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Partitas BWV 825-830
Played by Ralph Kirkpatrick

E-1

Great Virtuosi of the Harpsichord, Vol.II

Partita No. 5 in G major, BWV 829 [13:40]

Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord)

Pearl

1936

CD / TT: 79:35

1st recording of Partita No. 5 BWV 829 by R. Kirkpatrick. Other works: not by J.S. Bach.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

H-1

J.S. Bach: Clavierübung - Vol. 1

Partitas No. 1 BWV 825 [21:53], No. 5 BWV 829 [22:12]

Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord)

Haydn Society 3056

1952

LP / TT:

1st recording of Partita No. 1 BWV 825 by R. Kirkpatrick. 2nd recording of Partita No. 5 BWV 829 by R. Kirkpatrick. Included in Box Set [B-1].
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [Box Set] | Amazon.com [Box Set]

H-2

J.S. Bach: Clavierübung - Vol. 2

Partitas No. 2 BWV 826 [20:40], No. 4 BWV 828 [34:07]

Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord)

Haydn Society 3057

1952

LP / TT:

1st recording of Partitas No. 2 BWV 826 & No. 4 BWV 828 by R. Kirkpatrick. Included in Box Set [B-1].
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [Box Set] | Amazon.com [Box Set]

H-3

J.S. Bach: Clavierübung - Vol. 3

Partitas No. 3 BWV 827 [19:54], No. 6 BWV 830 [32:21]

Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord)

Haydn Society 3058

1952

LP / TT:

1st recording of Partitas No. 3 BWV 827 & No. 6 BWV 830 by R. Kirkpatrick. Included in Box Set [B-1].
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [Box Set] | Amazon.com [Box Set]

B-1

J.S. Bach: Clavier-Übung [Box Set]

Partitas BWV 823-830 [21:53, 20:40, 19:54, 34:07, 22:12, 32:21]

Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord)

Music & Arts

1952

4-CD / TT: 270:30

Haydn Society recordings: [H-1], [H-2], [H-3].
2nd recording of Partita No. 5 BWV 829 by R. Kirkpatrick. 1st recording of Partitas BWV 825-828 & BWV 830 by R. Kirkpatrick.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [Box Set] | Amazon.com [Box Set]

K-4

J.S. Bach: Six Partitas
Bach: Three Partitas / Bach: Three Partitas, Vol. 2

Partitas BWV 823-830 [20:55, 22:35, 19:13, 33:50, 21:59, 31:05]

Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord)

Archiv Produktion / Boston Skyline

Jun 1958

3-LP / TT:

3rd recording of Partita No. 5 BWV 829 by R. Kirkpatrick. 2nd recording of Partitas BWV 825-828 & BWV 830 by R. Kirkpatrick. Recorded at Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin-Dahlem, Germany. Included in Box Set [B-2].
Buy this album at: Amazon.com [3-4-5] | Amazon.com [1-2-6] | Amazon.com [Box Set]

B-2

The Complete 1950s Bach Recordings on Archiv [Box Set]

Includes: [K-4]

Ralph Kirkpatrick (Harpsichord)

Archiv Produktion

1956-1960

8-CD / TT: 597:27

Buy this album at: Amazon.com [Box Set]

Partitas played by Ralph Kirkpatrick

Peter Bright wrote (September 11, 2001):
I wonder if anyone can tell me anything about Kirkpatrick's partitas, recorded (I think) in 1958. I have his version of the 48 and enjoy them very much (although the clavichord did take some time to appreciate). I can't recall whether the partitas have been reviewed - they are in the "From the Vault" series from Deutsche Grammophon and sold separately on two CDs. According to the Yahoo shopping pages, he plays harpsichord. If this is the case, I would be a little disappointed as I would like to hear them played on clavichord. Comments appreciated...

Riccardo Nughes wrote (September 11, 2001):
Just one question : how is it possible that a small independent label reprints DG recordings?

Licensed? http://shopping.yahoo.com/shop?d=c&cf=0&id=186365&clink=dmmu-cks

William D. Kasimer wrote (September 11, 2001):
< I wonder if anyone can tell me anything about Kirkpatrick's partitas, recorded (I think) in 1958... they are in the "From the Vault" series from Deutsche Grammophon and sold separately on two CDs. >
Actually, they're on the Boston Skyline label, which has apparently licensed the material from DG. I like them a lot, but I would note that I'm a Bach partita newbie, with little prior exposure to his music on harpsichord until the last few months.

< According to the Yahoo shopping pages, he plays harpsichord. >
This is correct.

BTW, I don't wish to cause a stampede, but both volumes are currently listed at Berkshire Record Outlet (that's http://www.broinc.com) for $6.99 apiece.

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 11, 2001):
[To Peter Bright] I have that Boston Skyline disc of 1, 2, and 6; not especially fond of it, though. I took it off the shelf again a few weeks ago, and then again this morning. In part it's the tone of the harpsichord; I don't like Neuperts. But also it's Kirkpatrick's mis-handling of rhythm (especially in #6's courante, but also elsewhere). The recorded sound is good for 1958.

If you want the partitas on clavichord, I think that Richard Troeger's set is the only game in town. Be prepared for blazingly fast tempos.

