JS Bach - The Partitas, BWV825-830
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Label: Harmonia Mundi
Cat No: HMM90759394
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 24th February 2017
ArtistsRichard Egarr (harpsichord)
Bach infuses this seemingly effortless music with godly patterns and personal algorithms of stunning brilliance. Many pages have been spent in the pursuit of secret codes in Bach’s music: for many, a contentious subject. Bach began by publishing Partita 1 in 1726 – when he was 41 years old. Needless to say the final movement of the set (the 41st movement), has as its theme a subject containing 14 notes. The family name not only gave rise to a direct musical melody [BACH = B flat/A/C/B natural], but for Johann Sebastian a pair of deliciously mirrored numbers with which he was wont to sign his name at beginnings and endings in particular. If A=1, B=2 etc. (I and J are counted as the same letter), then:
BACH = [2+1+3+8] 14
JSBACH = [9+18+14] 41
The above is wilfully paraphrased from Richard Egarr’s own superb notes from this new recording of the Partitas; crowning his already extensive series of Bach’s harpsichord works, and illuminating every one of their multiple facets.
Harpsichord by Joel Katzman, Amsterdam, 1991, after Ruckers, Antwerp, 1638
Tuning: A = 399
Temperament: R. Egarr based on 18th-century 6th comma
‘Egarr displays an extraordinary tonal range, from harp-like resonance to transparency. The best harpsichord recital of these Suites on disc.’ - BBC Music Magazine *****
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