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Russian-German Pianist Igor Levit Releasing J.S. Bach 'Partitas' (BWV 825-830) via Sony Classical on August 25

By Maria Jean Sullivan m.sullivan@classicalite.com on Aug 22, 2014 01:06 PM EDT
Igor Levit "Bach comes pouring into me like a waterfall...[he] is the greatest possible love!" -- Igor Levit (Photo : Felix-Broede)

Hot on the heels of his late Beethoven sonatas debut disc for Sony Classical, pianist Igor Levit is all set to release a second album featuring his recordings of the partitas (BWV 825-830) by Johann Sebastian Bach on August 25. You'll recall that the 27-year-old, Russian-German pianist’s freshman Beethoven made it to No. 46 on Germany's Top 100 album charts.

“For the first time in my life, I have the feeling that the way I play now is just right for me,” Levit said. “Everything comes together, inwardly and programmatically. I can see light at the end of the tunnel, and that's where I want to go. Since then, I've felt immensely relaxed. It's true that I had to struggle with every note from the Bach just like with Beethoven--but this time I enjoyed the struggle.”

Levit has indeed worked furiously towards recording these Bach compositions, by way of reading, studying and playing as much as he could the music that came before them. He spent about four years learning the partitas, themselves, not playing them in concert until he felt he had finally mastered the scores.

Levit’s 2013-14 season features debuts with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Antwerp. And he'll return to London's Barbican Hall to perform with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maxim Vengerov and Antonio Meneses in Beethoven's Triple Concerto.

Much beloved in the United Kingdom, Classicalites might also remember that Levit won the Young Artist Award gong at the Royal Philharmonic Society's gala last year.

If you don’t have the chance to go abroad, you can still catch him here in the U.S. with the San Francisco Symphony (April 16-19), Cincinnati Symphony (April 24-25), WPAS in Washington D.C. on May 9 and at The Gilmore in Kalamazoo, Michigan on May 10.

Check back with Classicalite early next week, when we'll have the exclusive premiere of Igor Levit's Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825 (I. Praeludium).

Until then, do have a preview listen to the full set below.

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TagsIgor Levit, Partitas, Johann Sebastian Bach, Sony Classical