What an amazing concept: Bach being expressed as music instead of as a rigid finger exercise, so unlike many other famous interpreters who seem afraid or incapable of finding the humanity and full depth of emotions -- played with poise, balance and free of excesses.
Why Brendel didn't play more Bach is such a shame. I love his approach: fluid, expansive, dignified, personal, intimate, full of dynamic shadings, vital but never pounding or out of control. He sounds like a genius at it. I find it ironic that Bach is considered to be one of the world's greatest composers but trying to find a performance that actually sounds like music instead of a machine seems to be one of the hardest tasks in all of music. Unlike Mozart, Beethoven or Chopin, I rarely find Bach keyboard performances that I like.
In any event, I've never heard Bach played with such meaning and expression, and it's a beautiful revelation. I feel like a million dollars when I hear Bach played with such incredible musicianship and depth in this unique (to me) but completely natural, inspiring and uplifting performance. The Italian Concerto sparkles, and Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland is beautifully paced and moving. Bach deserves this kind of deep insight and elastic musicianship... simply marvelous. This is my favorite Bach keyboard recording.