J.S. Bach: The French Suites (2 CDs)

The French Suites have a special place among Bach’s keyboard works. Besides containing music as profound and poetic as any he wrote, their textures have a transparency and sparkle that reflect a move towards the galant style fashionable among Bach’s contemporaries. In this, the third instalment of Peter Hill’s acclaimed Bach series, Hill has chosen to follow the suites with his own completion of Mozart’s Suite in C, K399.

With Bach and Handel as his models, this work epitomises Mozart’s fascination with Baroque music. Hill’s celebrated return to the studio with Delphian four years ago continues to reap rich artistic rewards, with a ‘Diapason d’Or’ and a recent Gramophone Award nomination for his premiere recording of Messiaen’s rediscovered La Fauvette passerinette. Here in Bach, too, his abundant energy and passion are deeply informed by a lifetime of scholarship.

"Peter Hill never underestimates [the] challenge, and there's a confiding wisdom sustaining his latest Bachian foray. Trademark unshowy integrity, too, articulated through a silky translucent tone and captured in an agreeably intimate recording"

"Each line is beautifully clear, a perfect blend of the cerebral and the sensual...Delphian’s warm, natural-sounding engineering adds to the fun"

"His amicable and unpretentious playing fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling and leaves me happy to be alive, and you can’t get much better than that."

"there’s much to admire and enjoy here in considered and cogent playing perfectly attuned to the music’s modesty of expression while inking in its nuanced profundity and poetry with lightly-worn authority...Delphian’s sound is exemplary. For sheer, unalloyed pleasure, this will take some beating this year."

"spiced with the most delicate ornamentation...enticingly inward...finesse over mere energy"

Producer: Paul Baxter
Recording venue: University Concert Hall, Cardiff
Recording dates: 5-8 July 2015
Physical format: Jewel case (slimline double)
Number of discs: 2
Number of tracks: 44
Release date: 29 January 2016
Catalogue No: DCD34166
Total playing time: 1:54:16

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