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J.S. Bach The English Suites [CD]

Vladimir Feltsman (piano) , J.S. Bach , None Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 15.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Performer: Vladimir Feltsman (piano)
  • Orchestra: None
  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: J.S. Bach
  • Audio CD (10 Feb 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nimbus Alliance
  • ASIN: B0073EZ4PW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,820 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. J.S. Bach, English Suite No.1 in A Major BWV806
2. J.S. Bach, English Suite No.2 in A minor BWV807
3. J.S. Bach, English Suite No.3 in G minor BWV808
Disc: 2
1. J.S. Bach, English Suite No.4 in F Major BWV809
2. J.S. Bach, English Suite No.5 in E minor BWV810
3. J.S. Bach, English Suite No.6 in D minor BWV811

Product Description


"...clearly, one of the supreme Bach keyboard exponents of our time!" --Chicago Tribune

"...quite simply an amazing pianist!" --The New York Times

About the Artist

Pianist and conductor Vladimir Feltsman is one of the most versatile and constantly interesting musicians of our time. His vast repertoire encompasses music from the Baroque to 20th-century composers. A regular guest soloist with leading symphony orchestras in the United States and abroad, he appears in the most prestigious concert series and music festivals all over the world.

Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under-stated mastery 20 Mar 2012
By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Having been very impressed by Feltsman's "A Tribute to Rachmaninov", I was eager to hear him play a very different composer. My only previous experience of this music was the recording by Glenn Gould which, like many of that wayward genius's recordings, remains hors concours.

Feltsman seems to me to be a pianist without mannerisms: his touch is buoyant and his articulation clean but he does not play mechanically: he is unafraid to make tiny rallentandos without wallowing. He is neither coolly cerebral nor incongruously indulgent but allows the music to breathe naturally. Everything is done in the best possible taste; thus repeats are elegantly but not flashily ornamented. His impeccable technique permits him to make everything sound easy so that Bach's irrepressible moto perpetuo movements such as the opening Prélude to Suite No.2 are wonderfully exuberant, then the stately Allemande which follows is poised and recollected but at the same time deeply soulful.

Feltsman is not one to exploit unduly the tonal colours of the piano: pedalling is restrained and he is always mindful to accentuate the French elegance of these suites, their title notwithstanding - indeed, no-one is quite clear how these pieces gained their sobriquet. They are, to quote from Feltsman's own full and highly informative liner notes, "Bach's first large- scale experiment in combining imitative counterpoint with the well established forms and idioms of gallant dances" and although some of his tempi are rather sprightly to retain their links with their terpsichorean origins, one cannot argue with Feltsman's feeling for how the music should go.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Polished peformance of early Bach 16 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD
Vladimir Feltsman displays exquisite control in the performance of these early works by Bach. The approach is rather on the lines of a clavier without too much stress on the increased capacity of character and colour which can be extracted from the pianoforte. For example, this contrasts with the handling of the piano's potential in Murray Perahias CD of the Bach keyboard concertos. It may be said that this type of technique is more in keeping with early 18th Century composition but, on the other hand, wouldn't the composer have been delighted with what could be done with his works on a more sophisticated instrument?
In any event, this CD is a pleasure to listen to and will, no doubt, be revisited by any purchaser on several future occasions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach's Six 'English' Suites in excellent hands 26 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
The six so-called English Suites by the youngish J.S. Bach, written around 1715, are here recorded on two excellent Nimbus cds by the Bach specialist Vladimir Feltsman who gives clear-cut performances throughout. These were made in New York late in 2005 and treat us to carefully planned and executed excursions into a field later further explored by the composer in his French Suites and Partitas for solo keyboard. Feltsman, born in Moscow, enjoyed a fine recital and recording career in Russia until he asked for a foreign visa, whereupon his recitals were cancelled and recordings banned and withdrawn from sale. For two years he was not allowed to give public recitals and it took him eight years finally to be given his visa. On arrival in the USA in 1987 he gave a US début recital at the White House to critical acclaim.

The music on these discs is joyous and is played by a pianist who has an enviable technique as well as a great dedication to the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach. If you do not know this pianist here is a chance to savour his excellence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mastery 20 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD
I confess I've always been a huge sucker for Bach on the piano (when well played of course!) no matter what the purists might say. It started, not in fact in a cliched way with Glenn Gould, but with Ashkenazy and his great recording of the D minor keyboard concerto. Then on through Murray Perahia, Andras Schiff, Angela Hewitt......
Anyway, suffice it to say that the Russian pianist Vladimir Feltsman is more than able to survive in such exalted company. He plays with tremendous feeling - nothing in the least bit cerebral. But he manages to do this without abandoning the essential pulse of the music. His technique is transcendental, to the extent that the difficulties appear to evaporate, and the music simply pours forth. But it is his understanding of the shape of the music, its phrasing, sense of direction that is so stunning, and makes these discs so rivetting to listen to. My favourite is the F major Suite, no.4. Listen to the withdrawn, stately melancholy of its Sarabande (CD2 track 4), then the sheer physical exuberance of its final Gigue (track 6) - fabulous! And finally a word in praise of the Nimbus engineers, who have captured the piano sound so perfectly. Easy? NO!! Great discs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A "tawny port" of a recital 25 Mar 2012
By Delius
Format:Audio CD
Pigeon-holing is a convenient mechanism but frequently an inadequate one. Attending a concert recently by Arcadi Volodos I expected him to power his way through a Brahms concerto ....only to be totally confounded when he played it with considerable delicacy and finesse.

Somehow I had mentally associated Feltsman with the "powerhouse lobby" too - partly perhaps because of another recent Nimbus release where he plays Rach 3. Yet here is delicate, luminous pianism, matured like a fine wine and positively glowing from the speakers.

Having had Schiff's recordings for some years I was persuaded to acquire the one by Robert Levin (Hanssler Classics) - also playing incidentally on a modern piano. The comparison is interesting. Levin is almost uniformly faster, with crisper attack and minimal decay on notes. Feltsman by contrast seems to stroke the keys.

Sometimes the comparisons are not immediately obvious - in the first suite for example the actual timings are not vastly different, yet the feel is distinctly dissimilar. Levin is forthright, clear headed whilst Feltsman is more...suggestive, more...well, confiding. Allemandes are slower in Feltsman's hands but lines sing in a most agreeable way, whilst in a movement like the passpied in the 5th suite he does not neglect the essential in Bach - ie that the music dances delightfully. Meanwhile the prelude to the 6th Suite does not neglect grandeur; this, as Feltsman suggests in his notes, is arguably the finest of the group.

Perhaps in comparison the French Suites and the Partitas are generally regarded as finer, yet for much of these discs that assertion seems far from the truth.

This will not be the only survey for your collection but if it's an impulse buy you won't be disappointed. Did I say "fine wine"? No, maybe a "tawny port".
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