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Bach: Complete Partitas, BWV 825-830 - Richard Egarr (2 CDS)

Bach: Complete Partitas, BWV 825-830 - Richard Egarr (2 CDS)



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Any composer’s Op.1 is a big deal. Bach modelled his own after Kuhnau’s 'Neue Clavier Übung', books 1 and 2 of which were published in 1689 and 1692. Bach’s ability to ‘see’ and create a long-term ‘project’ has its spooky beginnings here.

Although the music that inhabits the six Partitas was ready and waiting, rather than publish them together, Bach staggered their delivery. Partita 1 came in 1726, with the other five appearing gradually over the next four years, until finally in 1731 the entire six Partitas were presented as his ‘Clavir [sic] Ubung . . . Opus 1 . . . 1731’. Bach infuses this seemingly effortless music with godly patterns and personal algorithms of stunning brilliance. Many pages have been spent in the pursuit of secret codes in Bach’s music: for many, a contentious subject. Bach began by publishing Partita 1 in 1726 – when he was 41 years old. Needless to say the final movement of the set (the 41st movement), has as its theme a subject containing 14 notes. The family name not only gave rise to a direct musical melody [BACH = B flat/A/C/B natural], but for Johann Sebastian a pair of deliciously mirrored numbers with which he was wont to sign his name at beginnings and endings in particular. If A=1, B=2 etc. (I and J are counted as the same letter),


BACH = [2+1+3+8] 14

JSBACH = [9+18+14] 41

The above is wilfully paraphrased from Richard Egarr's own superb notes from this new recording of the Partitas; crowning his already extensive series of Bach's harpsichord works, and illuminating every one of their multiple facets.

Disc 1

Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]
Partita No. 1 in B-flat major, BWV 825

5V. Menuets I & II 3'15
6VI. Gigue 2'28
4IV. Sarabande 4'43
3III. Corrente 3'01
2II. Allemande 4'28
1I. Praeludium 2'02

Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]
Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826

12VI. Capriccio 4'12
11V. Rondeaux 1'49
10IV. Sarabande 3'08
9III. Courante 2'11
7I. Sinfonia 4'48
8II. Allemande 4'32

Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]
Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828

19VII. Gigue 4'16
14II. Allemande 11'20
15III. Courante 3'38
16IV. Aria 2'18
13I. Ouverture 5'53
17V. Sarabande 5'40
18VI. Menuet 1'31
Disc 2

Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]
Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827

1I. Fantasia 2'35
2II. Allemande 3'21
3III. Corrente 3'15
4IV. Sarabande 3'27
5V. Burlesca 2'17
6VI. Scherzo 1'24
7VII. Gigue 4'14
8VIII. Gigue (alternative version) 4'12

Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]
Partita No. 5 in G major, BWV 829

9I. Praeambulum 2'44
10II. Allemande 4'47
11III. Corrente 2'13
12IV. Sarabande 4'07
13V. Tempo di Minuetta 2'16
14VI. Passepied 1'47
15VII. Gigue 4'44

Johann Sebastian Bach [1685-1750]

Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830

16I. Toccata 6'39
17II. Allemande 4'00
18III. Corrente 4'55
19IV. Air 1'40
20V. Sarabande 6'04
21VI. Tempo di Gavotta 2'08
22VII. Gigue 6'10

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