Piotr Anderszewski

Bach: English Suites Nos. 1, 3, 5

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AllMusic Review by

Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski has attracted a strong following for his Bach performances, which are now appearing on recordings and are well worth listeners' time. Anderszewski falls well over on the subjective side of the Bach interpretation spectrum, and for those who dislike the kind of recording in which the player is leading listeners through a work rather than letting them examine it, this might not be a good choice. Still less is this for those inclined toward historical performance; Anderszewski's playing is intensely pianistic. This said, he doesn't stomp on the pedals; he uses articulation and dynamic contrasts, often between the hands, more than the pedal as a means of expression. Anderszewski is after the intricacies of Bach's music: he shapes the melodies in great detail, and he is keen to clarify the contrapuntal structure of these suites, often in startling detail. The beauty of his readings resides in hearing a tiny ornament in a left-hand line and realizing that it has great structural significance. For those who don't buy his conception of the piece, his playing could seem mannered, but it would be tough to argue that it is not worked out in truly impressive detail, and in the finales he has moments of Gouldian inspiration. The so-called English Suites, in fact, are ideally suited to Anderszewski's style: he explicates the deep contrapuntal thinking embedded at a profound level in these ostensible pieces of dance music. Strongly recommended for those in the pianistic Bach camp.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BWV 808
1 3:14
2 3:13
3 2:01
4 3:45
5 4:43
6 1:41
7 1:45
8 2:41
English Suite No. 1 in A major, BWV 806
9 2:26
10 3:57
11 1:27
12 1:35
13 2:12
14 4:41
15 1:55
16 2:25
17 2:30
English Suite No. 5 in E minor, BWV 810
18 4:52
19 3:30
20 2:12
21 3:56
22 1:06
23 2:02
24 2:46
blue highlight denotes track pick