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Murray Perahia - Johann Sebastian Bach : The French Suites

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Johann Sebastian Bach : The French Suites

Murray Perahia

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Approaching age 70, American pianist Murray Perahia moves with this release from his longtime home of Sony Classical, formerly Columbia Masterworks, to Deutsche Grammophon. The set of Bach's six French Suites, BWV 812-817, was recorded in a Berlin studio in 2013, but did not appear until three years later. This probably testifies to the complexity of the move, but whatever the case, the wait has been worth it. Perahia has long been a marvelous Bach pianist, but the French Suites perhaps display his skills especially well. The "French suites" designation was applied by later writers, not by Bach himself, but they do capture something of the music, even if the dances involved were as much Italian as French by the time Bach composed them in 1722. They apply deep counterpoint to dance rhythms, and Perahia's genius resides not in some great overarching concept of how to play Bach but in finding the balance between disparate elements in a work, and in finding the human warmth in the result. Each movement is distinctive; each moment unfolds something new. You could really start sampling anywhere, but try the final gigue of the second suite, in C minor, where the little ornaments that form the central feature of the movement each take on a rather eerie individual significance. Perahia avoids extremes of tempo, and his extremely detailed approach could be called intellectual, but only if that word did not denote a certain coolness: Perahia is never cool. A wonderful Bach recording of the sort that one will return to again and again.

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Johann Sebastian Bach : The French Suites

Murray Perahia

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French Suite No.1 in D minor, BWV 812 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
1. Allemande 00:03:30

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
2. Courante 00:01:54

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
3. Sarabande 00:02:54

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
4. Menuet I - 5. Menuet II 00:03:02

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
6. Gigue 00:02:58

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

French Suite No.2 In C Minor, BWV 813 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

6
1. Allemande 00:02:50

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
2. Courante 00:01:43

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
3. Sarabande 00:03:07

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
4. Air 00:01:21

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
5. Menuet I - 6. Menuet II 00:03:07

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
7. Gigue 00:02:03

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

French Suite No.3 in B minor, BWV 814 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

12
1. Allemande 00:03:10

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

13
2. Courante 00:02:00

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

14
3. Sarabande 00:02:50

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

15
4. Anglaise 00:01:19

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

16
5. Menuet I - 6. Menuet II 00:03:07

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

17
7. Gigue 00:02:16

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

French Suite No.4 In E-Flat Major, BWV 815 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

18
1. Allemande 00:02:50

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

19
2. Courante 00:01:49

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

20
3. Sarabande 00:02:39

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

21
4. Gavotte I - 5. Gavotte II 00:03:47

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

22
6. Menuet 00:00:57

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

23
5. Air 00:01:38

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

24
7. Gigue 00:02:24

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

French Suite No.5 In G Major, BWV 816 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

25
1. Allemande 00:03:08

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

26
2. Courante 00:01:43

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

27
3. Sarabande 00:04:09

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

28
4. Gavotte 00:01:14

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

29
5. Bourrée 00:01:19

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

30
6. Loure 00:01:55

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

31
7. Gigue 00:03:27

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

French Suite No.6 In E Major, BWV 817 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

32
1. Allemande 00:02:43

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

33
2. Courante 00:01:40

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

34
3. Sarabande 00:03:17

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

35
4. Gavotte 00:01:05

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

36
5. Polonaise 00:01:28

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

37
8. Petit Menuet 00:00:59

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

38
6. Bourrée 00:01:23

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

39
7. Gigue 00:02:31

Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Murray Perahia, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Andreas Neubronner, Producer, Editor, StudioPersonnel - Martin Nagorni, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2016 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

Approaching age 70, American pianist Murray Perahia moves with this release from his longtime home of Sony Classical, formerly Columbia Masterworks, to Deutsche Grammophon. The set of Bach's six French Suites, BWV 812-817, was recorded in a Berlin studio in 2013, but did not appear until three years later. This probably testifies to the complexity of the move, but whatever the case, the wait has been worth it. Perahia has long been a marvelous Bach pianist, but the French Suites perhaps display his skills especially well. The "French suites" designation was applied by later writers, not by Bach himself, but they do capture something of the music, even if the dances involved were as much Italian as French by the time Bach composed them in 1722. They apply deep counterpoint to dance rhythms, and Perahia's genius resides not in some great overarching concept of how to play Bach but in finding the balance between disparate elements in a work, and in finding the human warmth in the result. Each movement is distinctive; each moment unfolds something new. You could really start sampling anywhere, but try the final gigue of the second suite, in C minor, where the little ornaments that form the central feature of the movement each take on a rather eerie individual significance. Perahia avoids extremes of tempo, and his extremely detailed approach could be called intellectual, but only if that word did not denote a certain coolness: Perahia is never cool. A wonderful Bach recording of the sort that one will return to again and again.

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