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CHAN 0618M
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CHAN 0618
(multiple CD Set)

Bach: Partitas

The Classical Shop
release date: August 1998

Originally recorded in 1997

Artists:

Robert Woolley

harpsichord

Venue:

St Bartholemews Church, Orford, Suffolk



Producer:

Martin Compton



Engineer:

Ben Connellan


Jonathan Cooper

(Assistant)

Peter Newble

(Assistant)

Record Label
Chaconne

Genre:

Chamber


Early Music

Total Time - 148:46
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JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

(1685-1750)
   
 

Partita No. 1, BWV825

21:10  
  in B flat majeur - B-Dur - si bémol majeur  
1 I Praeludium 1:53
2 II Allemande 5:13
3 III Corrente 3:06
4 IV Sarabande 4:59
5 V Menuet I & II 3:09
6 VI Giga 3:09
   
 

Partita No. 2, BWV826

21:28  
  in C minor - c-Moll - ut mineur  
7 I Sinfonia 4:55
8 II Allemande 5:00
9 III Courante 2:37
10 IV Sarabande 3:25
11 V Rondeaux 1:52
12 VI Capriccio 3:32
   
 

Partita No. 6, BWV830

33:21  
  in E minor - e-Moll - mi mineur  
13 I Toccata 6:35
14 II Allemande 4:08
15 III Corrente 5:11
16 IV Sarabande 6:41
17 V Air 1:45
18 VI Tempo di gavotta 2:27
19 VII Gigue 6:31
   
 

Partita No. 3, BWV827

20:29  
  in A minor - a-Moll - la mineur  
20 I Fantasia 2:10
21 II Allemande 3:25
22 III Courante 2:57
23 IV Saradande 4:25
24 V Burlesca 2:28
25 VI Scherzo 1:14
26 VII Gigue 3:39
   
 

Partita No. 4, BWV828

29:02  
  in D major - D-Dur - ré majeur  
27 I Ouverture 5:59
28 II Allemande 6:59
29 III Courante 3:51
30 IV Sarabande 4:07
31 V Aria 2:32
32 VI Menuet 1:33
33 VII Gigue 3:56
   
 

Partita No. 5, BWV829

23:32  
  in G major - G-Dur - sol majeur  
34 I Praeambulum 2:39
35 II Allemande 5:44
36 III Courante 2:02
37 IV Sarabande 5:00
38 V Tempo di minuetta 2:15
39 VI Passepied 1:39
40 VII Gigue 4:04
   
 Robert Woolley harpsichord
  16-18 October 1996  


Distinguished harpsichordist Robert Woolley performs Bach’s six Partitas.In this recording, Robert Woolley takes account of manuscript corrections and performance indications - particularly ornamentation - found in several exemplars of the original edition, including Bach’s own Handexmplar, making for a particularly authentic performance.

Following in the footsteps of Kuhnau, a great influence on him when he was young and his predecessor at Leipzig, Bach inaugurated his great cycle of keyboard publications with a work entitles Clavier-Übung (Keyboard Practice) consisting of six ’Partitas’ - suites. We know that he originally intended to publish seven (as Kuhnau did), but it is not known why the seventh in F major failed to materialize. He also borrowed from Kunau the concept of a series of suites whose keys stand for each of the keynotes of the scale.

It is hard to detect any obvious debt to Kuhnau in the musical substance of Bach’s Partitas. They were written thirty-five years later in a more up-to-date style, but still appealed to the same market - a market made up of enthusiastic and cultivated amateurs.

With his musical public in mind, Bach offers a dazzling array of sharply differentiated styles and techniques, partly reflected in the colorful musical titles of the preludes and the intermezzi or ’andern Galanterien’, lightweight dances of optional type inserted towards the end of each suite. Each of the introductory movements embodies a different compositional principle: through-composed prelude (No 1), tripartite sinfonia (No 2), two-part invention (No 3), French overture (No 4), concerto-ritornello form 9No 5) and toccata-and-fugue (No 6). Moreover, the traditional dance types are often handled in startlingly contrasted and original ways; for example, compare the polonaise-like style and lucid three-part texture of the Sarabande from Partita No 3 with the slow, grave, full-textured Sarabande from No 6, lavishly ornamented in French style. The imitation of foreign styles was highly fashionable in German music of the day, and Bach goes out of his way to juxtapose the French and Italian styles at every opportunity, drawing the player’s attention to the contrasts by varying the language of the movement title.

                     Performance *****          Sound *****

Classical CD Choice


"Poised, ideally engaging performances."

Nalen Anthoni - Classic CD -  November 1998
 


"...this is a superb recording ... These are creative and uplifting performances that reveal the intricacy and detail of the music without sacrificing a sense of sheer enjoyment... This is a recording for the connoisseur, and, like Robert Wooley’s recording of the Purcell Suites, a cornerstone of any self-respecting harpsichord CD collection."

Robin Bigwood - Early Music Review - November 1998


"... A fine release, then, of both thoughtful and scintillating accounts of some of Bach’s richest and liveliest dances - dances, however, graced by rare artistry and vision."

Richard Leigh Harris - Harpsichord & Fortepiano - Autumn 1999




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