Bach: Partitas 1-6
Johann Sebastian Bach, Malcolm Proud
Erik Satie cocked a snook by labelling his first published work “Op 62”. For most composers, however, the choice of music for an Op 1 is a serious matter. It was certainly a major statement when, in 1731, Johann Sebastian Bach published as his Op 1 a set of six Partitas for harpsichord. Two years ago harpsichordist Malcolm Proud began bringing these suites of dance movements on tour around Ireland, and last December recorded them in Belgium at the Leuven Institute for Ireland. Proud’s tempos are on the slow side. Yet, with a sense of momentum that’s unassailable but also flexible, the energy is high. And the fine instrument, a 2007 Kevin Fryer copy of a 1624 Ruckers, has been well caught by the microphones.