Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

This page lists all recordings of French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817, by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) on CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817


Released in celebration of the great Russian pianist’s 80th birthday (06 July) this set of the French Suites continues Ashkenazy’s extraordinary journey through the major keyboard works of JS Bach.

A legendary DECCA artist for more than half a century with over 8.5 million units sold worldwide on CD.

Bach’s six French Suites complete on a single CD; the latest in Ashkenazy’s ongoing and critically acclaimed series of Bach recordings.

The release comes together with the Complete Concerto Recordings, also released on 30 June. 46 CDs in original jackets - every concerto recording ever made for Decca with Ashkenazy as pianist.

The Guardian wrote of his set of the 48: “merits a place alongside the finest versions of this much-recorded cycle, those by interpreters such as Edwin Fischer, Sviatoslav Richter and Glenn Gould”

“Ashkenazy's approach is closest to that of Edwin Fischer in his directness, articulation and absolute trust in the music's own poetic strengths” The Guardian

“There is much to enjoy here: articulation is scrupulously clean and the contrapuntal textures are never muddied, despite the piano’s natural resonance” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 ****

“Ashkenazy aims above all at clarity, and the playing is very fluent, with especially rapid-fire Courantes and noble Sarabandes, the dances always clipped and precise.” The Observer, 16th July 2017 ***

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Decca - 4832150

(CD)

$14.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817


Blandine Rannou (harpsichord)

Released or re-released in last 6 months

A Musical Picture - up to 40% off

Alpha Essential Baroque Masterpieces - ALPHA328

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $10.25

Special: $8.71

(also available to download from $20.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817


Murray Perahia has always felt a great affinity with the music of Bach, having played some of his pieces since childhood and been powerfully influenced by a performance he attended at the age of fifteen of the St Matthew Passion conducted by Pablo Casals. He also found solace in studying the composer on a daily basis during a period in which illness prevented him from playing. He sees the French Suites as “Bach on the highest level,” adding, “I don’t think Bach wrote one note that didn’t have wider meanings and that wasn’t to be tackled with all one’s heart and soul.” His recording revels in the music’s diverse moods, from melancholy tenderness to out-and-out joy, and brings out every nuance of its elegant phrasing and expressive dance rhythms.

“As we expect from Perahia, everything sounds natural and inevitable. Ego doesn’t come into it: rather, he acts as a conduit between composer and audience with a purity that few can emulate...I’ve only had this recording for five days but I predict a long and happy future in its company.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2016

“In Perahia’s hands every note of the music sings and its siren beauty is surely impossible to resist.” Financial Times, 4th November 2016

“Perahia is unrivalled in coaxing a subtle dialogue in the dances that resort to the artful pared-back minimalism of the two-part invention. There’s nowhere to hide and Perahia’s effortless variety of touch, love of teasing voice-leading, and conversational affability would have it no other way…this is a set that gets ever more persuasive on repeated listening” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2016 *****

“No recording I have heard these past months has sounded as instantly, undefinably right...The piano’s tone is pristine, the articulation clean, the balance between the hands immaculate, the overall tenor both spirited and rapt.” New York Times, 15th December 2016

“Perahia’s innate musicianship, completely free of any mannerisms or distractions, demands repeated listening.” Chris O'Reilly, Presto Classical, 16th December 2016

“When performed as they are here...these works yield nothing in interest and charm...Perahia’s playing is a constant delight — and by not eschewing the sustaining pedal, he paradoxically makes the piano sound more harpsichord-like.” Sunday Times, 8th January 2017

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DG - 4796565

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $23.50

Special: $16.45

(also available to download from $9.25)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817


Richard Egarr (harpsichord)

Noted for his idiosyncratic and probing performances, British keyboard player and conductor Richard Egarr continues his Bach cycle with these captivating readings of the complete French Suites, BWV812-817.

