The Partitas were originally devised as clavier-übung teaching aids, and rarely if ever performed in public until Mendelssohn revived Bach's reputation in the early 19th century.
He was, however, particularly proud of these works infused with the French Style, and it's easy to hear why under the subtle touch of Murray Perahia, who here concludes his recordings of the complete set of six. The Partita No. 1 in B flat major is a study in contrasts, from the elegant, refined Sarabande to the restrained sprightliness of the two Menuets. The opening Praeambulum of the Partita No. 5 in G major is packed with wonderfully vivid, cascading runs and industrious lines, while the standout section of the entire series is surely the dazzling Corrente of the Partita No. 6 in E minor.
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