This collection of Rosalyn Tureck's Bach partitas was, until now, a long-sought gem. The recordings, dating from the 1950s and recorded for EMI, have won praise from all corners for their mix of erudition and comfortable, at-ease command. Tureck, one of the century's great piano prodigies, was able to sight-read and memorize Bach solo works as a child. As an adult (she was in her 40s when she recorded these selections), she takes each partita at a studied pace, as if the inner pedagogue in her were monitoring its unfurling for exactness.
Where Glenn Gould claimed a good chunk of Bach's work with dazzling virtuosity, Tureck's full comprehension of the weave among Bach's lines, which even at the height of their complexity sound wrapped in tonal warmth and in the process of being constructed bit by bit, leaves an indelible impression. She at once uncloaks the constituent elements of the partitas--dance pieces, for the most part--and then reveals how their parts add up to more than the whole of the performance. --Andrew Bartlett