Christian Tetzlaff

Christian Tetzlaff
Christian Tetzlaff. Photo by Giorgia Bertazzi

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826 – Ivan Bessonov (HD 1080p)

Τhe young award-winning Russian pianist and composer Ivan Bessonov performs Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826. Recorded in Olpe, Germany, on April 20, 2018.

While this partita and the four that followed appeared after 1726, all were written during that year, a year that saw publication of the B flat major piece first. Bach published a new partita each year until 1731, when all six appeared together. Each of these works consists of dances – typically an Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, and Gigue – and other pieces, forming a whole that could just as easily have been called a suite. They generally show Bach's lighter side, though there is a fair share of serious music here, too. All the partitas have seven movements except for this C minor effort, which comprises six. Another unusual aspect is its exclusion of a Gigue at the close, where Bach substituted a Rondeau and Capriccio.

This suite opens with a Sinfonia which, speaking of serious music, achieves a depth of expression to rival much of Bach's more profound keyboard music. It is in three sections, the first ponderous and dramatic, the succeeding two having progressively faster tempos. The theme in the second section has a soothing serenity in its animated nonchalance, while the final part is lively and light in its variant of this theme, and brims with Bach's deft counterpoint and rhythmic subtlety.

The Allemande that follows is somewhat subdued but features an undercurrent of contrapuntal activity with many delicious details that often come refreshingly to the foreground. The remaining four numbers are much shorter and lighter in expressive content. Best among them may be the ensuing Courante, a sunny, graceful piece whose contrapuntal elements seem to blend rather than conjure, imply rather than articulate.

The ensuing Sarabande is slow, almost hymn-like in its solemn yet soothing manner. The lively Rondeau that follows is jumpy and full of playfulness, while the closing Capriccio is meatier, both in its muscular first section and in the inversion of material from the opening that comes in the latter half. It is also quite a challenging finale for the performer.

This partita will have a duration of about 15 minutes, excluding repeats, a longer one than the slighter first, third, and fifth, but shorter than the fourth and sixth partitas.

Source: Robert Cummings  (

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

♪ Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826 (1726)

i. Sinfonia
ii. Allemande
iii. Courante
iv. Sarabande
v. Rondeaux
vi. Capriccio

Ivan Bessonov, piano

Olpe, Germany, April 20, 2018

(HD 1080p)

Ivan Bessonov was born in St Petersburg in 2002. He received his first piano lessons at the age of six. In 2012 Ivan started his professional education and began studying piano at the Central Music School for particularly gifted children of the Moscow Conservatory in the class of Professor Vadim Rudenko.

In 2015 Ivan made his debut as a film music composer for various feature films. That same year he won the Grand Prix at the International Chopin Piano Competition in St Petersburg. In 2016 Ivan Bessonov won the 1st prize as well as the Audience Prize at the Grand Piano Competition in Moscow and was awarded the 1st prize at the International Anton Rubinstein Piano Competition The Piano Miniature in Russian Music in St Petersburg. His interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1 won him 1st prize at the Eurovision Young Musicians 2018 Competition at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Since 2015 Ivan Bessonov has performed in recitals and with orchestras throughout Russia and Europe. Renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Fedoseev or Vladimir Spivakov invite him to perform with their orchestras, including the Mariinsky Orchestra, the Tchaikovsky Orchestra and the Russian National Philharmonic Orchestra.

He regularly performs at various music festivals in Russia and abroad, including the Easter Festival under Valery Gergiev in Moscow and St Petersburg, the Verbier Festival and the Festival de Piano de la Roque d'Antheron. In 2017 he gave a recital as part of the well-known concert series Masters of Tomorrow organised by the Werner Richard - Dr. Carl Dörken Foundation.

The famous pianist Denis Matsuev has also repeatedly invited Ivan to his festivals and concerts. He also performs as a jazz pianist and chamber musician in a trio with his younger brothers, the violinists Nikita and Danila, and furthermore works with great passion as a composer.

Ivan Bessonov has recorded his own compositions and works by Frédéric Chopin for his debut album, which will be released on the ARS Produktion label in spring 2019.


More photos

See also

Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No.2 in C minor, BWV 826 – Martha Argerich

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