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J.S. Bach: Bach On A Steinway (Jeffrey Biegel) (Steinway & Sons: STNS 30001)

Jeffrey Biegel Audio CD

Price: £12.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Biography

Considered one of the great pianists of our time, Jeffrey Biegel has created a multi-faceted career as a pianist, recording artist, chamber music collaborator, composer and arranger. His electrifying technique and mesmerizing touch have received critical acclaim and garner praise worldwide. His most recent venture is the creation of the Dicterow-DeMaine-Biegel piano trio, joined by violinist ... Read more in Amazon's Jeffrey Biegel Store

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1. Toccata in D minor, BWV 913
2. Prelude and Fugue no 5 in D major, BWV 850 from Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
3. Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826
4. Toccata in E minor, BWV 914
5. Prelude and Fugue no 13 in F sharp major, BWV 858 from Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1
6. French Suite no 5 in G major, BWV 816

Product Description

Toccata, BWV913 - Prélude & Fugue, BWV850 - Partita n°2, BWV826 - Toccata, BWV914 - Prélude & Fugue, BWV858 - Suite française, BWV816 / Jeffrey Biegel, piano

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing 17 Mar 2011
By Harriet Chapman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have played the G Major French Suite for many years and have studied numerous editions of this work. When I heard this recording, I felt as though I were hearing the piece for the first time. The ornamentation is always appealing and unfailingly inventive and the articulations are well thought out and always musical. And this recording is an extremely convincing document for playing Bach on the piano. I will take musically convincing playing like this on the piano over dusty and boring playing on period instruments any day (though I enjoy listening to those on occasion, too!). Highly recommended.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars in my opinion ... 12 Oct 2010
By J. Price - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I agree in part with the other reviews. I own this recording. It is lovely, lively -- a very musical performance and I have really enjoyed it. The piano in this recording has a gorgeous sound. However, I cannot buy into the methodology and have formed similar impressions with respect to the Bach performances of Andras Schiff, another terrific pianist.

I believe the music of JS Bach fits the piano. However, the piano possesses volume and sustain that does not compare to the sound of the baroque keyboard instruments. In my opinion, the ornamentation and improvisation succeed when playing the harpsichord but there is a fundamental difference between the two instruments and, research as much as you like, you lose rather than gain authenticity. The trills, turns and arpeggios extend the life of the notes on an instrument like the harpsichord whose sound decays quickly and that fact created a technique. On the piano less is more. More is a distraction. Bach's music has a built-in pulse, momentum and drama, and often reflects his deep religious conviction. That is not to say the music is without humor, but I believe what you do must be meaningful. While Mr. Biegel's interpretations may be metronomically correct, the pulse takes a back seat to ornamentation. In my opinion, the music is not served by it. I have played a period harpsichord and discovered remarkable color and sustain through sympathetic tones -- the instrument was strung very densely. Careful pedaling on the piano creates a more authentic sound than the addition of extended ornaments.

I would also point out that the harpsichord is not the only keyboard instrument Bach wrote for and the e minor Toccata, for example, is reminiscent of an organ work. And to nitpick, but also present a paradox, I am currently preparing the Toccata to perform, and note that Mr. Biegel plays through many of the rests, especially in the final fugue, however, maybe Bach didn't originally put all those rests in anyway.

So having set forth an opposing point of view, please feel free to enjoy this recording! It is beautiful music played beautifully. There will always be "artistic" differences!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A top-notch recording 10 Oct 2010
By ChrisKeys - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Mr. Biegel does a fantastic job of bringing Bach to life. In his hands, Bach's music is embued with emotion and passion. The improvisatory embellishments only add to the color of the music. And kudos to the sound engineers; the recorded piano sound is gorgeous!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach as he would have played it today. 9 Nov 2010
By Frank Baxter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I must admit I'm a fan of Jeffrey Biegel's playing anyway.
He is exceptional even among other great concert pianists.

Known as a virtuoso pianist with near flawless technique, Jeffrey is also a pianist
with something many technically proficient players lack ... heart.
Everything he plays is infused with emotion, and Bach on a Steinway is no exception.

Steinway was smart to debut their new label with Jeffrey Biegel as the artist of choice.

I think Bach himself would have enjoyed Jeffrey's interpretations. He does not take a lot
of liberties, he is after all a concert pianist who respects the masters, but Jeffrey's subtle interjections
of how he feels Bach might have played these pieces on a modern day piano make the pieces come
alive in new and thoroughly enjoyable ways while still staying true to what is considered the composer's
original intent.

Bach on a Steinway is definitely one of my new must play CDs, one I find myself wanting to share
with more and more people.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to get Bach, I mean back to listening to Jeffrey play.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeffrey Biegel Blooms 8 Dec 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Though there are many fine pianists who have elected to record the works selected here by gifted pianist/composer/arranger/recording artists for other composer's debut works, this recording is one of the most satisfying. Recorded on a Steinway for Steinway & Sons in 2010 in the Concert Hall of the Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, SUNY the sound is as clean and free of interfering resonances with the hall -a hallmark of fine engineering. The reason for even mentioning this is that the space in which Biegel creates his Bach is free of distortion, a factor that allows the listener to appreciate how very clean and true is his touch.

This is Bach performed not on the harpsichord but on a contemporary piano and Biegel takes that into account in the manner in which he embroiders the works with his own sensitive embellishments. Just listen to the Praeludium in the Prelude and Fugue No. 13: his fingers barely touch the keys and yet out comes a depth of sound and an almost sacred clarity of tone. Biegel's ornamentation is as thoughtful and sensitive to the line being decorated as anyone's in the field.

But another aspect of this superb recoding is the manner in which the works were selected and the order in which they are performed. That is an art - curating a presentation and Jeffrey Biegel offers as well-considered programming as anyone who has elected to play various works on one recording. He begins with a stunning Toccata in D minor, BWV 913, and then follows this with the Prelude and Fugue No. 5 in D major, the Partita for Keyboard No. 2 in C minor (a perfect dynamic shift), the Toccata in E minor, BWV 914, the Prelude and Fugue No. 13 in F sharp minor, and then closes with the French Suite No. 5 in G major BWV 816 (the Sarabande from which is like a perfect crystal, spinning). The manner in which the selections flow makes perfect harmonic sense and a very artistic flow.

For Bach on the piano this is surely one of the finest. Jeffrey Biegel deserves our attention. Grady Harp, December 12
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