J. S. Bach: The English Suites, BWV 806-811

Alessandra Artifoni
134:31 (2 CDs in a jewel case)
Dynamic CDS7793.02

All we know from the extremely minimal liner notes is that Artifoni plays on a copy of the 1702-04 Mietke in Berlin, made by Tony Chinnery in 1998, and tempered Neidhar 1724. This CD was recorded in the Villa L’Oriuolo in Florence while her parents were celebrating their Golden Wedding in August 2016, and so is dedicated to them. We don’t even have a list of the movements within each suite. For full-priced discs at full price, this is pretty thin.

From her playing we learn that she is competent, and creates a full if rather hard sound on her instrument. She doesn’t quite have the fluency and poise of a Richard Egarr, but the rhythms are well-maintained, and it always feels like dance music.And while it rarely feels as if the tempi or the registration are inappropriate, I had a slight feeling of weariness when I had listened to all six suites in a row.She has previously recorded a certain amount of Bach, including the French Suites and some partitas.

David Stancliffe