I think this is an excellent disc. I love Bach's solo keyboard works played on both harpsichord and piano but have always struggled with the concerti played on a modern piano because the texture never seemed quite right to me. I took a chance on this disc because I loved Tharaud's recording of Scarlatti D. Scarlatti: Sonatas and I'm very glad I did: he manages to bring something quite special to these works and, for the first time, I thoroughly enjoy hearing them played on the piano.
The music itself is fantastic, of course. Most of Bach's keyboard concertos are transcriptions that he made of concertos for other instruments. Tharaud has selected four of the finest solo concertos (including the two often performed as violin concertos), a lovely single-movement transcription of a concerto by Marcello and the extraordinary concerto for four keyboards which Bach transcribed from Vivaldi's concerto for four violins. It's a lovely programme, full of contrasts and containing some of Bach's finest keyboard writing.
The performances are quite exceptionally good, I think. Tharaud has a superb technique and a lovely supple approach to Bach's music which preserves all its musical and intellectual weight while breathing light and air into it, and that wonderful spring in Bach's step is well in evidence. Les Violons du Roi are also excellent, with a similar flexibility and joy in the music, and the combination produces something really special, I think. Tharaud multi-tracks all four of the piano parts in BWV1065 and it is easily the best version I know, with a depth and clarity have never come across before.
I have recordings of the keyboard concertos by true greats of Bach on the piano including Angela Hewitt and Murray Perahia, but none has really involved me in the way this disc does. Even if you're a piano sceptic when it comes to Bach I would recommend giving this a try - like me, you might just be surprised. Very warmly recommended.
I have a number of recordings of these works and found the brilliance and expression displayed in this recording to be remarkable. Excellent balance between the soloist and orchestra - a great version of these well known concertos. A new favourite !