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Bach: Partitas Nos. 2 & 6, Toccata BWV 911


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David Fray was born in 1981 and began the piano when he was 4 years old. He worked with Jacques Rouvier at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and graduated with top honours.
David Fray has received numerous prizes and awards including a prize and a grant by the Banque Populaire, the Diploma of Outstanding Merit at the Fifth International Hamamatsu Competition ... Read more in Amazon's David Fray Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: Partitas Nos. 2 & 6, Toccata BWV 911 + Bach: Piano Concertos + Schubert Impromptus Op.90 Moments Musicaux Allegretto in C minor
Price For All Three: £21.58

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jan 2013)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B009KY0WCI
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Partita No.2 in C minor/c-moll/en ut mineur BWV 826: I Sinfonia - Grave. Adagio - Andante 4:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Partita No.2 in C minor/c-moll/en ut mineur BWV 826: II Allemande 4:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Partita No.2 in C minor/c-moll/en ut mineur BWV 826: III Courante 2:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Partita No.2 in C minor/c-moll/en ut mineur BWV 826: IV Sarabande 3:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Partita No.2 in C minor/c-moll/en ut mineur BWV 826: V Rondeau 1:20£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Partita No.2 in C minor/c-moll/en ut mineur BWV 826: VI Capriccio 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Toccata in C minor/c-moll/en ut mineur BWV 91110:13Album Only
Listen  8. Partita No.6 in E minor/e-moll/en mi mineur BWV 830: I Toccata 9:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Partita No.6 in E minor/e-moll/en mi mineur BWV 830: II Allemande 4:08£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Partita No.6 in E minor/e-moll/en mi mineur BWV 830: III Courante 4:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Partita No.6 in E minor/e-moll/en mi mineur BWV 830: IV Air 1:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Partita No.6 in E minor/e-moll/en mi mineur BWV 830: V Sarabande 7:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Partita No.6 in E minor/e-moll/en mi mineur BWV 830: VI Tempo di gavotta 1:44£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Partita No.6 in E minor/e-moll/en mi mineur BWV 830: VII Gigue 6:46£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

David Fray, described as “perhaps the most inspired, certainly the most original Bach-player of his generation,” launched his Virgin Classics career with Bach and this is his third album to feature the composer’s keyboard music. “We shouldn’t be afraid of acknowledging the expressiveness of Bach’s music,” says Fray. “The Romantics don’t have a monopoly on expressivity!”

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Retired Don on 28 Jan 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the most wonderful CDs of Bach keyboard music (indeed surely one of greatest Bach recordings ever) is Martha Argerich's 1979 disc of the Partita No. 2, the Toccata BWV 911, and the English Suite No. 2. She plays with a quite extraordinary combination of clarity and sensitivity, of life and intensity. A hard act to follow.

Yet here in a new release is the young French pianist David Fray, also playing the Partita No. 2 and the same Toccata, but this time completing the disc (more generously) with the Partita No. 6. Surely the overlapping choice of programme here isn't accidental. He is inviting a comparison. How does Fray's disc stand up?

I thought (and still think) that his recording of the Schubert Impromptus Op.90 and the Moments Musicaux is stunning (much better in this repertoire than the mannered Paul Lewis). I haven't, though, heard his previous much admired Bach discs. But I'm now a new convert here too. This disc is surely remarkable. Fray has said "We shouldn't be afraid of acknowledging the expressiveness of Bach's music". And this is indeed expressive playing (yet within reason, without exaggeration), and again there's great clarity and intensity. There is, for example, appropriate introspection in the 2nd Partita's Sarabande and zest in the 6th Partita's Air. This is overall a truly thoughtful and impressive recording. Warmly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Romantic Bach and why not... 16 Feb 2013
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
David Fray is a French pianist in his early thirties who has magnetism of presence, handsome good looks, and a style of pianism that seems to draw a line between those who think he breathes fresh air into the classic wonders of Bach and those who think he takes too much personal touch for the purist. In arguments such as that it seems what gets lost is the actual music of the performance captured, because if anyone can simply sit and listen to this airbourne and heartfelt performance of 3 of Bach's miracles then the magic of the pause in time between the invention of these masterworks and their performance here just vanishes.

