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Bach: English Suites, BWV 806-811

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 7, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Classical Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 7-FEB-1995

Amazon.com

There's nothing "English" about the English Suites, except for a story circulating after Bach's death that they were composed for an Englishman. These pieces are larger than Bach's French Suites, for in addition to the usual batch of dances that characterizes the suite form, they also contain a large introductory prelude, or "overture." Gould performs this music--as he does all of Bach--with the crisp style and utter digital clarity that for many people remains the way this music was meant to sound. --David Hurwitz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 7, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000028NK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
OK, I admit it. I am a Glenn Gould fan. But I am even more a fan of Bach. There are many fine interpreters of Bach on keyboard. Roslyn Tureck is one of the greatest, and her versions of the Goldberg Variations are among the best. Gavrilov does a fine job with the French Suites. But I always keep coming back to Gould.
The English Suites are more profound than the French Suites, though both offer many rewards for repeated listening. However, the English Suites surpass both the French Suites and the Partitas in the pleasure they have given me over the years.
This recording offers Gould at his most sensitive and Bach at his greatest. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Why should one get this? It is music by one of, if not THE, greatest composers of all time performed by the eccentric, but nevertheless THE, utter master of that composer. Does it matter that it is the English Suites? Not at all. It could just as easily be the French Suites. In fact, the wise buyer acquires them both, with the Goldberg Variations. But if you are still not sold....
Most people associate Bach (rightly) with fugues which, for the most part, do not have catchy melodies. Consequently, there seems to be this notion that Bach suffers from a shortage of melody. Untrue as this is, the English Suites nevertheless give you plenty to dance to, because all of the individuals pieces of the six suites here are based on dance forms (none especially English, by the way).
More cerebrally, but no less sublimely, though "simple" dance forms at root, Bach's genius for counterpoint makes them ceaselessly fascinating to listen to. One can literally pick out a musical line and follow it from start to end in (imagined) isolation. (Bach makes this easy for you in his Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, and his Partitas for Solo Violin--find Grumiaux's version if you can.)
And all of this genius is performed with the eccentric brilliance of Glenn Gould, who brings a literally breathtaking array of both virtuosity and musicianship to the pieces. But how can I possibly describe the thrill I get hearing him play (and play Bach at that). You simply must experience it for yourself.
I could just say, "Wow".
If you like intricate music that is not simply a jigsaw to listen to, and if you have the least ear for appreciating piano technique, then this disc (and any other Gould playing Bach) is a match made in Heaven.
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By A Customer on July 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I agree with all of the below reviews in praise of this recording. The only flaw I have noticed on this disc is some pretty atrocious tuning problems throughout, particularly at some of the most rewarding moments of the Fourth Suite. Ouch! Edits are made between sections, obviously separately recorded, which are nearly a quarter tone apart. This recording is VERY rewarding, but for those with sensitive ears, beware!
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By A Customer on March 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
To follow up on a sentiment expressed by a previous reviewer, you get less music per dollar now that Sony Classical has bought CBS Records. When these pieces appeared on the CBS label, Bach's French Overture was included with these English Suites; clearly, there was enough space on two CDs to make that work. Nevertheless, Sony excised the French Overture altogether, leaving you with only the English Suites. Moreover, the complete French Suites (also played by Gould) appeared on a single CBS CD but now span two Sony CDs. The filler on the second disc? The same French Overture transplanted from this recording.
The bottom line? English Suites + French Suites + French Overture = 3 CDs on CBS, 4 CDs on Sony. You pay more with Sony. Just be aware of that.
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Format: Audio CD
The way Gould plays the suites is incredible. Particularly the second, the prelude of which is one of the most exciting pieces of recorded music I know. The speed and clarity of his playing, the precise individuality with which he asserts each voicin discourse reveal the staggering intellectual challenge, and, subsequently, the profound rewards of this music. I have listened to this constantly for the past three weeks and am continually engaged, both by the music as it is precisely delivered, and by the intelligence of the interpretation. Incidentally, I have not heard Rosolyn Tureck's Goldberg variations. However, I would disagree with the writer above who praised her Bach interpretations, on at least one point: Her Well tempered Clavier is utterly boring and uninteresting. It is soporific. Here again, I would highly reccomend Gould, whose interpretation is very inventive and exciting.
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Format: MP3 Music
Bach: English Suites, BWV 806-811 is a sublime recording with the amazing and eccentric Glenn Gould. I am a huge fan of both Bach and Gould so this is a match made in heaven. Sony Music has done an excellent job and the sound quality is great. The book-let is a bit thin but serves it purpose with several photos of Gould and a very well-written essay by Michael Stegemann. Gould's amazing ability as a piano matches with Bach's genius and I bet that Bach himself would have been pleased with his performance. This is easily a 5 star performance.
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By P. Stahly on December 16, 2014
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
LOOK OUT! Just bought this as a digital download. The labels are screwed up on this double album Volume I and II collection. Click the famous Prelude in A minor (English Suite No. 2), and get the Gigue in A Major from Suite No. 1. Yikes! This is not the case in the separate Volume I and Volume II albums. I'm contacting Amazon to let them know and get my money back. Too bad.
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