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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HIP-sters can steer clear; all other Bach lovers can enjoy
This review is for the 3-CD set which I have listened to. This issue is a repackaging of the 3 separate CDs that Murray Perahia recorded in the early 2000's for Sony Classical, featuring the 7 keyboard concertos, the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, the Concerto for Flute, Violin and keyboard (BWV 1044), and one solo keyboard work, the Italian Concerto in F (BWV 971). The...
Published on 9 Oct 2011 by G.C.

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11 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Critics have loved it. I was not too impressed. Most of the concertos are not really keyboard works (three are re-hashes -- by Bach -- of violin concertos, one is a solo piano piece, one the 5th Brandenburg concerto, and one a triple concerto). Perahia's playing hogs the limelight, with the band relegated to the background. And it's all a bit mechanical; give me Edwin...
Published on 15 Jun 2011 by H. R. Collier


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HIP-sters can steer clear; all other Bach lovers can enjoy, 9 Oct 2011
By 
G.C. (St. Louis, MO, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is for the 3-CD set which I have listened to. This issue is a repackaging of the 3 separate CDs that Murray Perahia recorded in the early 2000's for Sony Classical, featuring the 7 keyboard concertos, the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, the Concerto for Flute, Violin and keyboard (BWV 1044), and one solo keyboard work, the Italian Concerto in F (BWV 971). The first thing that should be said is that if you are wedded to the idea of J.S. Bach's music as best performed on period instruments, with minimal vibrato and tuned at lower pitch, and with a harpsichord instead of a piano as the keyboard instrument, this set is not for you. In that sense, these recordings are a kind of a "throwback" to a time of Bach performance before the HIP/period instrument movement took over the baroque and classical eras. Murray Perahia obviously uses a piano throughout, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields is obviously a modern instrument ensemble, and vibrato is not banished from the playing.

However, with that said, if you're a fan of Murray Perahia or are otherwise generally open to the idea of J.S. Bach done in this "throwback" style, this set is very enjoyable on its own terms. His performances are generally quite straightforward, no fuss or muss, no pulling of tempo about. While vibrato isn't banished, it's not particularly laid on with a trowel either. Even though all the instruments are "modern", and the instrumental textures do feel "weightier" than a period instrument band would sound, the performances generally don't have that sense of stereotypical "heaviness" that one might associate with modern instruments and Bach performances of the era of Mengelberg and Stokowski. The one relatively turgid or "heavy" moment, for me, was the opening of BWV 1044, but that is the exception rather than the rule. As well, Perahia gives a fine rendition of BWV 971, where he's obviously on his own, straightforward and clean.

One small documentary change from the earlier issue is that the theorbo player, Jakob Lindberg, was credited on BWV 1044 and BWV 1050, but his name is omitted from the credits in this reissue. Likewise, the earlier liner notes from the individual issues are replaced with a single survey essay from Jeremy Siepmann.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsary purchase, 26 April 2014
This review is from: Murray Perahia - Bach Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
Superb fluent playing. A lightness of touch and a serenity that makes this a must-have. It is the sort of music, and playing, that should be in the background of every classroom as children learn to read or do their arithmetics.

It makes you feel at one with world.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Naughty but nice, 11 Jun 2013
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enthusiast "enthusiast" (sussex, uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Murray Perahia - Bach Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
I have long known the three CDs that make up this set. The fact that I bought one after the other demonstrates how much I enjoy them. This is Bach as sophisticated confection - but none the worse for that. Perahia's accounts of these works, many of which are known to us in a variety of forms, is consistently delightful and hard to resist. We know him capable of deeply considered and searching Bach - try his Goldberg Variations, for example - but this is not really what is on offer here. And yet this is still music making of the very highest order. Buy with confidence.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, 12 Oct 2012
This review is from: Murray Perahia - Bach Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
These are outstanding performances of Bach's endlessly inventive keyboard concertos- often witty reworkings of pieces you may have heard in different guises. Perahia's silvery tone is matched by his responsive players.
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11 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 15 Jun 2011
By 
H. R. Collier "Harry Collier" (Malmesbury, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Murray Perahia - Bach Piano Concertos (Audio CD)
Critics have loved it. I was not too impressed. Most of the concertos are not really keyboard works (three are re-hashes -- by Bach -- of violin concertos, one is a solo piano piece, one the 5th Brandenburg concerto, and one a triple concerto). Perahia's playing hogs the limelight, with the band relegated to the background. And it's all a bit mechanical; give me Edwin Fischer or Alfred Cortot any day in works like this. We need more empathy, more feeling, more affection.
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Murray Perahia - Bach Piano Concertos
Murray Perahia - Bach Piano Concertos by Murray Perahia (Audio CD - 2011)
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