J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

English Suites

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Andras Schiff
Instrumentation:Piano
Individual Works: English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806
English Suite No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807
English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808
English Suite No. 4 in F major, BWV 809
English Suite No. 5 in E minor, BWV 810
English Suite No. 6 in D minor, BWV 811
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:London
Catalog Number:421640-2
Year Released/Recorded:1988
Total Playing Time:disc 1: 61:21
disc 2: 67:34
Comments:Review by Jan Hanford:

performance: exceptional
recording: outstanding

I can't say enough good things about Andras Schiff. His playing is the perfect balance between dynamic energy and sensitive interpretation. His fingers fly over the keys with an amazingly light touch, while never compromising the energy and dynamics of the music. Power and restraint are a rare combination in pianists, which is why I place Andras Schiff at the top of Bach keyboard interpreters.

The English Suites are my favourite of Bach's keyboard works. Full of memorable melodies and fascinating counterpoint. I often hear from new Bach listeners that they feel his keyboard music is too "heavy", usually indicating the Well-Tempered Clavier. Therefore, I recommend these suites as an introduction to Bach's keyboard music because of their delightful accessibility. For experienced Bach listeners they are also a rewarding listening experience, particularly this performance. Multiple listens have increased my love of this recording; it is really stunning.

Acknowledgements:From the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:07/31/1998