Richard Egarr on JS Bach’s English Suites

Our Music Director Richard Egarr launches his new recording of Bach’s English Suites with lunch-time performances in Cambridge (31 Jan) and London (2 Feb). Ahead of the release, he talked to Harmonia Mundi about these enigmatic works.

“As a player I find personally the most pleasure in the earlier keyboard collections. The Toccatas, Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and the so-called English Suites seem to delight in purely physical keyboard pleasure and imagination that is often absent from the later works. This is a true cycle of pieces – one of Bach’s first and certainly one of his best. The care with which Bach has planned their path, and the skill in creating a musical journey to a most fearful place is astonishing. The way to redemption and salvation after this journey is perhaps shown by the key sequence of the Suites: A a g F e d. These six notes clearly describe the Chorale tune ‘Jesu, meine Freude’. I recorded the Suites in order; I certainly felt that it helped me make the musical path clearer. My trusty Katzman harpsichord was a glorious partner, its quill plectra wonderfully flexible and responsive in giving life and colour to this most imaginative music.”

Listen to an excerpt on the AAM website here

Live in concert
31 January 2013, 1pm, West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge (book here)
2 February 2013, 1pm, Kings Place, London (book here)

On CD (released 12 Feb 2013)
Read more and listen to excerpts on the Harmonia Mundi website here
Pre-order on Amazon UK here

Richard Egarr English Suites

Richard Egarr English Suites

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