“He digs into his harpsichord, a huge-sounding modern Dutch instrument, and produces dark, nutty tones with chunky middle voices and gnarly chordal textures. He adds embellishments all over the place and his rhythms are spiky and erratic.” The Guardian, 2nd June 2016 ****

“Richard Egarr uses a copy of a French harpsichord for his enjoyable recording, and what a beauty it is…[Egarr’s] allemandes are as delightful as I have heard, like lazily flowing summer rivers intrigued by rubato eddies” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

“a zest and expressive range that’s a constant delight, Bach, reinvigorated and in rude health … the sound is very well captured, you’re immersed in Bach and Egarr.” CD Review, 25th June 2016

“Egarr unapologetically opts for a brightly resonant Flemish style harpsichord that ideally compliments his famously brightly resonant playing … a reading instinct with a vitality and characterfulness that takes nothing for granted and lives exuberantly in the moment.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2016 ****

“These are infectious performances of Bach’s French Suites that one will wish to return to over and over again. Richard Egarr gives such musicianly accounts, characterful and always a subtle spring in his step. There is something about Egarr’s phrasing, textures and ornamentations that just grab the ear. Above all Egarr reminds us again just how wonderful Bach’s invention was.” The Classical Reviewer, 7th July 2016

Harmonia Mundi - HMU907583/84

(CD - 2 discs)

$21.25

(also available to download from $15.00)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Thurston Dart plays Bach French Suites & Purcell

Thurston Dart plays Bach French Suites & Purcell


Bach, J S:

French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Purcell:

A New Irish Tune Z646

Riggadoon, Z653

Sefauchi's Farewell, Z656

Minuet in D minor, Z T688

Ground in C minor, Zt 681 (from Ye Tuneful Muses)

Air in D Minor ZT 676


Thurston Dart (clavichord)

Ismeron Thurston Dart Clavichord Collection - JMSCD4

(CD)

$12.25

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

J.S Bach: The French Suites

J.S Bach: The French Suites


Bach, J S:

Keyboard Sonata in D Minor, BWV964

French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Six Little Preludes, BWV933-938

Prelude & Fugue in A minor, BWV894

Prelude in C major, BWV924

Prelude in D major, BWV925

Prelude in D minor, BWV926

Prelude in F major, BWV927

Prelude in G minor, BWV930

Five Little Preludes, BWV939-943

Prelude in C minor, BWV999


The rhythms of the dance have always provided composers with a vital source of inspiration. Bach was no exception, and a very high percentage of his music is related to the dance. Perhaps this is largely what gives it that marvellous vitality and spirit, and why it is so immediately appealing. The six French Suites contain some of Bach’s most attractive keyboard writing. The eight Little Preludes are among the most valuable pieces ever written for beginners, giving a wonderful introduction to voice imitation, pedal points, cadenza-like passages, and basic ornamentation. They cover many different moods and recall fond childhood memories. The remaining pieces on this recording are of a completely different nature. Both the Sonata in D minor, BWV964, and the Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV894, are virtuoso pieces, intended to show off the ability of the performer. Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt is the acknowledged master of Bach on the piano.

'Hewitt's playing makes Bach's music live, for me, in a way that even the greatest harpsichordists do not' (The Sunday Times)

“Even the most out-and-out purists who blench at the thought of Bach on the piano will find it hard not to be won over by Angela Hewitt's artistry. Eschewing all hieratic pretentiousness on the one hand and self-regarding eccentricities on the other, she gives us Bach performances that aren't only admirable in style but marked by poise, and what used to be called a 'quiet hand': 'chaste' might not be too fanciful a term, so long as that does not suggest any lack of vitality. There's intelligence in her carefully thought-out phrasing and subtle variety of articulation: gradations of sound are always alive without their becoming precious. The bulk of this recording is devoted to the FrenchSuites. Particularly enjoyable is the lightness of her treatment of the Airs of Nos 2 and 4, the vigour of No 5's Bourrée and the freshness of No 6's Allemande; the extra decorations she adds in repeats everywhere sound properly spontaneous and are in the best of taste; ornaments are always cleanly played and matched up in imitative voices.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Hyperion & Helios - up to 50% off

