Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: English Suite No 4

Magazine article Gramophone

JS Bach: English Suite No 4

Article excerpt

JS Bach

English Suite No 4, BWV809. French Overture, BWV831. Partita No 1, BWV825

Fabrizio Chiovetta pf

Aparte (F) AP126 (71' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Geneva-born Fabrizio Chiovetta presents three contrasted suites in this Bach recital. He's particularly compelling in the least frequently performed of these, the B minor French Overture, which sets off with a grandeur that conveys Bach's arching lines and imposing dotted rhythms, then finds a pleasing physicality in the faster-moving fugal writing; in the Sarabande he responds to Bach's questioning lines with a gentle intimacy.

In the same movement of the Fourth English Suite again he allows the phrases to hang in the air poetically without becoming too slow, and comes across far more naturally than Gould, who constantly tinkers with the tempo. However, I missed the blazing F major brightness of the Suite's opening Prelude that Perahia and Gould capture so vividly. There's no shortage of energy in the leaping Gigue, though Chiovetta sounds slightly breathless alongside Perahia, whose dance is more rhythmically grounded.

It's in the First Partita, however, that I find Chiovetta least convincing. …

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