Not being particularly driven towards Baroque music, I accepted this gift with uncertainty. Here, Andras Schiff, a fine Hungarian pianist largely placed on the sidelines of more popular, but not necessarily "better," if such a term can be applied to musicianship, pianists, presents Bach's ethereal English Suites, themselves collections of dances and tunes. In my ignorance, or perhaps just must musical tastes, I had previously relegated the music of Johann Sebastian to convoluted, highly intellectual experiments in method, dexterity, harmony, and rhythm. In a sense, I thought of Bach as music from a purely technical realm, endearing without emotional scope. This very recording changed my thinking.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the atmosphere produced resultant from the camera angle gives the feeling of an intimate masterclass. The camera is not at all intrusive, but optimizes the listening experience in its conservative, reflective positions. Schiff's playing itself is flawless, and his ability to follow the "line" of the music is extraordinary. His interpretation, I find, is all about cohesiveness and bringing out the relational quality in tone, rhythm, structure, etc. that binds the pieces of each Suite. His insightfulness is very apparent, and makes for exciting watching. The sound is expansive and rich, picking up all the subtleties of the musician and his instrument. Overall, highly recommended for music lovers. This recording whet my appetite for Bach.