Hyperion - Angela Hewitt Bach - CDA67121/2

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $29.50

Special: $23.30

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

J S Bach - The French Suites

J S Bach - The French Suites


Bach, J S:

Suite in E flat major, BWV819

Allemande BWV819a

Suite in A minor, BWV818a

French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817


Christopher Hogwood (harpsichord)

Decca - Double Decca - E4667362

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.50

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Bach, J S: French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817


Zhu Xiao-Mei (piano)

'It is with children in mind that I recorded these French Suites, always having heartfelt simplicity and purity in their mind. Children see the world with hope, optimism, and cast in light – much like Miró sees the world. I find a childlike purity in him, similar to what I hear in the French Suites. There is a quote by Miró that touches me enormously and makes me think a lot whenever I play, as it reflects something that may be the most difficult aspect of musical interpretation – and of art in general: "To gain freedom is to gain simplicity".' Zhu Xiao-Mei

“Her affinity with [Bach's] idiom is everywhere palpable in this recording...Eschewing flashy showmanship, she focuses instead on drawing a limpid cantabile sound, and on making the rhythms dance...Mei's phrasing is beautifully tapered, lending a natural ebb and flow to the music. In short, these are honest and deeply affectionate performances, set to become a classic.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2017 *****

BBC Music Magazine

Instrumental Choice - September 2017

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Accentus Music - ACC30404

(CD)

$16.00

(also available to download from $10.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

JS Bach: French Suites, BWV 812-817

JS Bach: French Suites, BWV 812-817


Bach, J S:

French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Froberger:

Partita II FbWV 602

Telemann:

Suite in A major, TWV32:14 (attr. J S Bach BWV824)


Julian Perkins (clavichord)

Rising star period keyboardist Julian Perkins makes his solo Resonus debut with a new recording of the French Suites by J.S. Bach. Seldom recorded on the clavichord – thought to be Bach's keyboard instrument of choice – the Suites' versatile, expressive and lyrical qualities are expertly revealed by Perkins on this the gentlest and most intimate of all keyboard instruments.

Performing on two instruments by the maker Peter Bavington, the programme is completed with two further suites – one earlier partita by Johann Jakob Froberger, and one more contemporary Suite in A major by Georg Philipp Telemann, that was previously attributed to Bach himself.

“Julian Perkins performs [the French Suites] on the ever-intimate clavichord, and very sweet and delicate they sound on it…melodies sing over their accompaniments and the soft-curved sarabandes are shaped with beauty and feeling…a well-executed an attractive release” Gramophone Magazine, July 2016

25% off Resonus

Resonus Classics - RES10163

(CD - 2 discs)

Normally: $16.75

Special: $12.56

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

JS Bach: The French Suites

JS Bach: The French Suites


Bach, J S:

French Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV812-817

Mozart:

Suite in C major, K399

Gigue in G Major, K574


Peter Hill (piano)

The French Suites have a special place among Bach’s keyboard works. Besides containing music as profound and poetic as any Bach wrote, their textures have a transparency and sparkle that reflects a move towards the galant style fashionable among Bach’s contemporaries. In this, the third instalment of Peter Hill’s acclaimed Bach series, Hill has chosen to follow the suites with his own completion of Mozart’s Suite in C, K399. With Bach and Handel as his models, this work epitomises Mozart’s fascination with Baroque music. Hill’s celebrated return to the studio with Delphian four years ago continues to reap rich artistic rewards, with a ‘Diapason d’Or’ and a recent Gramophone Award nomination for his premiere recording of Messiaen’s rediscovered La Fauvette passerinette; here in Bach, too, his abundant energy and passion are deeply informed by a lifetime of scholarship.

“Peter Hill never underestimates [the] challenge, and there's a confiding wisdom sustaining his latest Bachian foray. Trademark unshowy integrity, too, articulated through a silky translucent tone and captured in an agreeably intimate recording” BBC Music Magazine, February 2016 ****

Delphian - DCD34166

(CD - 2 discs)

$22.75

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

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