I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

Bach Harpsichord Works - Rannou

Bladine Rannou plays Bach Once Zig-Zag bundled Blandine Rannou's collection of Bach's French suites, English suites, and toccatas together, it was a sure-bet purchase. If I had to put them in order by collection, I'd say the toccatas are the strongest set, followed by the so-called Suites Anglaises, then the Françaises. Originally offered as three separate sets, they reissued the works with new art after her release of Bach's BWV 988, the Variations Goldberg. The toccatas BWV 911-916 are splendid. She owns these pieces, it seems. She lets the music speak, pretty much on its own, without too much dramatic inflection. But when she does, it's to benefit us with the sound of her delicious instrument. The famous C-minor (BWV 911) is among such an example. Even more fire is lit for the opening of BWV 913, the D-minor. I have always enjoyed by readings by Pierre Hantaï. His recording (on Virgin Veritas) is excellent; it's a closer recording, with more detail captured from his somewhat spongy instrument. With Rannou, we get more "air" around the instrument, which puts us at a further distance from the instrument. Her readings of the French and so-called English suites are wonderful additions to my collection. At times I feel she rushes a tad in some dances, it's only because in some, Bach's genius is so profound, you don't want it to go by quite so fast. Probably an appropriate comparison would be Christophe Rousset on this material, for which I don't own his versions. Yet, comparisons are a luxury. I can say Rannou was able to pull me in on more than one occasion with her (at times) modern interpretation. You may not need another version of these collections; have you none on harpsichord, however, these would be ripe fruit for picking. Whether its the most famous BWV 812 or BWV 807, I found plenty to admire, among the most familiar from the collections. I look forward to surveying the less familiar too going forward. Check out my review of her outstanding recording of Bach's Goldberg Varations.

Erlebach - Six Sonate

Friedrich der Grosse