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Gustav Leonhardt|Bach English Suites - Partitas.

Bach English Suites - Partitas.

Gustav Leonhardt

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The "4 Pleasure" title of this series from Virgin Classics both indicates its presumed purpose and tells you there are four CDs in the box. But it makes these sets look like they came out of Prince's classical CD library, and the photo on the cover of this set, showing a hand lining up shells on top of a mossy rock, is probably enough to get the box put in the new age bin by a hurried clerk. Thinking inside the box, however, we find a solid reissue of some classic Bach performances by Dutch harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt. Leonhardt offered beautifully recorded Bach albums on meticulously restored harpsichords of the composer's time, and the result was harpsichord music with a big, ringing sound that got the ears of people who until then had preferred their Bach on a piano. He was never in better form than on these recordings, made in 1984 and 1986 in the Doopsgezinde Gemeente Kerk in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The English Suites (no one is quite sure why they are so called, but there's nothing particularly English about them) and Partitas are sets of mostly short, dance-inspired movements invested by Bach with dizzying, coruscating contrapuntal complexity. Leonhardt's approach is sometimes described as severe, and there are keyboard players who find more gemütlichkeit in Bach's music. But the harpsichord is probably the instrument of choice with these suites, and the tense muscularity of Leonhardt's playing makes for a very satisfyingly exciting ride in the faster movements. One problematic issue to note is that Leonhardt eliminates some repeats in some of the longer slow movements, a risky move with Bach, but this longtime scholar-performer surely had his reasons. On the whole, though there are still the Glenn Gould and Murray Perahia recordings available for those who like a sound world closer to our own, these Leonhardt discs make a very good choice for a basic Bach library and, with their low price, a good start on Bach for anybody. The liner notes are a bit spare but informative enough.
© TiVo

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Bach English Suites - Partitas.

Gustav Leonhardt

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1
English Suite No. 1 in A Major, BWV 806: I. Prelude
00:02:05

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

2
English Suite No. 1 in A Major, BWV 806: II. Allemande
00:02:50

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

3
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 1 in A major BWV806: Courante I et II avec deux doubles
00:04:17

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

4
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 1 in A major BWV806: Sarabande
00:02:25

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

5
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 1 in A major BWV806: Bourrée I et II
00:02:45

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

6
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 1 in A major BWV806: Gigue
00:01:25

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

7
English Suite No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 807: I. Prelude
00:05:10

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

8
English Suite No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 807: II. Allemande
00:02:19

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

9
English Suite No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 807: III. Courante
00:00:58

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

10
English Suite No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 807: IV. Sarabande
00:03:52

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

11
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 2 in A minor BWV807: Bourrée I et II
00:02:56

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

12
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 2 in A minor BWV807: Gigue
00:01:21

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

13
English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808: I. Prelude
00:03:18

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

14
English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808: II. Allemande
00:02:22

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

15
English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808: III. Courante
00:01:16

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

16
English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808: IV. Sarabande
00:03:20

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

17
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 3 in G minor BWV808: Gavotte I (alternativement) et Gavotte II (ou La Musette)
00:01:57

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

18
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 3 in G minor BWV808: Gigue
00:01:28

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

DISC 2

1
English Suite No. 4 in F Major, BWV 809: I. Prelude
00:04:40

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

2
English Suite No. 4 in F Major, BWV 809: II. Allemande
00:02:16

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

3
English Suite No. 4 in F Major, BWV 809: III. Courante
00:01:00

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

4
English Suite No. 4 in F Major, BWV 809: IV. Sarabande
00:03:10

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

5
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 4 in F BWV809: Menuett I et II
00:02:44

