JS Bach - Partitas 2, 3 & 4

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J.S. BACH - PARTITAS 2, 3 & 4 - MURRAY PERAHIA (piano) - Sony 722697

It is hard to believe that keyboard works like these were composed exclusively for Bach's own use and as teaching and practice pieces for students. Bach probably assumed that they would serve a useful purpose for a few years and be good counterpoint practice material to a few aspiring musicians of his day, and then be completely discarded for something new that came along. But, here we are, hundreds of years later, still playing, studying and playing these wonders of music.

Although Bach had written more music prior to these Partitas (large suites with preludes), these were his first works to be published, and published at his own expense and labor. They were published in a single volume titled "Keyboard Practice". Little did he know that they would serve as keyboard practice for thousands and thousands of keyboard students up until today, and still going strong.

These perfectly engineered piano recording sessions, which ended in November of 2007, captured Perahia's mastery and genius once again for all to enjoy. His refined sense of balance between the different lines, the intelligence of his counterpoint and control over long phrases, all make for a remarkable listening experience. The piano, under Perahia's hands, becomes the perfect instrument for these works. Because the bass notes, midrange and treble notes of a piano have a different character, therefore the contrapunctal lines are more clearly delineated than they would be on a harpsichord.

Jean-Yves Duperron