András Schiff, born in 1953 in Budapest, is nowadays one of the most appreciated and distinguished pianists in the world. Magically, he brings life into pieces, makes them breathing and swinging and keeps up almost forgotten ideals of piano playing. Thus, he is not only a great pianist, but also a professional whose view is not limited on piano music, but who has wide knowledge of the broad field of macro culture. This enables him to play the piano which always makes sense to his own point of view. Surely Bachs French Suites, which he composed during his years at Cöthen (17171723), are among the finest inducements to practise that any teacher has ever made to a pupil. In this case Bach wrote them for his young wife, Anna Magdalena. The over-riding impression left by these suites is one of endearing tunefulness. Clavier-Übung II is a later collection of didactic keyboard pieces. It comprises two greatly contrasted works: the Italian Concerto and the Overture in the French Style. These performances admirably demonstrate the thoughtful and persuasive approach that András Schiff adopts when performing Bach. The Concert Recording is accompanied with some interviews with András Schiff, which enriches and completes the great experience of the concert. During the interview, Schiff sits at the Steinway piano and explains the French Suites which J. S. Bach composed during 1722 and 1725 for Cembalo, but also its closeness to Bachs Goldberg variations and Orchestra suites. He plays a short passage of a Suite, explains it and plays again, but then he interrupts himself once again. This happens without script but with refreshing spontaneity and directness. Completing this part, you can see András Schiff at the Thomas Church and Bach Museum where he talks about Bachs years in Leipzig, his musical and personal development.
- French Suites Nos. 1–6
- Overture in the French Style in B minor
Bach schuf trotz der Turbulenzen seiner Köthener Jahre (1717 –1723) inklusive seiner Inhaftierung, familiärer Trauerfälle und einer neuen Ehe eine Vielzahl großdimensionierter Instrumentalwerke. Für seine Schülerin und neue Ehefrau Anna Magdalena schrieb er die Französischen Suiten, die er dem Temperament und den technischen Fähigkeiten der jungen Frau entsprechend anpasste, um sie so zum Üben anzuspornen.
Der aus Ungarn stammende Pianist AndásSchiff spielte u. a. die Französischen Suiten beim Leipziger Bachfest zwar auf einem Steinway-Flügel, doch auf der Grundlage seiner Studien der historische Aufführungspraxis auf dem Cembalo sowie seiner bewundernswerten geistigen Durchdringung der Bachschen Musik setzt er seine Kenntnisse in einer brillanten Darbietung um.
Shiffs flexible tempo style that results from his thinking in the bigger picture, is perhaps the most compelling aspect of his pianism. Here someone manages the seemingly impossible synthesis of delicate sparkling single notes and much more widely thought architecture. mA music that seems to reach into infinity, funny as Scarlatti or Haydn distinguished, witty - and uplifting beautiful. --Leipziger Volkszeitung
It is a heavenly prospect-Andras Schiff live performing of all six of Bach's french Suites.Throw in the less well-known Overture in the French style and the Italian Concerto as a generous encore,and the result is over two hours of unalloyed joy. Performance ***** Recording **** --BBC Music Magazine,Apr'11
It's all about the bottom line-which on this taping is nicely nuanced by Schiff. --Gramophone,May'11
Un programma focalizzato sulle Suite francesi e il Concerto nello stile italiano nella interpretazione di una grande personalità artistica, i cui interessi vanno oltre il pianoforte. La performance è accompagnata da una significativa intervista.