There is a warmth and light approach to Fray's phrasing, a lingering on a musical resolution of a line that some would say is more of the Romantic school. And according to Fray's thoughts, `We shouldn't be afraid of acknowledging the expressiveness of Bach's music. The Romantics don't have a monopoly on expressivity!' Fray's style is a combination of intellectual concentration and natural exuberance and has been likened to that of the late Glenn Gould, though Fray's own hard, bright patina does not carry the sonority of the discrete notes to the pointillistic extreme Gould sought.

For instance, in the Partita for Keyboard No. 2 in C minor critic Gary Lemco describes it very well: `The C Minor Partita allows Fray to exert first, in the Sinfonia, his expressive powers in lofty, French-Overture style as well as in the chromatic layering required in toccata passages that take the form of a three-part invention. Fray applies a persuasive shapeliness to the Allemande, and many will sense a "romantic" allure in his melodic voicings. The contrapuntal brio in the Courante has Fray's singing along in throaty grumbles. The Sarabande, based on a stylized Spanish dance, here proceeds as staid duet, parlando, in a nostalgic mood. The last two movements, Rondeau and Capriccio, respectively, enjoy a spirited articulation and bravura fluency, once again peppered with Fray's gutturals. The breathless pace of the last movement does not prevent the bouncy joie de vivre from completely overtaking our buoyant feet in response to a fleet, spontaneous performance.'

Granted there are those who object to Fray's interpretations as much as Lemco praises them, but in the end it is up to the ear of the listener. And for this ear the balance between technical prowess and interpretive tenderness is most satisfying.
The works here are: Toccata in C minor, BWV 911, Partita for Keyboard no 6 in E minor, BWV 830 and Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826 Grady Harp, February 13
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
More Wonderful Bach from Fray 27 Jan 2013
By I. Martinez-Ybor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a wonderful musician David Fray is. Sublime Schubert, then he gave us full-dimensional Mozart. Now his journey through Bach continues to astound. Little by little he keeps adding to his initial solo contributions, and then the concertos. Now he adds partitas #2 and 6 to the #4 on a previous disc (coupled with a French Suite and Boulez's Notations, marvelous) so that now that we have all the even numbered ones, we will get the odd numbered ones soon. Such intelligent and delightful Bach is hard to find. Virtuoso though the playing may be, one never loses the perception that one is listening to Bach first, and only then to a pianist.

The Toccata is no imitiation Argerich or Gould but establishes its own credentials and they are splendid. If Martha's dances like the old Bolshoi, David's is definitely the Mariinsky or the Paris Opera Ballet. Different ways of attacking the same choreography, different ways of dancing. The analogy is apt, for this Toccata must dance. If it doesn't, sorry, the playing fails. No risk of that here. What joys Bach gives us, what variety he provokes...... Thank you, JSB.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Virtuosic 21 Feb 2013
By Biberfan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Most CDs could be categorized into three camps: 1) totally blows you away, 2) totally disappoints, or 3) somewhere in between. Fray's passion for Bach's music shows through, but the recording isn't "perfect."

The first plus is the virtuosity expressed in the faster movements. Fray's playing isn't just fast (as it should be in these examples), but there's a palpable passion and energy behind the phrasing that's good.

Second, the recorded sound and acoustic is very nice.

Some of the slower movements might be a tad "bland" in comparison to the faster ones; Having seen Fray play on YouTube in concert, I think the interpretation is fine, but his facial expressions and body movements help convey the Affekt of the music. On record alone, I might wish for "more" in terms of phrasing, tempo, or a more overt "statement" about the music.

Lastly, there's audible noises from Fray (his foot, and what sounds like grunts). These are far from the vocalisations by Gould in his recordings, but nevertheless, it might be off-putting to some.

In the end I enjoyed this recital and in a very short time have managed to listen to it often enough to recommend it. It is a nice companion to readings by others; I liked Andreas Staier on harpsichord and Hewitt's toccatas on piano.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bach blissfully played by young David Fray 29 July 2013
By Dorothea Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It helped a lot, that I first listened to this recording at 40,000 feet on my way to a one week retreat in Europe ... it was heavenly bliss listening to David Fray's piano interpretation of these wonderful Bach Partitas' ... great contemplative music!!
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