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Jean Rondeau – Bach. Imagine (24/96 FLAC)

Jean Rondeau - Bach. Imagine (24/96 FLAC)

Jean Rondeau – Bach. Imagine (24/96 FLAC)

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Jean Rondeau
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Label: Erato
Size: 1.65 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Lute Suite No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 997 (arr. Jean Rondeau)
01. I. Prelude
02. II. Fuga
03. III. Sarabande
04. IV. Gigue – Double

Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Minor, BWV 1003 (arr. W. F. Bach)
05. I. Grave
06. II. Fuga
07. III. Andante
08. IV. Allegro

Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004 (arr. J. Brahms)
09. V. Chaconne

Flute Partita in A Minor, BWV 1013 (arr. Stéphane Delplace)
10. I. Allemande
11. II. Corrente
12. III. Sarabande
13. IV. Bourrée Angloise

Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971
14. I. Allegro
15. II. Andante
16. III. Allegro Vivace

Violin Sonata in C Major, BWV 1005 (arr. W. F. Bach)
17. I. Adagio

Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 (arr. Jean Rondeau)
18. V. Menuets I & II

IMAGINE is the first Warner Classics release from the dynamic young French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, who sees it as “an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and in the harpsichord”. Praised by radio station France Musique for his “maturity, fabulous touch and originality,” the multi-talented Rondeau feels that, as a young musician today, he has “an incredible opportunity to break out of the concert hall and meet the world”.
IMAGINE features one of Bach’s most celebrated harpsichord works, the Italian Concerto BWV 971, but it mainly comprises transcriptions of music that the composer conceived for other instruments: the violin, the lute and the flute, including the towering Chaconne in D Minor. “This isn’t a disc of transcriptions, though,” says Rondeau. “As its name suggests, it is about imagination – an exploration of all the possibilities that lie in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and in the harpsichord. And though it’s not making a direct link to John Lennon, it’s nice if the title of the CD calls him to mind.”

The fashionable French harpsichordist Jean Rondeau, who has studied jazz as well as classical music, here offers a Bach recital that’s something of a mixed bag. Only two of the pieces, the Italian Concerto, BWV 971, and the Suite in C minor, BWV 997, appear in their original forms; the rest are transcriptions, and one, Johannes Brahms’ one-hand piano version of the Chaconne from the Partita in D minor for solo violin, BWV 1004, is a daring choice on the harpsichord. In that work there are perhaps hints of Rondeau’s jazz training, and the implacable build of the variations is perhaps lost. Rondeau’s name surely brings to mind the French Baroque, and his opening movements, with ornaments powerful and glittering, suggest Couperin. He has a lot of power and drive, and he brings out the antiphonal structure of the Italian Concerto, significantly the only work on the program not in the French style, clearly and brilliantly. The result is an exciting program, even if one that’s a bit unorthodox, and Rondeau is clearly a talent whose future directions and harnessing will be fascinating to watch. His power and intensity can speak for themselves and did not need help from the engineers, who produce a rather harsh sound from the old Notre-Dame du Bon Secours hospital in Paris. –James Manheim

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