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English Suites

Andras Schiff Audio CD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £21.95
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Biography

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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Frequently Bought Together

English Suites + Bach: Six French Suites
Price For Both: £54.75

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  • Bach: Six French Suites £32.80

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Oct 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0000041UP
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,341 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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.1 in A major BWV 806 - 1. Prélude 2:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.1 in A major BWV 806 - 2. Allemande 4:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.1 in A major BWV 806 - 3. Courante I 1:30£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.1 in A major BWV 806 - 4. Courante II avec deux Doubles 2:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.1 in A major BWV 806 - 5. Sarabande 3:55£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.1 in A major BWV 806 - 6. Bourrée I & Bourrée II 4:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.1 in A major BWV 806 - 7. Gigue 2:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - 1. Prélude 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - 2. Allemande 3:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - 3. Courante 2:02£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - 4. Sarabande 3:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - 5. Gavotte I - Gavotte II ou la musette 3:21£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - 6. Gigue 2:41£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - 1. Prélude 5:49£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - 2. Allemande 3:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - 3. Courante 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - 4. Sarabande 3:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - 5. Passepied I en Rondeau & Passepied II 3:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - 6. Gigue 3:18£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807 - 1. Prelude 4:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807 - 2. Allemande 3:15£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807 - 3. Courante 1:38£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807 - 4. Sarabande 3:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807 - 5. Bourrée I & II 4:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807 - 6. Gigue 3:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.4 in F, BWV 809 - 1. Prélude 4:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.4 in F, BWV 809 - 2. Allemande 3:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.4 in F, BWV 809 - 3. Courante 1:28£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.4 in F, BWV 809 - 4. Sarabande 3:57£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.4 in F, BWV 809 - 5. Menuet I-II 3:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.4 in F, BWV 809 - 6. Gigue 3:20£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.6 in D minor, BWV 811 - 1. Prélude 8:38£1.09  Buy MP3 
Listen14. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.6 in D minor, BWV 811 - 2. Allemande 4:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.6 in D minor, BWV 811 - 3. Courante 2:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.6 in D minor, BWV 811 - 4. Sarabande & 5. Double 3:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.6 in D minor, BWV 811 - 6. Gavotte I-II 3:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. J.S. Bach: English Suite No.6 in D minor, BWV 811 - 7. Gigue 3:44£0.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

BBC Review

These Bach Suites are about as English as...Angela Hewitt, who follows in fellow Canadian pianist Glenn Gould's footsteps as a revered performer of Bach's keyboard music, while sounding absolutely nothing like him. The English Suites seem to have got the name because Bach intended them for 'an Englishman of rank' as an early biographer put it. The First Suite is positively French in style, while the others are more Italianate...if you've ever shuddered at the extremes of expression, interpretation, tempi and noises-off in Gould's Bach, then Hewitt should be a profound pleasure.

This is playing of such clarity and intelligence that you're encouraged to follow every strand of Bach's counterpoint, and in contrast to performers who make Bach feel brow-knittingly complicated, there's a luminous simplicity about Hewitt's playing. Gould fans (and I have my moments) shouldn't find this emotionally pallid either; with Hewitt the expressive nuances and dynamic contrasts don't feel as though they're superimposed. Instead you're drawn into her world, and Bach's, where you're never yelled at or forced to be impressed.

That's not to say that there isn't effervescent, energetic playing - there's plenty, but while brisk tempi are allowed, there's no rush, which gives Hewitt time to let every voice speak, and for her ornamentation to be impeccably delivered. Her early training in classical ballet seems to have paid off as well: she never forgets the origins of Bach's movements in dance numbers, and they step lightly and elegantly, with no vulgar whirling or posturing. The two famous Gavottes from the Third Suite are a perfect example, poised and clearly voiced, with the detached brilliance of the first Gavotte in complete contrast to the finger-legato of the second, so there's no need to change the tempo.

