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Bach: Six Partitas, BWV 825-830

Andras Schiff Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £22.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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András Schiff emerged in the last decades of the 20th century as one of the most respected pianists of his generation. He began piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász, and made his debut at the age of nine. At 14 Schiff began formal studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Later he studied ... Read more in Amazon's Andras Schiff Store

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Bach: Six Partitas, BWV 825-830 + J.S. Bach: Das Wohltemperierte Clavier (Books I & II) + Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
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Product details

  • Performer: Andras Schiff
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (7 Sep 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: ECM New Series
  • ASIN: B002FEUOA0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,044 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Partita V in G major, BWV 829 - Praeambulum
2. Allemande
3. Corrente
4. Sarabande
5. Tempo di Minuetta
6. Passepied
7. Gigue
8. Partita III in a minor, BWV 827 - Fantasia
9. Allemande
10. Corrente
See all 27 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Partita IV in D major, BWV 828 - Ouverture
2. Allemande
3. Courante
4. Aria
5. Sarabande
6. Menuet
7. Gigue
8. Partita VI in e minor, BWV 830 - Toccata
9. Allemanda
10. Corrente
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Following the completion of his highly-praised Beethoven cycle, Andras Schiff returns to Bach with a superb interpretation of the six Partitas, recorded live in September 2007 at Neumarkt Reitstadl, one of the best piano music venues in Europe.

"Andras Schiff is probably the most ingenious and resourceful performer of Bach on the modern piano around today" said the San Francisco Chronicle. Schiff's playing on stage combines spontaneity and intellectual depth, ravishing sound with flawless technical finish. The cycle, which in 1731 was the first group of works to be published by Bach himself, represents a unique stylistic synthesis of the suite form with a particular emphasis on most varied and imaginative opening movements. Compared to his London studio recording of 1983 this second rendering on disc demonstrates Schiff's stylistic development towards more freedom, sonic depth and sheer pleasure of phrasing. The pianist's rather unorthodox sequence of the partitas - 5 - 3 - 1 - 2 - 4 - 6 - draws an ascending line of keys leading from G major to e minor and reflects a long experience with the pieces in concert.

Personnel: Andras Schiff (piano)

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Partitas revisited 4 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I always considered Schiff's earlier recording of the Partitas for Decca to be worthy, if a little underwhelming.
Twenty five years after it was made, and after many concert performances and much re-thinking, Schiff has returned to the recording studios with these evergreen works, and has produced a real winner. His playing is more engaging, joyful and satisfying than ever, which makes these ECM versions a top recommendation
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning release from Schiff 13 May 2010
By Zodiac
Format:Audio CD
This is a great recording and a major release from ECM. The sound is beautifully recorded and Schiff's interpretations are second to none. This is a recording you will listen to the rest of your life. No further words needed. Just buy it.
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5 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Andras Schiff is great! 18 Aug 2009
Format:Audio CD
Some years ago I was happy to hear A.S. in Lincoln Center New York performing this series of partitas. Great artist and great music!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Schiff + Bach + ECM 5 Oct 2009
By Douglas Weaver - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This performance is spontaneous, joyous, cleanly articulated, but with enough ambient resonance to warm the tone. I don't think anyone records piano as well as ECM. And Andras Schiff--his first recording was so good it seemed redundant to record the partitas again, but I'm delighted he did. His phrasing highlights the structure of these works with a light touch, and he's found a rightness of tempo--especially as one movement relates to those before and after it. I tend to prefer historical instruments in baroque music, but Schiff succeeds in making the partitas utterly convincing on the piano. Too often, the ornaments that are tossed off effortlessly on a harpichord become feats of athleticism on the piano, but the trills, mordents and grace notes here succeed in embellishing the musical line without hi-jacking it.

