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Stellar romanticized Bach with pedal5 April 2014
Joseph Kline PhD, MD
- Published on Amazon.com
All pianists study Bach as part of their training, and most have a Bach piece under study at all times. So while a few pianists "specialize" in the performance of Bach, all others are more than familiar with Bach and will play some Bach at most recitals. The current disc demonstrates such a pianist. Alfred Brendel is a superb musician who is not particularly known as a Baroque performer. Despite his non-specialist status, he provides us with a stellar performance of the Italian Concerto and Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue along with a couple of less familiar Bach pieces. Make no mistake, this is not a Gould- or Tureck-like performance. This is a romantic pianist playing Bach as the common listener would enjoy hearing it: rather Chopinesque with liberal use of the sustaining pedal. This is not a practice that you would not find with Gould or Tureck as it does change the character of the Bach. To these ears, however, Brendel performs Bach with far greater success than Murray Perahia in his excursions into the world of Bach.
This is a most enjoyable recital -- not necessarily adhering to common Baroque performance standards but nevertheless providing a satisfying listening experience.