November 17, 2014

Piotr Anderszewski's Bach English Suites: new album out today

The Polish virtuoso's sensitive approach to Bach on piano heard here in three masterful suites.

Johann Sebastian Bach's first biographer, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, referred to the English Suites as ‘perfect masterpieces of harmony and melody’. The earliest of Bach's keyboard suites, dating from 1715, they continue to delight and fascinate performers and listeners alike with with their extended preludes, lively dance movements and varied touch. The Suite No.3 alone roams from cascading semiquavers in the Prelude to the masterclass of ornamentation that is the Sarabande, to the virtuosic 3-part fugue of the closing Gigue.

Piotr Anderszewski takes all this into his stride on his new album featuring three of the six suites: Nos. 1, 3 and 5. Recorded in the Philharmonic Concert Hall of his hometown Warsaw, his English Suites have long been with him in recitals, most recently at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival.

A previous disc of Bach Partitas was praised in The Sunday Times for "Bach playing of the highest order...laying out Bach’s contrapuntal writing with a clarity and subtlety of touch.

"His fingers dance in the Courantes and Allemandes, and positively sing the melodies of the sublime Sarabandes," the same publication wrote of this reflective yet vibrant account.

Anderszewski is a passionate interpreter of Bach on the piano, bringing out its full range of expressive colours with some surprising touches. “The wonderful thing is that the modern piano can suggest so many instruments…Playing Bach on the piano, it’s really all about suggestion,” he says.

Piotr Anderszewski's new album of Bach English Suites 1, 3 & 5 is out now.