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Rafal Blechacz

Johann Sebastian Bach

Deutsche Grammophon

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1 Bach: Allegro  
2 Bach: Andante  
3 Bach: Presto  
4 Bach: Prelude  
5 Bach: Allemande  
6 Bach: Courante  
7 Bach: Sarabande  
8 Bach: Menuet I & II  
9 Bach: Gigue  
10 Bach: Duetto In E Minor, BWV 802  
11 Bach: Duetto In F Major, BWV 803  
12 Bach: Duetto In G Major, BWV 804  
13 Bach: Duetto In A Minor, BWV 805  
14 Bach: Fantasia  
15 Bach: Fugue  
16 Bach: Fantasia  
17 Bach: Allemande  
18 Bach: Corrente  
19 Bach: Sarabande  
20 Bach: Burlesca  
21 Bach: Scherzo  
22 Bach: Gigue  
23 Bach: Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring  
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Praised by the Washington Post as "a musician in service to [Bach's] music, searching its depths, exploring its meaning and probing its possibilities", the now 31-year-old Rafal Blechacz, winner of the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition, has been immersed in Bach since childhood and has cultivated a strikingly natural eloquence in his mature interpretations of the composer's keyboard works. 

Blechacz's first Bach album, set for release on Deutsche Grammophon on February 10, opens with one of the pianist's signature pieces, the Italian Concerto BWV 971, and includes the Partitas No.1 in B flat major BWV 825 and No.3 in A minor BWV 827. The programme also comprises the four Duets BWV 802-805, enigmatic pieces from Part Three of the Clavier-Übung, the Fantasie and Fugue in A minor BWV 944, and the chorale Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring as transcribed for piano by Dame Myra Hess.

Rafal Blechacz approaches each of these works with an awareness of the history of Bachian performance. Knowing about period instruments and performance practice, he agrees, can help reveal how the composer might have intended his music to be played. Yet he is also convinced that, when it comes to bringing Bach's music to life, head must never rule heart. "Of course, it's very important to be well informed about Baroque style," he observes. "But sometimes with Bach I feel it's even more important to listen to your heart and your intuition."

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