The notes state that this is a live recording, but you would never know it. It's note-perfect and there's not a peep from the audience. It's like stumbling upon a splendid acoustic space where a master pianist is playing for no-one but himself.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fine bach and second best only to ... schiff 27 Aug 2010
By drollere - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
i first want to echo the very positive sentiments of the other reviewers. the sound is extraordinarily good for a live recital, and emi has the uncanny engineering skill to mike an instrument at exactly the sweet spot where neither hall acoustics nor performance mechanisms (breathing, humming or instrument clatter) intrude on the music.

these live performances are vigorous, alert, sharply contrasted, and clearly voiced (there is no hint of pedal). schiff's arrangement of the partitas to form a complete program or "suite of suites" is welcome and convincing.

all that said, there is something about schiff's first traversal of the partitas, back in the 80's on london records, that is to me more unaffected, more alluring and, in effect, more humble. i do not really enjoy the aspect of modern pianism (native to the competitive, faddish and precarious environment of professional musicianship) which is expressed as a style of playing that amounts to "look at how i can play the hell out of this music!" there is a point where articulation, precision, contrast, ornamentation and clarity become ends in themselves, and to my ear there is plenty of that on display in this recital.

on repeated listening i wearied of schiff's excessive use of a very crisp, somewhat loud, staccato or martello articulation (is this supposed to mimic a harpsichord?) in all except the slowest movements, his tendency to blur or ignore the tempo of ornamented textures or the concluding half of repeated sections (try tapping along the beat of the g major corrente or a minor gigue), his odd use of breathing pauses and abrupt dynamic changes to break the flow of brisk movements, and his preference to give both or all voices in two or three part textures an equal dynamic weight but contrasting affect (legato over staccato, contrasting ornamentation, etc.) as a kind of audible finger juggling stunt. (these are production mannerisms innovated by glenn gould, although schiff does not push them to the same extreme.)

bach is already complex and profound enough: that is the assumption on which all interpretations should be framed. no secret sauce is required or appreciated. bach, not the pianist's stylizations or the pianist's fingers, should always be the focus of attention. on that account, i prefer schiff's immaculate first recording, and rank this mature recital, splendid as it is, second to the simplicity and sincerity of his youthful account.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lively, joyous, totally musical Partitas. 27 Nov 2009
By A. F. S. Mui - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have heard other eminent pianists play these famous keyboard works by Bach.
Some simply bored me stiff.
Andras Schiff's Partitas, however, virtually fly out from the keyboard. So rhythmic, so lively, so crystal clear, and accoustically so outstanding.
I've heard these works played (though not necessarily in full set) by many other Bach specialists. I don't think Andras Schiff counts himself as one such, but without a single doubt, his reprise on ECM on this set of Bach Partitas rightfully sets him up as one of the most eminent Bach specialists of all times. His is the right temperament, fully nuanced, brilliantly articulated, and with full alertness to style and content.
We do not need any 'period' instrument to high light the style in the case of such eminent interpretation. (I guess Schiff played them on a Borsendorfer).
Well, if Schiff had earlier releases of Bach, his recent reprises certainly call for full attention from the musical world - they are nothing less than greatness itself!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating Bach! 27 July 2010
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
András Schiff has one of the finest reputations for performing Bach on the piano keyboard of any pianist today. Listening to the 2 CDs recorded immaculately from a live performance with the finesse we have come to expect from ECM is still an incredible experience, no matter how well the listener knows Schiff's way with Bach. These partitas are so carefully considered and executed that they seem like a series of connected thoughts or reveries in Schiff's mind and hands.

'Partitas' simply means pieces for a solo instrument and by that definition there are no hard and fast rules about how they should be constructed (partitas gave way to the more 'academically correct' sonata, works again for solo instrument but that follow a constructed scheme of composition). Schiff's approach is one of respect of the many lines of invention that weave through the embellished core theme: his way with ornamentation is so assured and accurately executed that they truly to embroider the melodic lines and counter lines. How he is able to hold our attention through all six of these impossible difficult works is nothing short of amazing: the fact that they were recording during one performance almost defies credibility.

In a time when contemporary composers are gallantly pushing all the borders of classical music to expand our concept of music in strange and wonderful new realms, it is refreshing to return to the crystalline clarity of Bach's music as an infusion of the basics in tonality, and who to better remind us of how magnificent these works are than András Schiff! This is a 'classic' performance that will surely remain a gold standard for many years. Grady Harp, July 10
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? 19 Dec 2012
By L. Hoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Andras Shiff's interpretation is quite beautiful and different from Angela Hewitt's expression of the same partitas. He senses these pieces more sensitively, imo.

I enjoy both recordings immensely, depending upon my mood.
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