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Re: rosalyn tureck tour
On Sun, 17 Jan 1999, Karl Berry wrote:
> Incidentally, the only recording I've ever found by her is the Keyboard
> Album where she does various miniatures and the Italian Concerto, paired
> with a recording of Art of Fugue by Charles Rosen. Have to do an LP
> search for anything else, I fear, but if anyone knows of other in-print
> titles by her, I'm interested.
A while ago the Gramaphone CD guide led me (looking for Bach on piano
recordings other than Gould's) to Tureck's recording of Partitas 1, 2, 6
on a VAI Audio disc, VAIA 1040 (through Tower or HMV).
I love the recording. Quieter and less intense than Gould's, in a way,
they are also more of something, too: more relaxed, more elegant, more
delicate, more spacious, maybe.
Actually Tureck's performances help me define what I love so much about
Gould--and also what I sometimes miss. I think Gould's Partitas
recordings are fantastic. Incredibly virtuousic and brilliant, first of
all, but also witty when they have to be, and devotional, too (as in the e
minor). But they are always absolutely *driven*. It makes for an intense
listening experience. Gould defined the Partitas for me for a long time.
A couple of harpsichord performances I heard were only disappointing. Not
nearly as smart or exciting, at least to me.
But Tureck's show other possibilities. She often plays with a lovely,
delicate pianissimo, and a flexible, relaxed rhythm. Wonderfully suited
to the first Partita, but also throughout. The lightness of touch is
almost self-effacing (you'd never say that about Gould, no matter how
much you love him). Phrases emerge out of silence and return. But the
background lightness allows her to create a wider variety of textures
within a movement, and to bring out individual voices with great clarity.
Even in a virtuoso piece like the Capriccio in No. 5, Gould can sound like
he's plowing through--however brilliantly--by comparison.
In any case, the Tureck recording is one of four Bach live Bach recordings
available on VAI. Partitas are Vol. 4. Vols. 1 and 2 are assorted
suites, preludes and fugues, and miscellaneous pieces. Vol. 3 is Goldberg
The guitarist Sharon Isbin studied Baroque performance practice with
Tureck for years. They collaborated on a recent scholarly edition of the
lute suites. Isbin's lute suite recordings on Virgin records are probably
my favorite guitar version, and influenced heavily by Tureck. (I actually
like an old lp by Isbin, now out of print, even better.)