Richard Egarr’s Bach.


Johann Sebastian Bach:

  • Orchestral Suites Nos. 1-4, BWV1066-1069

Performed by Richard Egarr, Director and harpsichordist, with the Academy of Ancient Music.

I had the opportunity to listen to Richard Egarr at a concert at Stanford University some months ago. I was impressed with both his broad musical knowledge, and also his excellent performance on the Harpsichord.

Now the Academy of Ancient Music released a significant new recording of J. S. Bach’s Four Orchestral Suites BWV1066-69.

And Richard Egarr commented: “Using one player per part creates a wonderful chamber music feel and allows the flexibility that is essential in Bach’s music.”

And he also reflects my own strong views that:

“In recent years there seems to be mounting competition to see who can play the Orchestral Suites faster – and more metronomically!… We cannot agree with this trend”

In general, I find that many artists play at a speed that is simply too fast; and, as a result, the music suffers. The notes run into one another, and we no longer have the clarity needed to comprehend the composer’s intentions.

Here is the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066:



And as a comparison, see if you can hear the added clarity with a smaller number of musicians, performing more like a chamber music group:



Tags: Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Egarr, Orchestral Suites, Academy of Ancient Music