- Toccata for keyboard in C minor, BWV 911 (BC L142)
- Partita for keyboard No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826 (BC L2)
- English Suite, for keyboard No. 2 in A minor, BWV 807 (BC L14)
Fans of the mercurial but extraordinarily gifted Argentine pianist Martha Argerich had a banner year in 2000. The reclusive virtuoso emerged to play several concerts after an extended period of poor health, and several major recording companies retrieved treasures from their vaults. Originally released in 1980, this album confirms that, while best known for the Romantic repertory, Argerich is also a stunning interpreter of Bach. She has recorded the Second Partita elsewhere -- a previously unissued concert version appeared on EMI's Live From the Concertgebouw recital. It seems a perfect match for this pianist, who combines a poetic temperament with crystal-clear tone and texture. Dynamically, Argerich moves with ease from the repose of the Partita's Sarabande to the exuberance of the English Suite's Gigue. She doesn't bring to Bach the Romantic expressiveness for which her Chopin is known, but she still navigates the music with a singing, propulsive line. The apparent simplicity of this approach reveals the music's profundity; the counterpoint emerges clearly through the transparency of her playing. Argerich's Bach is not dreamy or sentimental, but neither does it have the stern formalism of, say, Wanda Landowska's classic harpsichord versions. Lean and clean, Argerich's playing lets the graceful structure breathe freely and allows the innately expressive music to speak volumes on its own behalf.