Some listeners may feel that Hewitt's English Suites are under-characterised, but she never needs to shout to make her point. Her booklet notes are as clear and engaging as her playing, and on the pair of hybrid CD/SACDs to which I've been listening, the recorded sound matches the musical qualities on show; crystal clear and pleasantly resonant. Everything just so, nothing out of place, no extremes... and no it's not boring, it's beautiful. Angela Hewitt's Bach is also bang on schedule: just one more volume to come in 2004, ten years after the series began. I'll be waiting in line: it's been a consistently fascinating journey

Like This? Try These:

JS Bach: The Toccatas (Angela Hewitt)

CPE Bach: Sonatas and Rondos (Mikhail Pletnev)

JS Bach: Goldberg Variations (András Schiff) --Andrew McGregor

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
While the English Suites are not the equal of the Partitas (to say nothing of the choral nukes) there is still much to admire. They were written by the young Bach before the cantata sausage-machine, the incessant shagging and the resultant mouths to feed drained him of youth. Somewhat hesitantly, one could acclaim them to be Bach's Sturm und Drang. Yes, the dance element is every present but two thirds of them are in a minor key and declamatorily at that. The expansive fugue that opens the Fifth Suite is surely one of Bach's greatest creations: even at its close, one senses the composer could have spent eternity chasing down its last elaboration.

The English Suites have been well served by discography. Wherein lies safe anchorage?

They say that Glenn Gould was so taken by the playing of the young Andras Schiff in his favourite composer that he invited the young pianist up to his infamous apartment - the Werewolf's Lair - to discuss all things Bach. Sadly, the young Hungarian emerged unscathed - perhaps a lupine bite-mark or scratch might have infected him with a demonry that has been manifestly lacking over the course of his career.

These are cultivated, thoughtful and animated performances. No overt romanticism intrudes on proceedings and the part-writing is sprucely articulated. Rhythmically it cannot be gainsaid. All in all, Schiff is more vital than a dry-as-dust survey of these works by a Moses lookalike whose beard covers the keyboard of a clattery 1218 Ruckers harpsichord. But sadly, a certain primness carries the day.

The bass-line in Bach is the voice of God - and sometimes his infernal counterpart intrudes on proceedings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is piano music for life. 20 Nov 2001
By Charles Ryder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I've had this Schiff recording for nigh on ten years and have yet to hear a better one. Bach's English Suites, particularly number three, are so ahead of their time it's scary. So personal, so emotional, and yet technically not his most sophisticated or respected works. Why?? Whatever can be said of them I think them sublime.
Schiff, perhaps better known for his flawless treatment of Schubert's revered piano sonatas (London), gives a magical rendering to some of the great composer's more thoughtful music. If you're not convinced of the romantic and ground-breaking aspect of these suites, listen to the "Courante" and "Sarabande" of suite three in G minor. These brief movements are unutterably beautiful. Although sometimes a little too technical for his own good, Schiff is more than faithful to what I think Bach had in mind.
Again, this is piano music for life.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superlative bach 11 Aug 2000
By stephen s. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Schiff's delicate touch and resonant musicianship are perfect for these 'simple' old dances as transfigured by the hand of JSB. This is playing that is fully in the moment, the notes falling like pearls; You will be rapt three bars into the Sarabande of #1 - and in love with that stately form before the end. The extraordinary chromaticism the the polyphony wanders through is fully reveled in Schiff's slow tempi. What a piano, what a pianist, what a work! Somewhere, Bach is smiling!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the top pianists of the world! 15 Sep 2006
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Two great pianists of the past, have literally made personal and almost unsurpassable landmarks in the English Suites: Rosalyn Tureck with the superb version of the third suite and then Glenn Gould 's emblematic and overwhelming performances.

Nevertheless ,it `s worthy to remark the distinguished refinement and eloquent expressiveness of Andras Schiff in these formidable and always rewarding sets of the music of musicians, the oldest musicians of the future: Johan Sebastian Bach.

Schiff has expanded and enriched even more his extraordinary and well selected repertoire. This Hungarian pianist is actually one of the most pyramidal pianists all over the world. The accurate phrasing, the velvet sound and the zealous fingering, enviable articulation and sheer musicality denote and suggest a bulletproof musical commitment and so a mesmerizing sound, plenty of freshness and powerful imagination.

Under any reason you should miss these stand-out performances.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality recording. 6 Aug 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I realise that many people do not appreciate Schiff's interpretation of this piece. I have listened to many other pianists' version of the English Suites, including Gould's, Peraiha's (spelling?), etc. but I still think that Schiff's interpretation of this work is excellent enough to be worth buying. Maybe not Schiff's best, but that's still better than a lot of others'!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite recordings ever 6 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A delightful, energetic and joyous performance of these highly melodic and accessible works by Bach.
Schiff expresses complete joy with his energetic, sensitive performance. Boring? Never. Beautiful music played perfectly.
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