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Bach: English Suites Nos. 1-3


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Audio CD, February 20, 1996
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$11.40
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: I. Prelude 2:19$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  2. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: II. Allemande 5:45$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  3. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: III. Courante I 2:13$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  4. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: IV. Courante II - 2:47$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  5. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: Double I - 2:47$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  6. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: Double II 1:27$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  7. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: V. Sarabande 5:04$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  8. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: VI. Bourree I and II 5:45$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen  9. English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806: VII. Gigue 3:22$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen10. English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807: I. Prelude 6:07$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen11. English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807: II. Allemande 4:57$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen12. English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807: III. Courante 2:20$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen13. English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807: IV. Sarabande 3:53$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen14. English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807: V. Bourree I and II 5:02$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen15. English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807: VI. Gigue 2:37$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen16. English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808: I. Prelude 4:18$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen17. English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808: II. Allemande 4:43$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen18. English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808: III. Courante 2:49$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen19. English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808: IV. Sarabande 3:39$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen20. English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808: V. Gavotte I and II 3:49$0.89  Buy MP3 
listen21. English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808: VI. Gigue 3:14$0.89  Buy MP3 

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Bach: English Suites Nos. 1-3 + English Suites 2
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Product Details

  • Performer: Wolfgang Rubsam
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (February 20, 1996)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000001430
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,279 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Melvyn M. Sobel on June 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Bach's six English Suites have always, if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor, played second fiddle to his more popular French Suites, also a set of six, the former appearing seemingly dour and academic, while the latter were upbeat and ebullient.

Well, with an exponent like Rubsam at the piano, this misconception can certainly be laid to rest. His way with Bach is magical, gentle, completely inside the composer. He never rushes; he coaxes the music lovingly, and there is a wonderful improvisatory quality about his playing. This is NOT academic Bach! This is a Bach who wraps us in the music of eternity, comforts us, softens the edges of a harsh world. The breadth and depth of Rubsam's vision in these English Suites is one I embrace wholeheartedly. In his hands, this music is a balm and every bit the equal, if not the superior, of the two sets of suites. Compliments to Naxos for giving Mr. Rubsam a full, natural piano sound, embued with warmth, and happily devoid of the ever-popular ambience, and for an exceptional CD timing.

Here is Bach made human, a Bach ruminating, and Mr. Rubsam has allowed us the very rare priviledge of looking over Johann's shoulder.

[Running time: 79:09]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By anonymous on March 28, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is not typewriter-style Bach, where nearly every note gets the same clipped articulation and the (fast) tempo never wavers. (Don't get me wrong, sometimes I'm in the mood for that style too! Good for jogging.) In Rubsam's interpretation, every line takes on a singing character, with the wonderful variety of articulation that goes along with that. He does a lot with every measure--never just plows through. Yet it never sounds overworked, always spontaneous and heartfelt. He's very clever with ornaments. Also--and this is really important for the Suites--he takes the dances into consideration. The tempo variations which another reviewer referred to have to do with how a dancing body exerts itself and settles with gravity in each measure. A keyboardist who played with metronomic rigidity would make a lousy accompanist for Baroque dance! Listen to the (gorgeous) Courante of No. 4 in F major and imagine the couple gliding in full courtly attire. Then listen to Glenn Gould, for example, playing this piece and try to imagine the same couple! It's not that every interpreter is obligated to take dance into account. It's just that Rubsam does take it into account, and does a fantastic job of it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After listening to these pieces for about 45 years, I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh and differently they sounded. To all music listeners who seek "right" or "authentic" interpretations, (I was one, once*), please reconsider your "standards"...or let time and experience school you.
These suites are presented by Mr. Rubsam with limpidity and intimacy, with an almost improvisatory sense. Not your usual Bach, I would agree, but very believable as quiet keyboard parlor pieces, as they were written as. Don't get me wrong, I love the orchestral-like treatments that these same pieces get from, for instance, Murray Perahia, but these are extremely sturdy constructions, capable of many approaches.
My two cents, thanks.
*In college I flung a Haydn record out my dorm window like a frisbee, not liking the conductor's "style."
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. van Wageningen on February 12, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I must say that Mr Sobel's review made me very curious and enthusiastic about this CD, but I'm happy that I just borrowed it from the local CD library and didn't buy it right away. Rübsam's reading of the English Suites is rather romantic, to say the least. His tempi are relatively slow (in comparison to authentic recordings on harpsichord such as Cristophe Rousset's) and Rübsam seems to feel like this music asks for ad libitum tempo and als sorts of slow downs and speed ups. There is no rythmic continuity whatsoever (apart from the relatively slow tempos). It might give these recordings something "human", but it makes the music very un-Bachish, and it is exactly what Bach's music doesn't need, in my opinion.

I would recommend recordings such as those by Ivo Pogorelich (simply stunning!) or for harpsichord lovers those by Christophe Rousset. Purists would rather opt for the latter ones, while people favouring free tempos and lots of feelings addes to the music (instead of trying to make the feelings inside the music come out) might rather opt for Rübsam's version.

Mr Sobel is right in saying that recording sound and general atmosphere are very nice, but it doesn't suffice to make me want to have this CD.
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