Magna Sequentia I is a unique sequencing of dance movements drawn from Bach’s keyboard works featuring pieces from the French Suites and the Partitas. Whereas Bach’s suites typically comprise six to eight movements, Sonia Rubinsky has selected 19, compiled with a tonal logic that still keeps the structure of a suite. She has chosen several examples of each of the dance forms used by Bach so one can appreciate the dazzling variety of both style and mood. Enhanced by her historically informed performance, Magna Sequentia I offers fresh insights into Bach performance on a modern grand piano.
‘This is the Bach Suite connection you might crave. If you do, here it is in a fine performance at a good price! Bravo! The reordering for old-salt listeners freshens things considerably too. Either way this is a genuine pleasure and an adventure for anyone who is ready and willing.’
French Suite No. 5 in G major, BWV 816: VII. Gigue
Sonia Rubinsky’s Magna Sequentia I (8.574026) was constructed around a Partita from Bach’s Clavier-Übung I but this second volume focuses on the French Overture from Clavier-Übung II. Each of the 17 movements has been selected to illustrate the different styles and expressive moods of Bach’s dance writing. This unique sequence showcases three specific national styles: the ornate and sophisticated French school, virtuosic Italian writing, and the stricter fugal writing of the German style. Contemporary insights abound in Rubinsky’s historically informed playing.
Overture in the French Style in B minor, BWV 831: VI. Bourrée I and II
Following on from the two large sets of dance suites, Magna Sequentia I (8.574026) and Magna Sequentia II (8.574027), Magna Sequentia III is a contemplative collection featuring a varied group of pieces that spans Bach’s compositional career, from very early works such as the Prelude from the Suite in F minor to works from the end of his life, such as the Ricercar a Tre from The Musical Offering.
Prelude in C major, BWV 846
Sonia Rubinsky was awarded Best Recording of the Year in the Classical Category of the 2009 Latin GRAMMY Awards for the eighth volume of the complete piano works of Heitor Villa-Lobos, recorded for Naxos (8.570504). She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from The Juilliard School, New York. Her discography includes works by Scarlatti, Mozart and Mendelssohn, as well as contemporary composers. She has been a three-time recipient of the prestigious Carlos Gomes Prize in her native Brazil, and was nominated by Murray Perahia to be artist-in-residence at the Edward Aldwell International Center for Piano Performance and Musicianship in Jerusalem, where she regularly gives masterclasses.
‘[Rubinsky] relishes every twist and turn of Brazil’s ever-varied genius, playing with an enviable virtuosity, warmth and affection.’
– Audio Video Club
poetry, matched by
– New Jersey Star-Ledger ★★★★