Label news: Ashkenazy’s back

Label news: Ashkenazy’s back


norman lebrecht

August 06, 2021

Eighteen months after his abrupt retirement at 82, Vladimir Ashkenazy is back with a rare recording.

Decca have paired his new set of Bach English suites with his  first-ever Bach recording from 1965, the Concerto in D minor.

Good to have him back.


  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Ashkenazy = Brilliant. giant among musicians.

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    Surely, ASHKENAZY’S BACH would’ve been a better heading – pardon the pun. Interesting to read about these recordings. I would never place Ashkenazy in my top set of Bach pianists, above Andras Schiff for instance, but I have his 2005 recording of Bach’s The Well – Tempered Clavier; maybe it’s time to re-evaluate these discs. Always good to hear of new Bach keyboard recordings being issued from such master pianists.

    • Timon says:

      Andras Schiff should record the Kunst & the Offering.

      • Sheila McLaren says:

        He has said many times that he hopes to live long enough to understand the Kunst and then play it in public. Honest as ever. Admirable. I have heard him play a part of the Musikalisches Opfer (the Ricercar) not long ago. Maybe he will grant your wish and record all of it! But it’s not kind to say what you think Schiff
        “should” be doing.

  • Andy says:

    Wonderful musician and a complete gentleman. So many of his piano recordings are an absolutely exquisite. I never did hear why he abruptly retired – does anyone know?

    • Walter says:

      I totally agree. Having met him back in 2017 and spent some time with him, it’s possible there are some cognitive and hearing issues there combined with less invitations to conduct.

      • M McAlpine says:

        A very sensible decision to retire while he was still in the game. How much better than carrying on with declining faculties.

        • Andy says:

          There were a handful of news articles that mentioned arthritis pain in his left hand as part of the reason he withdrew from playing in public.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      He’s slowly losing his faculties, apparently. A great shame, but what a legacy. Extraordinary pianist, musician and complete gentleman. True class on all fronts.

  • SuzieB says:

    I thought it was due to arthritis

  • debuschubertussy says:

    This is great news. He has been recording so much Bach in the last couple years, might as well keep it going with the English Suites! (Can an Ashkenazy Goldbergs be on the horizon?)

  • microview says:

    It will be interesting to see when these Suites were recorded. Maybe earlier and only now approved?
    Presto’s release info. does not mention the Concerto bonus (reissued on vinyl about three years ago and still available),

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    It is impossible not to love Ashkenazy! He is the nicest man in the music profession.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Most young people do not measure up to older generations, thus digging up old un-issued recordings can provide wonderful findings.

    A suggestion to ’boutique labels’: find a Beethoven piano sonata cycle in some radio archive played by Detlef Kraus. There must be many recordings, since he played complete Beethoven cycles in 3 continents, and some of them should have good sound quality.

  • Sheila McLaren says:

    Delighted, I am. Thanks for letting us know.

  • Anthony Sayer says:

    Nothing to do with Bach, but you should really look up his first recording of Chopin’s Op. 10. Unbelievable, especially N°s 1 & 2.