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Bach: French Suites BWV 812-817

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Bach, J.S.: French Suites
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Audio CD, 14 Aug 2007
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Frequently bought together

  • Bach: French Suites BWV 812-817
  • +
  • Bach: Complete English Suites
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  • Bach: Partitas Nos. 2, 3 & 4
Total price: £32.34
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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Aug. 2007)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B00009AHMK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,577 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 6 French Suites BWV 812-817 - Bach

Product description

GAVRILOV ANDREI

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Those who liked Gavrilov's scintillating rendition of Goldberg Variations may find this rewarding. He plays each suite relatively briskly with wonderful sense of melodic lines as well as with sharp awareness of vertical relationship of the score. Compared to the more fluid and graceful performance of his EMI recording, DG version focuses on articulation and rhythmic aspect of the music with less use of pedal. It is interesting to compare the both versions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IN RESPONSE 28 Nov. 2007
By J. Lambie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Just got through reading the "sphaerenklang" review that appears here and felt compelled to respond.

First, I'm always and immediately suspicious of folks who hold forth on "Baroque style and interpretation". The recordings from the period are of abysmal quality and all the 275 year-olds I've met have severe memory problems. (And are Baroque techniques even relevant to the pianoforte, one of my top choices for proof of intelligent design in the universe? We all know how well the harpsichord responds to subtle variations in touch. That's why it's such a popular instrument today.) Of course "sphaerenklang" could be the pseudonym for a lost and extremely aged Bach progeny. There were a passle of 'em. In which case we'd have to take his assertions of what Bach expected of his interpreters at face value. Or perhaps his Ouija board has contacted the Maestro and klang is privy to Bach's personal notion of musical common sense. In my experience though, most folks version of "common sense" is things they, coincidentally, happen to agree with.

Second, I'm trying to reconcile klang's description of Gavrilov's performance with what I hear when I play my CDs. Check out the EMI version listed above. (The performance is the same. I own both. I bought the DG thinking it was different. S'not. And the EMI comes with nifty versions of the English Suite #5 and Italian Concerto played by Stanislaus Bunin.) There are audio samples. Judge for yourself. Personally, I prefer Gavrilov's French Suites to those of Gould, Aldwell, Hewitt or Schiff which are also in my collection. But that's just me. It's entirely possible that either klang or I has his head wedged in a dark place that impairs ones' listening ability. Again, you judge.

Third, do you really want to take advice from someone who wants to remain anonymous? If so, I've got a 16 year old SUV with 200,000 plus miles on it. Pristine condition. Reeeeeally easy on gas. Priced to move. Be perfect for you.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The problem isn't with our music "stars" (rating, performance, or otherwise) but with ourselves 19 Aug. 2012
By Wayne A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is an excellent modern-instrument interpretation.

Regarding the hubbub here:

Just because a person listens to, and enjoys, classical music doesn't mean they are qualified reviewers or historians of classical music. It doesn't even mean that they have anything beyond a superficial, solely emotional, moment-for-moment grasp of what they are listening to.

We have an odd problem in this culture: we instantly equate "classical musical listener" with "intelligent person." Public radio stations semi-annually resurrect this myth when they flatter their listeners in order to loosen the strings on their purses. But the horrible truth is that most classical music is just used as swank-sounding musical wallpaper and/or the only acceptable alternative to all that commoner music, by dilettantes. When the dilettantes want to sound authoritative, i.e when they want to show off that connection between listening to Classical Music and their dubious Renaissance Man or Woman selves, they usually adopt a Strong Opinion about some tiresome musicological controversy of the sort that nowadays earns a four-paragraph side-bar in any issue of that famous Executive seating airline magazine,Gramophone. For decades, a favored Strong Opinion has been about Period Performance Practices. This topic is the source of 33% of the nonsense found in Amazon Classical Music reviews.

The remaining 65% largely is generated by what I call the Imprinting Phenomenon. These Amazon review pages are jam-packed with reviews of music by listeners who, similar to Lorenz's goslings, imprinted on the very first recordings of any piece they were exposed to and liked (if they didn't like them on first exposure, those masterpieces are usually dismissed as "boring" or "nonsensical" and are lost to them forever). These listeners/reviewers then go on to waste our time, and their own, "demonstrating their intelligence" by proving that any other recording of the same music is just awful. They have locked into that first imprint and simply cannot "hear" the merits of other approaches to the interpretation of music. They don't even care to try. If their chosen recording makes them weep, or smile, or want to march around the room banging on a pot with spoon, then it must be the best one ever. If another recording sounds nearly like it, it must also be a great performance.

This Type overlaps with the "GREATEST INTERPRETATION EVER!!!" title-writer. That person differs from the Imprinter only in that these people sometimes do search around a bit until they find that special performance that seems tailor made for their "unique" tastes and dispositions i.e makes them want to march around the room and bang on a pot with a spoon. Once that magic performance is found how could any others have any merit?

All of this nonsense can be summed up with a single word: Narcissism. What I like must be good, what I don't like must be bad, and [I don't know nuthin' about nuthin' but ...] I know what I like. It's the way most people--rich or poor, ignorant or educated--tend to think these days.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is fine music 28 May 2013
By idratherbe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Gavrilov plays Bach's French Suites, BWV 812-817, on the piano. I got it for comparing with a rendition on harpsichord, The French Suites. The comparison is fascinating. This is fine music. No regrets.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars also in response 1 Feb. 2012
By Ken Braithwaite - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is not historically informed Bach. But 'robotic' it ain't! Gavrilov is as his custom quite free. But his earlier EMI set is better.
10 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mechanical, unmusical - Bach by robots, for robots 12 Jan. 2005
By sphaerenklang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Gavrilov plays most of Bach's movements without the least humanity, flexibility or musical shaping. He doesn't have the first idea about Baroque style and interpretation - the first idea being that notes receive different stresses and are of different lengths according to their different rhythmic, harmonic, melodic and emotional significance.

His approach is totally academic using the late 19th century notion that all notes in a phrase should be equally loud and have the same articulation unless there is an explicit marking in the score.

Of course Bach's scores have no such markings, since he expected his interpreters to have the musical common sense to use variations in touch and rhythm to bring out the structure and significance of the music. Needless to say the result is mostly unlistenable (with the possible exception of the Sarabandes, which have some lyricism but where Gavrilov's repetitive and unimaginative ornamentation is a drag on proceedings). Apparently the Sewing-Machine Bach style is alive - to the extent that anything so insensitive and mechanical can be said to be so - and kicking.
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