Vladimir Ashkenazy – Bach: Italian Concerto; French Overture; Aria Variata (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 1:07:32 minutes | 1,19 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Decca/London
Significantly, the focus of J.S. Bach’s obituary is almost exclusively on his life as a keyboard player. There is a brief mention of the cantatas, Passions, concertos and the Mass, but with no details matching those of him as a keyboardist — learning to play as a child, developing a career as an adult. Rather, and at considerable length, it tells of his great fame as a player — on harpsichord (before the King of Saxony in Dresden), on organ (before enthusiastic audiences) and even on piano (before the King of Prussia in Potsdam).
However difficult and complex some of his keyboard music was, particularly for the time, it remains wonderfully practical, playable (with practice!) and is, in the way the hands move, positively palpable for the player. It is a unique repertory. The four works recorded here show Bach in various guises as a versatile keyboardist: a young man imitating his elders (BWV 989), an energetic arranger of the new Italian concertos (BWV 974), and as a mature composer of astonishing originality and suavity (BWV 831 and 971).