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Bach: Cello Suites - Martin Ostertag        (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
  February 18, 2012

I basically concur with Jazz1. Ostertag plays these Suites with enough power and passion without overdoing it, ala Gavriel Lipkin, the only other SACD set that I've heard. The latter can't leave a single note alone without distorting it in some manner. I initially liked it, but it doesn't wear well. ... more
Ravel: Complete Piano Solo Works - El Bacha          (7 of 7 found this review helpful)
  December 7, 2011

I don't have time for an extensive piece by piece review, but suffice it to say that this recording contains beautiful playing captured in beautiful sound. El Bach's name is new to me, but he has quite an impressive background and has won prestigious competitions. My test piece by Ravel is "Gaspard ... more
Interview with Beethoven - Vestard Shimkus        (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
  November 23, 2011

My goodness, this young man (born in 1984) can play! He begins with his own "EU Variations," a piece to celebrate Latvia's (his birthplace) entrance into the European Union. The main theme comes from the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, which has been the traditional theme of the EU. He ... more
Borodin: String Quartet No. 2, Cello Sonata, Piano Quintet - Prazak Quartet        (6 of 11 found this review helpful)
  October 28, 2011

As one reviewer noted, THIS IS NOT MULTI-CHANNEL. In fact, I think it sounds downright terrible, especially the Quintet, which has extremely scratchy string tone and a nasal/hollow sound overall. Actually, all three pieces suffer from a rather hollow acoustic. I guess the performances are adequate, ... more
Rubio - Johan Brouwer          (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
  October 19, 2011

This is simply a wonderful recording. The title refers to David Rubio, famed harpsichord, lute, and guitar maker. (In fact, Julian Bream helped to get Rubio on the map by commissioning some guitars from him.) The music ranges from some sublime pieces by Renaissance composer William Byrd to JS Bach ... more

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