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

6
English Suite No. 4 in F Major, BWV 809: VI. Gigue
00:01:46

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

7
English Suite No. 5 in E Minor, BWV 810: I. Prelude
00:05:23

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

8
English Suite No. 5 in E Minor, BWV 810: II. Allemande
00:02:25

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

9
English Suite No. 5 in E Minor, BWV 810: III. Courante
00:01:11

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

10
English Suite No. 5 in E Minor, BWV 810: IV. Sarabande
00:01:56

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

11
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 5 in E minor BWV810: Passepied I (en Rondeau) et II
00:02:19

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

12
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 5 in E minor BWV810: Gigue
00:01:38

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

13
English Suite No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 811: I. Prélude
00:08:32

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

14
English Suite No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 811: II. Allemande
00:02:39

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

15
English Suite No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 811: III. Courante
00:01:11

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

16
English Suite No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 811: IV. Sarabande
00:02:56

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

17
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 6 in D minor BWV811: Gavotte I et II
00:02:44

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

18
6 English Suites BWV806-811, No. 6 in D minor BWV811: Gigue
00:02:00

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Featured Vocalist, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1985 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

DISC 3

1
Keyboard Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: I. Praeludium
00:02:03

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

2
Keyboard Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: II. Allemande
00:02:24

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

3
Keyboard Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: III. Courante
00:01:30

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

4
Keyboard Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: IV. Sarabande
00:02:37

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

5
Partitas BWV825-830, No. 1 in B flat major BWV825: V. Menuet I - Menuet II - Menuet I
00:02:21

Gerd Berg, Producer, Produced by - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, Vocals, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Erato/Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

6
Partitas BWV825-830, No. 1 in B flat major BWV825: VI. Gigue
00:01:41

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

7
Keyboard Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: I. Sinfonia
00:04:32

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

8
Keyboard Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: II. Allemande
00:02:58

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

9
Keyboard Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: III. Courante
00:01:20

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

10
Keyboard Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: IV. Sarabande
00:01:54

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

11
Keyboard Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: V. Rondeau
00:01:27

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

12
Keyboard Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: VI. Capriccio
00:02:04

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

13
Keyboard Partita No. 3 in A Minor, BWV 827: I. Fantasia
00:03:07

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

14
Keyboard Partita No. 3 in A Minor, BWV 827: II. Allemande
00:02:04

Gerd Berg, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - Gustav Leonhardt, Harpsichord, MainArtist

© 2011 EMI Records Ltd/Virgin Classics. ℗ 1987 Warner Classics, Warner Music UK Ltd

Album Description

The "4 Pleasure" title of this series from Virgin Classics both indicates its presumed purpose and tells you there are four CDs in the box. But it makes these sets look like they came out of Prince's classical CD library, and the photo on the cover of this set, showing a hand lining up shells on top of a mossy rock, is probably enough to get the box put in the new age bin by a hurried clerk. Thinking inside the box, however, we find a solid reissue of some classic Bach performances by Dutch harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt. Leonhardt offered beautifully recorded Bach albums on meticulously restored harpsichords of the composer's time, and the result was harpsichord music with a big, ringing sound that got the ears of people who until then had preferred their Bach on a piano. He was never in better form than on these recordings, made in 1984 and 1986 in the Doopsgezinde Gemeente Kerk in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The English Suites (no one is quite sure why they are so called, but there's nothing particularly English about them) and Partitas are sets of mostly short, dance-inspired movements invested by Bach with dizzying, coruscating contrapuntal complexity. Leonhardt's approach is sometimes described as severe, and there are keyboard players who find more gemütlichkeit in Bach's music. But the harpsichord is probably the instrument of choice with these suites, and the tense muscularity of Leonhardt's playing makes for a very satisfyingly exciting ride in the faster movements. One problematic issue to note is that Leonhardt eliminates some repeats in some of the longer slow movements, a risky move with Bach, but this longtime scholar-performer surely had his reasons. On the whole, though there are still the Glenn Gould and Murray Perahia recordings available for those who like a sound world closer to our own, these Leonhardt discs make a very good choice for a basic Bach library and, with their low price, a good start on Bach for anybody. The liner notes are a bit spare but informative enough.
© TiVo

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