020, 04:56:19 AM
Stored last page with lost post: http://archive.md/oN8Ow