Bach - Partitas BWV825-830
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Cat No: 88843036822
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 18th August 2014
After Beethoven, Levit now turns his attention to Bach: "It's simply amazing what Bach could do!" Levit exclaims "He had a command of form second to none. Take the long slow movement of Partita no. 6: at the end it's not a sarabande any more, but a crazy, radical free fantasy – incredibly emotional, it stands no comparison. It really shakes you up. This is music of the utmost perfection!" And of the minuet from Partita no. 5, BWV 829 Levit says: "this is a humorous piece, not a minuet! And then suddenly it is one. And then it isn't."
Igor Levit has worked his way meticulously towards the famous Bach partitas. He read, studied and played music that came before Bach. While he was pursuing his research, he didn't play Bach at all. And then he spent three or four years on the partitas without performing them in concert until he had the feeling he had finally mastered the scores and could do them justice.
In the intervening period since his first album was released, the young pianist has become more laid-back, and that is immediately apparent from a comparison of the two albums. When he recorded the Beethoven sonatas, Levit seemed to be hurling all his strength at the keyboard, battling the elements, as it were. In the Bach partitas, a relaxed distance can be felt; a happy calm that makes it easy for the pianist to enjoy performing the music to the full.
"For the first time in my life, I have the feeling that the way I play now is just right for me" he says. "Everything comes together, inwardly and programmatically. I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and that's where I want to go. Since then, I've felt immensely relaxed. It's true that I had to struggle with every note from the Bach just like with Beethoven – but this time I enjoyed the struggle.”
“Levit is an exciting prospect: an artist who has something to say, and the technical means with which to say it.” The Guardian
“He is set to be one of this century’s big names." The Daily Telegraph
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