This release speaks of quality. The music is of course sublime and timeless, and Rudolf Buchbinder is a master of it. He parades a modern-sounding piano in a dynamic way and sports a romantic manner that also respects the music’s formality and structures; the best of all possible worlds.
Buchbinder brings measure to each of the eighteen movements, and his articulation and clarity are notable. The dance movements are lively, not least the ‘Corrente’ of the B-flat Partita, which closes with the piano getting louder in the most thrilling way. By contrast, the following ‘Sarabande’ really touches the heart, ornaments made expressive.
The ‘Sinfonia’ that opens the C-minor Partita is given in dramatic fashion, and what follows is full of expressive largesse. The succeeding movements all respond well to Buchbinder’s stylish approach and his ear for detail, his hands in partnership and contrapuntally secure, and the final ‘Capriccio’ has a foot-tapping steady rhythm. The English Suite follows (although it would have been better placed between the two Partitas) in which Buchbinder continues to balance correctness with fluency, and with absorbing results – not least in the profound ‘Sarabande’.
The recorded sound allows nothing to be lost, although there is a lack of air around the instrument; the piano is immediate if a little claustrophobic, hemmed in as if caged, though not in terms of volume contrasts. There is much to admire and to enjoy here.