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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most extraordinary classical recordings ever, Nov. 8 2002
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
I first heard this recording over twenty years ago in a small, dusty apartment in Tel Aviv. As a serious piano student, I was accomplished in playing Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. In fact, Glenn Gould's piano rendition of Book One was the first album I ever purchased. I was familiar with Gould's Bach interpretation, and when my Israeli friend heard my praise, he went to his cupboard and produced this recording. "You've never heard Bach played like this," he said, smiling wistfully. He played the LP and the room was suddenly alive with the internal joy and rhythmic nuance that only the best Bach performers can capture. Over the years, I have returned to this recording for creative inspiration as it sounds as fresh and vital on the thousandth hearing as the first. There is intelligence, wonder and extraordinary musicality in Argerich's technique inspired by the composer's crafty genius. She is a wonder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Argerich and Bach, Aug. 3 2002
By 
samir nikocevic (old saybrook, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
This is the best Bach on the piano ever recorded in studio.
Argerich is probably most famous as a virtuoso in the great romantic tradition but this single Bach disc represents her universal talent.Artisticly comparable with Gould,but with more natural control of rubato,more briliance and the most impoartant more human caracter in music.ON this recording every frase comes and goes natural in the same time with great control of sound, colour and touch. Everything on this CD is beautiful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable little recording, March 25 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
For someone who does so well with Romantic piano works, it is astounding how well Argerich handles Bach in this recording. With such popular Bach pieces, any performer would face established Bach keyboardists who have nearly defined these works--the famous trio of Gould, Landowska, and Tureck always come up. But Argerich is radiant in her orchestra-like handling of the works. The Toccata in C minor awakens with a mordent, like a clarion call. She takes us through it with a breathless, moving slow section. The fugue is handled in a dance-like fashion, passing through the impetuous lines of triplets, and the double-fugue that follows is rich in tone color. Her dynamic sensitivity offers an extra device for tension when sequencing and modulating. The second Partita and second English Suite, likewise, are both clear in texture, phrasing, and articulation--from the introspective Sinfonia of the partita to the frenzy Bouree of the English suite, and ending in the stately gigue. This recording is full of life wealth for the ears.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You, Thank You!, Aug. 1 2000
By 
Michael Newberry (Idyllwild, California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
I am not a musicologist or a pianist but I can tell you what I hear on this CD. To paraphrase a comment I made about Toscanini, every note sounds human. Its as if the piano is the vocal cords of some powerful, agile, passionate, and sensitive animal-whose sole means of communication is by sound. This recording of Bach does not sound like a musical abstraction, like how most interpretations sound to me. Stylistically, Argerich's playing doesn't sound like a Romantic mannerism, and doesn't sound like a period affectation complete with powered wig. It sounds like I'v died and gone to Bach heaven; it seems like she tosses off the complex structure of the pieces with irresistible movement, immaculate timing, and with an affection I would call joy or love. And far from sounding like Argerich, the music sounds like...Bach. But I have that sense that with all the interpretations I have heard from Argerich, that Chopin sounds like Chopin, Ravel sounds like himself, Prokofiev etc.