John Downes wrote (September 13, 2001):
I have owned these recordings for about 35 years.

The main problem with them is the instrument he uses, a (then) modern one made by Neupert of Bamberg. This is a very sonorous, heavy sounding harpsichord, and it is not helped by his occasional use of infelicitious
registration, for example 4' and 16' stops in combination, without an 8' register.

Having said that, I have always liked his performances, especially of the English Suites.

For a clavichord performance of the Partitas you will have to go to the Troeger recordings, which I love.

 

Kirkpatrick Partitas on Archive

Miguel Muelle wrote (March 17, 2004):
I recently came across 2 CDs of the 6 Partitas of Bach played on Harpsichord by Ralph Kirkpatrick. These were 1958 ARCHIVE tapes that have been re-mastered in 1995 by a company called BOSTON SKYLINE, in a series called "From the Vault". I had never heard of them, but have always enjoyed much of what I heard from ARCHIVE / ARKIV in the past. The original LPs are: 198003, 004 and 005.

I am not well-versed in harpsichord lore, but these are very interesting and quite wonderful performances. The recording is not always pristine (they even apologize for "the loud airplane that seems to have flown overhead between the Courante and the Sarabande of Partita No. 3!) The sound can get a bit murky at times, but not excessively so. The liner notes from the originals speak about Mr. Kirkpatrick playing on a harpsichord "modeled on those played by Bach himself". As I went through all the partitas, I heard what could easily have been many instruments. At times it sounded metallic, at times like gut; Sometimes it was very rich and full of reverb, others it was short and thud-like. At times it even sounded like vibes. The notes also say that Kirkpatrick is arguably the father of the harpsichord revival of the 20th century.

Does anyone know how true this is (about this harpsichord - and Kirkpatrick)? Is his "style" any different from current harpsichord playing? How true is the claim about this particular harpsichord?

If you are not aware of these re-masterings, here are some more from the series:

THE SIENA PIANOFORTE - Charles Rosen Playing Scarlatti and Mozart
THE GOLDBERG VARIATIONS - Seymour Hayden, Harpsichord (1977)
SCARLATTI BY HAYDEN - 13 sonatas
J.S. BACH - FOUR CONCERTI TRANSCRIBED - ASMF & Neville Marriner
MASTERWORKS FOR THE HARP - Osian Ellis, Desmond Dupre, Thurston Dart, Marisa Robles, ASMF & Marriner - (L'Oiseau-Lyre & Argo)
DANCE MUSIC OF THE RENEISSANCE - Praetorius, Wildman & Schein, Collegium Terpsichore & Fritz Neumeyer

Jaime Jean wrote (March 17, 2004):
[To Miguel Muelle] Interesting... AFAIK it is Wanda Landowska who is traditionally credited for being the indisputable responsible for the harpsichord revival in the 20th century but I may be missing something.

I have not heard Kirkpatrick's Partitas, but I have a weakness for his WTC (old loves live long). Not surprisingly, it comes closer to Landowska's "heavy metal" style than to more recent recordings which place more emphasis on intimacy than on flashiness and virtuosity. At any rate I will be in the outlook for this remastering, sounds like a must.

Ray Bayles wrote (March 18, 2004):
I have the entire Boston Skyline series. All are excellent, and a good way to familiarize yourself with some great music played in specially talented ways. You will get pretty close to what was available back in the olden days. I recommend the Charles Rosen as your first recording. Kirkpatrick is outstanding as well, but recorded many years earlier as I recall.

 

Partitas BWV 825-830: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019
Comparative Review:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
Partitas - P. Anderszewski [McElhearn] | Partitas - P. Anderszewski [Satz] | Partitas - L. Corolan & I. Kipnis | Partitas - F. Kempf | Partitas - E. Feller 1 | Partitas - E. Parmentier | Partitas - A. Rangell | GV & Partitas - K. Richter | Partitas - B. Roberts | Partitas - S. Ross | Partitas - C. Rousset | Partitas - S. Sager | Partitas - C. Sheppard [Morrison] | Partitas - C. Sheppard [Satz] | Partitas - J.L. Steuerman | Partitas - M. Suzuki [McElhearn] | Partitas - M. Suzuki [Henderson] | Partitas - C. Tiberghien | Partitas - R. Troeger | Partitas - B. Verlet | Partitas - K. Weiss | Rübsam - Part 2 | Rübsam - Part 3
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Part 4 | MD: Partita No. 1 in B flat major BWV 825
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
Partitas - P. Anderszewski | Partitas - V. Dondysh | Partitas - played R. Goode
|
Partitas - R. Kirkpatrick | Partitas - A. Rangell | Partitas - S. Ross | Partitas - A. Schiff | Partitas - M. Suzuki | Partitas - B. Verlet | Partitas - K. Weiss | Partitas - R. Woolley | Partitas - Z. Xiao-Mei

Ralph Kirkpatrick: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 from Kirkpatrick | Ralph’s Kirkpatrick’s Well Temepered Clavier Book II
Discussions of Instrumental Recordings: Partitas BWV 825-830 - played by Ralph Kirkpatrick

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Last update: ýJuly 12, 2010 ý21:04:21