His technical skills, always impressive, are in full display on this double album of partitas, with a variety of articulation in the fast movements that makes them seem more "pianistic" than they really are: Schepkin has drawn comparisons to Glenn Gould, and he's done it without using a lot of pedal. The slow movements, with a good deal of ornamentation and rhythmic freedom, are perhaps the most characteristic; sample one of the sarabandes, perhaps that of the Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825, for a taste
Album · 1995 · 29 Songs. Bach: Keyboard Partitas Nos. 1-6. 2016.
Album · 1996 · 32 Songs. Bach: The Six French Suites. Johann Sebastian Bach: The Goldberg Variations. Brahms Late Piano Works.
Producer – Paul Doguereau, Sergey Schepkin.
Bach: The Six Partitas. And I have not always been a fan of everybody playing the Bach Partitas. In addition to the high intelligence and wit, Schepkin manages also to convey a dimension of play, of kaleidoscopic gaming that still remains earthy and folk-loric. At times, the sophistication of this playing will probably remind you of Rameau's courtly, satin-clad harpsichord music.
Sergey Schepkin said: This is the recording of the Bach Keyboard Partitas (plus the Four Duets and the French Overture) that I made in 1995. At that time, I was quite happy with it, and still think it has some good playing (albeit would play many things differently now). It was well received by Fanfare, American Record Guide, Listener Magazine, and The BBC Music Magazine, and was (predictably) trashed by The Gramophone. So it's up to you guys to decide whether it's a good recording or a piece of garbage. After a couple of weeks of listening to the album the abundance of ornaments began to reveal themselves and formed beautiful symmetries and relationships between the phrases. Very impressive work. The dynamics were treated very appropriately. It is quite evident from this recording that Schepkin has a deep and passionate understanding for these masterpieces.
The Partitas, BWV 825–830, are a set of six harpsichord suites written by Johann Sebastian Bach, published individually beginning in 1726, then together as Clavier-Übung I in 1731, the first of his works to be published under his own direction. They were, however, among the last of his keyboard suites to be composed, the others being the six English Suites, BWV 806-811 and the six French Suites, BWV 812-817, as well as the Overture in the French style, BWV 831.
Bach: The Six Keyborad Partitas - Volume 1. Partita No. 1 in B Flat major, BWV 825 Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826 Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827 Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828. Sergey Schepkin (Piano). Partitas BWV 825-830. Trevor Pinnock (Harpsichord).
Schepkin started performing Bach's Partitas as a cycle 20 years ago while he was a doctoral student at New England Conservatory. Schepkin's performances of the Partitas have garnered him great acclaim from The New York Times and The Boston Globe Two years after his New York debut, he played Bach's six Partitas with striking purity of tone, complete technical control and restless intelligence. Mr. Schepkin's lofty perspective held one mesmerized.