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Partitas BWV 825, 827, 830

Piotr Anderszewski (Piano)

Bach’s keyboard Partitas from Piotr Anderszewski

K-4

Bach: Partitas 1, 3, 6

Partitas No.1 BWV 825 [18:00], No.3 BWV 827 [19:28], No.6 BWV 830 [30:15]

Piotr Anderszewski (Piano)

Virgin Classics

Nov 2001

CD / TT 68:10

Recorded at Stufo de la Fondation Tibor Varga, Sion, Switzerland.
Review: Bach Partitas Anderszewski
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

Donald Satz wrote (January 8, 2003):
Comparisons: Rübsam/Naxos, Rangell/Dorian, Tureck/Philips

Piotr Anderszewski has made quite a reputation for himself in recent years as he is regarded as one of the best young pianists in the world.Anderszewski has a previous disc on Harmonia Mundi devoted to Bach's keyboard music having the French Overture BWV 831 and the French Suite BWV 816; that was an excellent set of stylish performances. He has also recorded the Brahms Violin Sonatas with Viktoria Mullova for Philips, and his most recent recording was of Mozart Piano Concertos for Virgin Classics.

As fine as the above recordings are, what really turned me on to Anderszewski was his version of Beethoven's Diabelli Variations for Virgin Classics. To say that he's outstanding in this work is putting it mildly. Anderszewski seems to have examined every musical cell in terms of putting across his take on Beethoven's music and psychology. As a result, each variation is a surprise and either revelatory or delightful. I consider it the best recording of the Diabelli Variations on the market.

With the above in mind, I was hoping for more revelations from Anderszewski with his new recording of three Bach Partitas for keyboard. Although the performances are excellent and often exceptional, I detect little of the creativity and insight that he supplied the Diabelli Variations.

Bach's 1st Partita is given a fairly mainstream reading by Anderszewski. He is slower than the norm in the Praeludium and the Sarabande, but others including Wolfgang Rübsam on Naxos are even slower. Anderszewski plays the faster movements in a brisk, crisp, and driving fashion, creating much excitement along the way. The slow movements, particularly the Sarabande, are an exceptional blend of comfort and melancholy. Intervals are well chosen throughout the Partita, and inflections/accenting could hardly be better. If anything, the 3rd Partita from Anderszewski is more mainstream than the 1st, as the slower movements have tempos well within the usual parameters.

Only in the 6th Partita does Anderszewski show any inclination to reshape our customary opinions of the music, and that might be why it is placed first on the program. Anderszewski's best movements are probably the Gigues where he is most invigorating, exciting, and demonstrative; I think that's the perfect way to play these pieces and conclude each Partita - bear down and let it rip!

Don's Conclusions: Although Anderszewski offers exceptional performances, I am disappointed that he rarely stakes out any new territory. Those of you familiar with the highly individual accounts of Bach's Partitas from Tureck, Rangell, and Rübsam will not find Anderszewski particularly unusual.

Perhaps my expectations were too high for Anderszewski based on his Beethoven/Diabelli disc. At any rate, I still prefer Rübsam in this repertoire to any other version on piano, and the Naxos price can not be beat. Anderszewski's sound quality is significantly better than Rübsam's, but that's his sole advantage.

 

Feedback to the Review

Peter Bright wroter (January 8, 2002):
[To Donald Satz] Have you heard Angela Hewitt's recording? Along with her French Suites and revelatory toccatas, this represents her best work. While she does not attempt to stamp her own personality on it (the interpretations are not unique), they have a richness and playfulness that has deterred me from seeking out any other piano versions of these works (although there is gentle pressure from certain quarters to pick up Anderszewski's disc...).

Donald Satz wrote (January 8, 2002):
[To Peter Bright] I have Hewitt's Partitas as well as her set of the French Suites; I haven't heard the Toccatas disc. I think of her as an excellent mainstream Bach performing artist who prefers rounding off the edges.

She's real good, but I'd rather listen to Gould and Rübsam.

Piotr Jaworski wrote (January 9, 2002):
[To Peter Bright]
"Smash the table ...." as we say in Poland...;-)

Since I can't accept - well, sometimes - Bach by Gould or Tureck; and always avoided Rubsam - players like Hewitt, Koroliov and Anderszewski are my alternatives and first choices. I know that we differ on that field a lot - differ with Don as well; but I urge for another time: if you admire Hewitt - you will like Anderszewski! He shows exactly the same qualities and has similar approach - he plays Bach, not nderszewski.
More I listen to his recording I find it more and more entertaining, amusing and excellent!

"Certain Quarters" gently pressing :-))

Peter Bright wroter (January 8, 2002):
[To Piotr Jaworski] Yes, Koroliov's playing is very special indeed (his French Overture/Italian Concertos performance is one of my most cherished recordings). I'm quite sad that his name is still relatively unknown to all but the most fervent Bach enthusiasts. Has anyone heard his non-Bach work? Is there any?

 

Partitas BWV 825 830:
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 - E. Feller 1 | Partitas - E. Parmentier | Partitas - A. Rangell | GV & Partitas - K. Richter | Partitas - B. Roberts | Partitas - S. Ross | Partitas - S. Sager | Partitas - C. Sheppard | 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

Piotr Anderszewski: Piotr Anderszewski’s Bach | Review: Bach Partitas Anderszewski | Bach’s keyboard Partitas from Piotr Anderszewski

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Last update: żOctober 5, 2006 ż10:48:47