on 12 October 2009
this DG recording from 1995 of Bach's Partita No.1, English Suite No.3 + French Suite No.2 is a fine place to start (along with Angela Hewitt's excellent series on Hyperion) of the life-long journey that is/or could be listening to J.S.Bach's keyboard music. the choice of listening to Bach is either on period keyboards such as the harpsichord (with its hollower but period "authentic" sound) or the modern grand piano as played by Pires on this cd for instance. some purists may take double offence to Pires (if they were so snobbish about it) both of her use of the grand piano and also her interpretations of the works recorded here.
Pires takes liberties with tempi (speeds), and the use of pedals for an almost romantic -Chopin-esque treatment of several slower movements. HOWEVER, her playing is elegant overall, and deeply felt, and there are several absolutely gorgeous reflective moments (where much like the approach used by Glenn Gould to Bach's music, can be an acquired taster for some) together with perhaps slight overplaying in the faster preludes or menuets for instance. For a more straight ahead (faithful rendition according to Bach's score markings) Angela Hewiitt or Roslayn Tureck are strongly recommended.