J. S. BACH: French Suites Nos. 1-6 – Christophe Rousset, harpsichord (Ambrosie)

by | Jun 2, 2005 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

J. S. BACH: French Suites Nos. 1 – 6 – Christophe Rousset,
harpsichord – Ambrosie AMB 9960 (Distr. Harmonia mundi) (2 CDs) 46:15,
49:35 ****:

As we now know, the French Suites have not more reason to be called
French than the English Suites have to be called English.  The
latter are actually more in the “French style” and these six suites hew
more closely to the Italian style. The French suites are generally
simpler and more melodic than the English, with less use of
counterpoint. Each suite has from five to nine short movements, nearly
all in various dance forms such as Courante, Sarabande, Gavotte and
Gigue. The last usually concludes each suite.

Rousset is a superb harpsichordist and his instrument is a restored
1632 Ruckers.  He has also recorded the complete English Suites
for Ambrosie. The recording is close but not too close, far superior to
the couple of other version on harpsichord I had on hand.  The
alternative packaging and booklet are also beautifully carried out.

– John Sunier

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