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BACH The Partitas BWV825-830. Richard Egarr. Harmonia Mundi 2cds

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Bach The Partitas Bwv825-830 Richard Egarr Harmonia Mundi 2Cds

BACH:
The Partitas BWV825-830


CD 1
1-6 Partita I BWV 825 in B flat major / Si bémol majeur / B-Dur
7-12 Partita II BWV 826 in C minor / ut mineur/ c-Moll
13-19 Partita IV BWV 828 in D major / Ré majeur / D-Dur

CD 2
1-8 Partita III BWV 827 in A minor / la mineur / a-Moll
9-15 Partita V BWV 829 in G major / Sol majeur / G-Dur
16-22 Partita VI BWV 830 in E minor / mi mineur / e-Moll

Richard Egarr [harpsichord Joel Katzman, Amsterdam, 1991, after Ruckers, Antwerp, 1638]
Tuning: A = 399 • Temperament: R. Egarr based on 18th C. 6th comma

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), then: 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.

"Egarr displays an extraordinary tonal range, from harp-like resonance to transparency. The best harpsichord recital of these Suites on disc.” BBC Music Magazine*****

Harmonia Mundi 2cds HMM907593-94



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