CD of the Week: Vladimir Ashkenazy: Bach: French Suites

The Russian pianist imparts his pianistic wisdom into Bach's six suites.

Many pianists’ education begins with the keyboard works of Bach. But in the case of pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy, the composer’s repertoire has not only served as a beginning, but also as a reflection: having been a recording artist for over 50 years, only in the past dozen has Ashkenazy focused on imparting his uniquely intimate pianism into works by Bach.

This attention to Bach has culminated in his newest release, the complete set of Bach’s six French Suites. Each of the suites winds through a number of dance styles, and thus poses an interesting challenge for any musician: they must continuously shift playing styles every few minutes.

Ashkenazy is more than up for the challenge. Simply put, in his diverse half-century recording career, he has touched upon everything. And it’s that vast expanse of mastery that allows him to furnish one of the most dynamic recordings of the suites you’ll ever be able to find.

Listen to tracks from the album:

For more information and to purchase this recording, visit ArkivMusic.

Track listing:
1-5. French Suite No. 1 in D minor
6-11. French Suite No. 2 in C minor
12-17. French Suite No. 3 in B minor
18-24. French Suite No. 4 in E-flat
25-31. French Suite No. 5 in G
32-39. French Suite No. 6 in E