Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)

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Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)

Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 217 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 157 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Warner Classics | # 0825646219391 | Time: 01:06:46

This is a glorious disc. Simply glorious. Anderszewski and Bach have long been congenial bedfellows and the Pole’s playing here is compelling on many different levels. To start with, there’s the sense of sharing the sheer physical thrill of Bach’s keyboard-writing. This is particularly evident in faster movements such as the fierce and brilliant fugal Gigue that concludes the Third Suite, or, in the E minor Fifth Suite, the extended fugal Prelude and the outer sections of its Passepied I. Common to all is a sense of being fleet but never breathless, with time enough for textures to tell.

At every turn you get the sense of Bach flexing his compositional muscles in these early keyboard suites. There is of course nothing innately ‘English’ about them and the origin of their title is shrouded in mystery, though Bach’s earliest biographer Johann Nikolaus Forkel speculated that it reflected the nationality of the suites’ (unknown) dedicatee. As with the keyboard partitas (of which Anderszewski so memorably recorded the First, Third and Sixth for Virgin Classics back in 2001 – 1/03), there’s a sense of Bach demonstrating just how much variety he could introduce into a suite built around the common elements of Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande and Gigue. In Anderszewski’s hands the First, Third and Fifth very much occupy their own worlds in terms of mood. Thus there’s a palpable delight in the rhythmically ungainly theme from which the Gigue of the First Suite is fashioned and Anderszewski’s way with Bach’s counterpoint is at once strong-jawed and supple. We’re always aware of the re entry of a fugue subject, for instance, as it peeks through the texture in different registers or reappears stood on its head, yet it’s never exaggerated as is sometimes the tendency with less imaginative pianists.

And how Anderszewski can dance – at least at the keyboard – in a movement such as the Prelude of the Third Suite, urged into life through subtle dynamics, voicings, articulation and judicious ornamentation. A very different kind of dance reveals itself in the Gavotte II of the Third Suite, a musette in which he takes a more impish view than many, the sonorous drone effect contrasting delightfully with the tripping upper lines. The way he has considered the touch and dynamic of every phrase means that these are readings that constantly impress with fresh details each time you hear them.

Even the most apparently unassuming numbers, such as the Second Bourrée of the First Suite or the Passepied II of the Fifth, gain a sense of intrigue as he re examines them from every angle, again bringing multifarious shadings to the music. And it all flows effortlessly – though I’m sure the journey has been anything but that. Highlights abound: in the murmuring Courante of the Third Suite, the Pole’s reactivity leaves Maria João Pires sounding a touch unsubtle – which is really saying something. This is followed by one of the most extraordinary readings of the Sarabande I’ve ever heard. While Pires revels in its echoing harmonies, Anderszewski draws you daringly into his own world, as Bach’s initially grandiose sonorities become more and more withdrawn. This whispered intimacy extends into his insertion of an ornamented version of this movement, entitled ‘Les agréments de la même Sarabande’, which proves a masterclass in audacious ornamentation, yet never overburdening Bach’s melodic lines. In fact the effect here is truly meditative. Fittingly, there is a long silence before the limpid Gavotte.

Are there any caveats? Some might find the basic pulse of the First and Fifth Sarabandes perhaps too slow. To me they work precisely because he teases so much out of each line. They have a Gouldian intensity that draws you ineluctably in without any of the Canadian’s wilfulness.

You can be in no doubt of the thought that has gone into this enterprise, from Anderszewski’s ordering of the courantes of the First Suite, which he explains in the booklet, to the programming of the suites themselves, opening the disc with the Third rather than the more quizzical First. And at every turn, he harnesses the possibilities of the piano in the service of Bach; the result is a clear labour of love, and one in which he shines new light on old music to mesmerising effect, all of which is captured by a warmly sympathetic recording and an engaging booklet-note by Mark Audus.

Anderszewski’s CDs are all too infrequent, so let’s cherish this one.

Review by Harriet Smith, Gramophone

Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)

Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)

Only the other day somebody asked me to name the pianist and music I would most like to hear if they could be magicked out of thin air at that very moment. My immediate answer was Piotr Anderszewski and Bach. And then, right on cue, what should come through the post but Anderszewski’s new recording of three of Bach’s English Suites.

Anderszewski’s Bach has long been in a class of its own – stylish, imaginative, virile and invigorating. Those who have heard him play on the concert platform will also know that he is exceptionally self-critical about his Bach interpretations: if he is unhappy with the way he has played a partita or a suite in the main body of the programme, he is known quite often to repeat the whole thing as an encore.

In making a disc, of course, he has the luxury of honing the performance so that it meets his own high standards of subtlety, shape and sensibility and, without sacrificing a single scintilla of spontaneity, the result here is an ideal amalgam of concentrated thought and animating spark.

His recording of Bach’s Partitas Nos 1, 3 and 6, released as far back as 2002 on Virgin Classics (5455262), retains its ability to thrill and entice through its sheer vivifying élan. Here again in his three English Suites he knows exactly how to make the music speak.

Just as important, Anderszewski clearly enjoys playing this music, as you can judge at the start of the disc in the Prelude to the G minor Suite BWV808: it is Bach at his most Italianate, florid, exuberant, relishing the weave of counterpoint and with a bounce in his rhythmic step.

