Very good value for money at £3+! The playing is absolutely superb but the recording loses a star as the sound is dulled, probably due to the age of the recording. Still very relaxing to listen to and recommended.
Decca must be complemented in reissuing these recordings of Bach's Partitas.
Andras Schiff playing of these Partitas is incisive and warm. It is difficult to review perfection which these are. They are very difficult pieces to play, they follow Bach's French and English suites. I have the original 1984/5 version and it is so fresh to listen to. As it is, this is a superb recording and can be recommended very highly. For those who get the latest remastered version, they are very fortunate.
A must have disc is Schiff's': 2 Part and 3 Part Invention on the Decca label. These I bought on foot of this recording , along with The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2. For me they complement the Partitas. Andras has the measure of Johann Sebastian's keyboard music and he knows how to make the notes literally hang in the air as demanded by the music.
This is the definitive version of the BWV 825-830. It is only when you listen to his other recordings, that the perspective unfolds around you, that Schiff is a master of Bach's music.
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Now Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena were pottering around the house when there was a knock on the front door. "It must be one of those damned, penny-pinching councillors!" JS muttered grimly to himself. With reluctance he opened it. There standing on the front porch was Andras Schiff, looking very 1983-ish and cherubic at that.
"Good Evening, Kapellmeister Bach. My name is Andras Schiff. I am here to take your daughter Partita out on a date tonight."
As if it had been prearranged, Partita now stood beside her father. She was a comely wench in `showroom condition'. Her 'big personality' preceded her by a wide margin. Moreover she was clearly excited by the prospect of a night out on Leipzig town. Johann Sebastian stared suspiciously at his offspring: the last thing he needed was a family scandal.
"I assure you my intentions are entirely honourable," the pianist purred sprucely in a euro accent.
Anna Magdalena joined the throng. She poked her husband in the ribs.
"Ok, yes, alright, I suppose so!" he growled.
At these words, Partita skipped out the door and was away into the night.
JS spent the next couple of hours composing a dozen or so cantatas. All the while however, his mind was on his daughter. Is she currently on her back with her legs up in the air? God help that Hungarian bugger if she comes back with a bun in the oven, he told himself. JS keeps an axe in the shed. When his consort was busy in the kitchen, he fetched it and placed it next to the hallway.
Come midnight there was a knock on the door. It was promptly answered.
Johann Sebastian stared forensically at his daughter. There was an air of discontent to her, as if the night had been pleasant enough but there had been no merriment let alone consummation. With a sigh of relief, the composer stepped forward and shook the well-moisturised hand of the Hungarian virtuoso.
"Herr Schiff, I think every father would be grateful - in a way - to have their daughter to go out with such a well bred and thoughtful gentleman. Thank you for your time. Please do not bother us again!"
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