|Review by Jonalogic July 26, 2013 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
|Now here’s a real sleeper gem. It does exactly what it says on the tin, offering Bach keyboard concerti for 4, 3, 2 and 1 pianos. And played with lovely, woody Bluthner Model 1s.
For anyone familiar with the twinned Angela Hewitt sets of single piano concerti on Hyperion, this set offers a very overall similar musical approach and feel: – modern instruments and playing, but with real delicacy and panache to the interpretation, graced with superb playing throughout and particularly ravishing slow movements.
HiP zealots might not find it to their taste.
All the pieces are, of course, transcriptions – the 4-piano piece (the only one of its kind in the repertoire) after Vivaldi and the remaining pieces from Bach’s own works. This ensures that all the pieces will be familiar to Bach afficionados, but with the revised orchestration giving an interesting twist to the proceedings. Musical recycling was clearly well advanced in this era but, when undertaken by a musical genius, what’s to complain about?
Notably, the earthy tones of the Bluthners blend exceptionally well with the small and expert Polish string band. The sound, overall, is clear, intimate and neutral. Personally, I would have preferred more distancing, but that’s just me.
All in all, this is a lovely but strangely neglected recording.
PS For MCH users out there, I regretfully cannot addvise whether this recording is MCH or pure stereo. Sorry.
P P S After a long-self-enforced hiatus, I note this is my 100th review for this Forum. Gee, I must be a glutton for punishment…
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