That is exactly the impression that comes through in Anderszewski’s playing, which has a lightness of touch and a judicious palette of tonal colour, along with warmth, wit and the empathy that makes all three of the suites live and breathe.

The elements of dance that lie behind the individual movements – whether fast or slow – are equally springboards for his interpretations. His crisp, multifaceted ornamentation is fully integrated into the melodic lines; his poise and absorption in the sarabands is palpable and magnetically expressive; and he shares with Bach a jubilant spirit in crafting music of infinite fascination, refinement and sublime inspiration.

Review by Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph

Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski has attracted a strong following for his Bach performances, which are now appearing on recordings and are well worth listeners' time. Anderszewski falls well over on the subjective side of the Bach interpretation spectrum, and for those who dislike the kind of recording in which the player is leading listeners through a work rather than letting them examine it, this might not be a good choice. Still less is this for those inclined toward historical performance; Anderszewski's playing is intensely pianistic. This said, he doesn't stomp on the pedals; he uses articulation and dynamic contrasts, often between the hands, more than the pedal as a means of expression. Anderszewski is after the intricacies of Bach's music: he shapes the melodies in great detail, and he is keen to clarify the contrapuntal structure of these suites, often in startling detail. The beauty of his readings resides in hearing a tiny ornament in a left-hand line and realizing that it has great structural significance. For those who don't buy his conception of the piece, his playing could seem mannered, but it would be tough to argue that it is not worked out in truly impressive detail, and in the finales he has moments of Gouldian inspiration. The so-called English Suites, in fact, are ideally suited to Anderszewski's style: he explicates the deep contrapuntal thinking embedded at a profound level in these ostensible pieces of dance music. Strongly recommended for those in the pianistic Bach camp.

Review by James Manheim, Allmusic.com

Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)



Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)



Tracklist:

English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808
01. Prélude (3:14)
02. Allemande (3:13)
03. Courante (2:02)
04. Sarabande (3:46)
05. Les agrements de la même Sarabande (4:44)
06. Gavotte alternativement (1:41)
07. Gavotte II ou la Musette (1:45)
08. Gigue (2:42)

English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806
09. Prélude (2:27)
10. Allemande (3:58)
11. Courante I (1:28)
12. [Courante II] (1:35)
13. [Courante precedent avec basse simple] (2:13)
14. Sarabande (4:41)
15. Bourrée I (1:55)
16. Bourrée II (2:25)
17. Gigue (2:30)

English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810
18. Prélude (4:53)
19. Allemande (3:31)
20. Courante (2:12)
21. Sarabande (3:57)
22. Passepied I en Rondeau (1:06)
23. Passepied II (2:02)
24. Gigue (2:47)


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Piotr Anderszewski / Bach - English Suites 1, 3 & 5

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foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-03-14 01:28:57

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Analyzed: Piotr Anderszewski / Bach - English Suites 1, 3 & 5
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR11 -3.59 dB -18.97 dB 3:14 01-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Prélude
DR10 -8.96 dB -22.70 dB 3:13 02-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Allemande
DR10 -6.14 dB -19.51 dB 2:02 03-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Courante
DR13 -3.21 dB -23.61 dB 3:46 04-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Sarabande
DR13 -9.14 dB -28.00 dB 4:44 05-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Les agrements de la même Sarabande
DR11 -8.10 dB -22.00 dB 1:41 06-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Gavotte alternativement
DR11 -6.67 dB -21.94 dB 1:45 07-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Gavotte II ou la Musette
DR10 -3.46 dB -16.58 dB 2:42 08-English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808 - Gigue
DR11 -6.52 dB -21.47 dB 2:27 09-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - Prélude
DR11 -8.03 dB -22.43 dB 3:58 10-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - Allemande
DR10 -5.47 dB -18.02 dB 1:28 11-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - Courante I
DR11 -4.53 dB -21.30 dB 1:35 12-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - [Courante II]
DR11 -4.78 dB -19.05 dB 2:13 13-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - [Courante precedent avec basse simple]
DR15 -6.37 dB -26.82 dB 4:41 14-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - Sarabande
DR10 -6.38 dB -20.13 dB 1:55 15-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - Bourrée I
DR11 -4.70 dB -21.95 dB 2:25 16-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - Bourrée II
DR10 -4.06 dB -17.79 dB 2:30 17-English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806 - Gigue
DR11 -4.42 dB -17.63 dB 4:53 18-English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - Prélude
DR11 -8.00 dB -23.20 dB 3:31 19-English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - Allemande
DR11 -5.89 dB -19.44 dB 2:12 20-English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - Courante
DR11 -11.40 dB -27.68 dB 3:57 21-English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - Sarabande
DR10 -5.37 dB -19.51 dB 1:06 22-English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - Passepied I en Rondeau
DR11 -4.84 dB -20.25 dB 2:02 23-English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - Passepied II
DR11 -4.34 dB -17.90 dB 2:47 24-English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 810 - Gigue
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 24
Official DR value: DR11

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 444 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Piotr Anderszewski - Johann Sebastian Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3 & 5 (2014)

All thanks to original releaser - A-Z

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