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Bach: French Suites, Nos. 1-6 / English Suite, No. 3 / Italian Concerto Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, February 21, 2006
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I. Allemande
  2. II. Courante
  3. III. Sarabande
  4. IV. Menuet I
  5. V. Menuet II
  6. VI. Gigue
  7. I. Allemande
  8. II. Courante
  9. III. Sarabande
  10. IV. Air
  11. V. Menuet
  12. VI. Gigue
  13. I. Allemande
  14. II. Courante
  15. II. Sarabande
  16. IV. Anglaise
  17. V. Menuet - Trio - Menuet
  18. VI. Gigue
  19. I. Allemande
  20. II. Courante
  21. III. Sarabande
  22. IV. Gavotte
  23. V. Menuet
  24. VI. Air
  25. VII. Gigue

Disc: 2

  1. I. Allemande
  2. II. Courante
  3. III. Sarabande
  4. IV. Gavotte
  5. V. Bourree
  6. VI. Loure
  7. VII. Gigue
  8. I. Allemande
  9. II. Courante
  10. III. Sarabande
  11. IV. Gavotte
  12. V. Polonaise
  13. VI. Menuet
  14. VII. Bourree
  15. VIII. Gigue
  16. I. Prelude - Stanislav Bunin
  17. II. Allemande - Stanislav Bunin
  18. III. Courante - Stanislav Bunin
  19. IV. Sarabande - Stanislav Bunin
  20. V; Gavotte I & II - Stanislav Bunin
  21. VI. Gigue - Stanislav Bunin
  22. I. Allegro - Stanislav Bunin
  23. II. Andante - Stanislav Bunin
  24. III. Presto - Stanislav Bunin


Product Details

  • Composer: J.S. Bach
  • Audio CD (February 21, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000B668WC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,307 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brian Clever on December 18, 2007
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Until Perahia, Bunin or Koriolov come out with recordings of the French Suites
Gavrilov's will remain my preference for these works. I don't know
what "romantic Bach" or "iconoclastic Bach" means, but I do know that
this is the style of Bach that appeals most to me: energetic, crisp
and slightly romanticized.

I would also like to give more than a nod to Bunin's contribution to
this disc. His English suite No. 3 is pure magic, like no other Bach
I've ever heard. The Italian Concerto here is so energetic. I listened
to it 10 times the night I pulled this disc from my mailbox. Simply
incredible.
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When one thinks of Bach on the modern keyboard Andrei Gavrilov is hardly the first name that comes to mind, yet this 1984 recording of the French Suites is as varied and exciting as they come. Gavrilov, who is an outstanding technician, probably drives Bach purists crazy with his bravura approach, and while I'm typically irritated by pianists who are focused on display I found him completely convincing. For sure, Gavrilov maximizes the opportunities offered by the concluding gigues, which are played with tremendous structural authority and in some cases, displays of raw power. But the music can take it. The contrasting slow movements are played in a languid way, but without sentimentalism, even though every now and then one senses things dragging a bit (e.g., the Sarabande of the Sixth Suite). Some may think the whole package inconsistent, if not slightly eccentric, but I loved it.

The third of Bach's English Suites and the Italian Concerto, both performed by Stanislav Bunin, fill out this set. These are very energetically played, but should lead listeners to other pastures (Feltsman for the complete English Suites & Evgeny Koroliov's awesome Bach recital which includes the French Overture, Italian Concerto etc).

Recommended for those who are willing to take a chance on iconoclastic Bach.
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If you love harpsichords or if you love clean, percussive Bach style, then a more emotional treatment of the French Suites would not be your cup of tea. However, when I say Gavrilov is Romantic, I mean it in the best sense. He is not lackadaisical and emotionally sterile like Andras Schiff. Gavrilov's understanding of this music comes from within. In particular the slow movements of the various suites are played with heavenly repose, not detachment.

If you're inclined to feel Bach's music a bit more than you usually do with Gould ( an altogether different interpreter ), I think Andrei Gavrilov would make a fine alternative. The third English Suite and the Italian Concerto are played by Stanislav Bunin, adding to the value of this wonderful package, especially at this ridiculously low price in the EMI Gemini series.
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Compared with Gould, this version is a little romantic. Although Gould's English suites were very well played, his French suites were played way too fast. Andrei Gavrilov performed these pieces with his emotional elements, most of which were very appropriate to me. For some pieces the pedaling is a little too much. I didn't like Bunin's English suites that much. The interpretation was somewhat aggressive, not as good as Gould. Overall, I found this CD very enjoyable and is a very good deal for its price.
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This is an great recording, but not a typical baroque recording. This is more in line with Sviatoslav Richter's recordings (he recorded 3 or 4 french suites). Slower than most other recordings. I went to one of Gavrilov's recital playing all french suites, and still consider it as the best piano concert I've been to. These CDs capture some of his magic.

I think Bunin's English Suite is great, but Italian concerto comes up short.

If one prefers something more authentic, go with Gustav Leonhardt.
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