This set of Bach's 'Opus 1', i. e. his six 'partitas' each consisting of an introduction and then five or six dance movements, was recorded by EMI in 1986 and was, in fact, Leonhardt's second recording of this particular masterpiece. There are two sides to my evaluation. First, the positive side: this is an immaculate piece of playing and engineering. I have seldom heard such a crisp, clear-cut recording of a harpsichord, and there are few instruments that please the ear so much as this one, made by William Dowd of Paris as a copy of an 18th century German original from Berlin. The sound is absolutely delightful, and I find myself looking forward to hearing the discs over and over again. Leonhardt had, by this time, abandoned the austerity of style which some critics attributed to him, and his playing is masterfully controlled, his ornamentation highly suggestive but never overdone.
The other side of the coin is the fact that Leonhardt, for some reason known only to himself, decided here to do without all the repeats. Not one single repeat is included! Thus a total playing time of around 95 minutes - too short for a budget re-release on 2 Cds and up to 50 minutes (!) shorter than some of his competitors with the same repertoire. This decision to omit the repeats is not mentioned in the notes, as it should have been. And if EMI/Virgin were going to re-release this disc, they could easily have added another work as an 'encore' (some 2-CD boxes have around 150 minutes of music on them!).
In sum: Some beautiful playing with glorious harpsichord sound, but not good value for money and with a somewhat laissez-faire attitude towards Bach's intentions.