I don't know if I made myself clear but I am raving! This is the greatest recording of any Bach music (orchestra, choral, whatever) I have ever heard. Thank you Martha!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Argerich's purism and poetry in Bach is UNSURPASSABLE!, June 18 2000
By 
Eytan Ýpeker (Ýstanbul,Turkey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
Martha Argerich is an absolute winner in Bach. Surpsingly so in some ways but not totally so: The maximum fingercontrol/clarity/artýculaion makes a Bach recording that one can easly call DEFINITIVE, a term that nobody dared to use for Argerich before. Not even the most 'purist' listener will be able to say "This is not Bach,it's Argerich"(BTW,listen to her new EMI concert recordings of the same tracks and you will be amazed to see the difference between the wilder/ truly 'Argerich' concert approach and this calmer and more Bach-like studio approach: She is simply someone else in the studio!..) Yet,in this studio recording righly reissued in the Deutsche Gramaphone's LEGENDARY RECORDÝNGS series,one can also guess that such a natural sounding poetry, such a 'color-range',such an elegence and beauty cannot be anyone but Martha Argerich. This is how the purist approach Bach should be ideally. Having listened to Richter's(Well-tempered), Gould's(well-tempered)and a few others' Bach, Argerich's recording reminds me of Plato's cave parable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars more... please!, June 16 2000
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
It's usually much more difficult to play Bach on the piano than on the harpsichord. Very few pianists are able to give convincing interpretations that can stand the test of time. They need to have good fingers, great intellect, an intuitive sense of rhythm, clear and clean sound production, a style suited to the music of Bach, and an awareness of the grand musical structure in his music. They also need the greatest sensitivity for harmonies and colors. Martha Argerich has all of those qualities and more. In her Bach, there is an intensity and drama that are rarely heard. She creates powerful and vivid characterization and impressions with the greatest economy, without ever doubly underlining anything. Magical and dramatic moments are often in fact produced by no more than a slightest shading or a subtlest rubato. The secret lies in the concentration. This is music making that challenges your mind! You can sense that Argerich has a most fastidious and serious attitude when playing Bach. Everything is so thoroughly thought out and prepared with the best care and the best musical taste and judgement. Miraculously, she still sounds effortless and natural. She achieves the divine simplicity, the final seal of arts. This recording will grow on you and accompany you like a faithful friend. It's like a mystical treasure in which you always discover new things and insights.
Having said all that, I also have a small complaint! The length of this recording is very short (50'16)- one of the shortest in DG's "The Originals" legendary recordings series. Perhaps there is nothing the record company could do. This is all they had when Argerich recorded the LP in 1979. What a pity! This recording has been unanimously acclaimed as soon as it was released, and one would think that it should have encouraged Argerich to record more solo works of Bach. But that's not the case. One must settle instead for listening to the only other studio recording of Bach she made - the Cello Sonatas with Mischa Maisky. I find myself listening to these two CD's very often. They are stimulating when you listen to them intently, but they are a soothing companion for my book reading too!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This recording has a lot to say about Bach on the piano., July 8 2002
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
Argerich is, of course, a genius. While these pieces are not the most technically demanding works she could have recorded (I believe there is NOTHING beyond her), she certainly provides briliant, thoughtful, and pleasing performances of these three works.
Everything seems perfectly and purposefully played while seeming spontaneous as well. This is not an easy feat. Her playing always seems urgent and fresh.
I hate to pick favorite tracks, but 1, 5, 6, 7, & 12 really stand out for me. However, if you think others are better I certainly wouldn't argue against you. Everything here is wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach and Argerich., March 25 2003
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
Martha Argerich combines the technnical precision that is demanded by Bach with poetic sensitivity. How she does it is beyond me. She is surely one of the all time greats.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great achievement, June 16 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
Argerich is one of my favourite Bach interpreters. The other Bach players I love are Richter, Gould, Perahia, and Horowitz (in the C minor Toccata). Argerich once studied with the very intellectual Friedrich Gulda, another famous Bach player. According to Argerich, Gulda liked her Bach playing a lot. It's not hard to understand why. Argerich's Bach sounds like no one else's and shines like a diamond. This is one of her greatest achievements.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A womens contest, Aug. 5 2000
This review is from: J.S. Bach's Toccata 911/Parita 826 & the English Suite 807 (Audio CD)
Very little can be said on the performance after the previous reviews.
Bach, that composed for God, seems to be in better hands with women. Regardless of the hundreds of performances available, Argerich with Rosalyn Tureck stand out. Both are the best and the only difference is that Tureck playing is cleaner.
Buy this albun and the Goldber Variations with Tureck, and then you will be in Bach's heaven
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