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Walter Gieseking Plays Bach: English Suite No. 6/Schumann: Kreisleriana, Davidsbundlertanze Original recording reissued

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

1. Bach: English Suite No. 6, in D minor, 2. Schumann: Kreisleriana, Op. 16/Schumann: Davidsbundlert, Op. 6/, 3. Dances No. 1 in G major; No. 2 in B minor;No. 3 in G major;No. 4 in B minor; No. 5 in D mjor; No. 6 in D minor; No. 7 in G minor;

Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Original Release Date: 1953
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Forlane
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • ASIN: B000JSC89E
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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This re-release of a historic recording - the liner says the sessions date from 1953 – of the great German pianist Walter Gieseking has its good points but also some defects. Blending both sides of the coin, I assign it a 3-star rating.

The good:

Gieseking gives us a very fine, at times inspired 6th English Suite from JS Bach. The playing is energetic, on the fast side. It’s marked by an exciting conclusion to the Gigue which caps the suite. Gieseking does trip up in what is a rushed playing of the final Gavotte. But the suite on the whole possesses energy and gusto.

Next up is an exciting version of Robert Schumann’s” Kreisleriana”, marked by an unusually fast first section, done at a much swifter pace than alternative, that verges on the electrifying. This harkens back to Gieseking’s earlier version of the complete “Kreisleriana”, one of the great Schumann performances I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. The alternations between the ghost-like ride and the more lyrical passages of the fourth part of “Kreisleriana” are also done superbly by Gieseking. This takes us to…

The bad:

Only the first four sections of “Kreisleriana” are contained here! The last half of the suite has been excerpted out. Look elsewhere for Gieseking’s great complete version, which appears to have been an earlier performance.

The disc also contains a complete version of Schumann’s ambitious “Davidsbundlertanze” in what I would describe as a harsh and overly aggressive reading. Gieseking’s version lacks the lyrical grace of other performances.

And very average sound by early 1950s standards. The sound has some degree of richness but there is some distortion and generally shows its age.
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