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on 26 May 2017
Brilliant - healing to the soul. And something to listen to again and again.
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I should say at the outset that the only reason this is not a five-star disc for me is personal taste: although I love to hear Bach's solo works well played on a piano (including Murray Perahia's fabulous recordings) I can't really get on with the concertos on the piano. I don't know why, there's no real sense in it, but they just don't sound right to me unless they're on a harpsichord.

That said, these recordings are the best I've heard on the piano. There is a lovely fluency and depth here which even the great Angela Hewitt doesn't match for me – and that's really saying something. Perahia's magnificent touch and apparently instinctive understanding of Bach shine through and his direction brings similar sensibility from the always excellent Academy of Saint-Martin-In-The Fields. There's a delightful dancing feel to the outer movements (as there should be) and the slow movements are very beautiful.

So, if you're looking for a piano interpretation of Bach's keyboard concertos, I don't think you can do better than this. If this is your thing, then ignore my slight, very personal caveats and snap this up. Even if you're not keen on Bach on the piano, this may well be worth investigating; it's the closest I've come to really enjoying the concertos played on the piano and it may possibly convert me yet. Recommended.
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Many excellent, previous reviews have adumbrated the attractions of Perahia's complete set of the seven Keyboard Concertos on two discs, so I won't belabour the points except to say that the wit and delicacy of these recordings were enough to convince me that I had to move on from my worthy, serviceable but essentially dull Naxos discs and resolve to listen henceforth mainly to Perahia if I wanted to hear this wonderful music on a modern piano.

He manages to steer a mid-course between overt emotional indulgence and the mechanical doggedness I hear from Angela Hewitt. The balance between the small orchestra, underpinned by the quasi-harpsichord-sounding theorbo, and the piano is perfect. His speeds are almost invariably brisk but always lithe and sprung; too many pianists swoon over the slow movements and rob them of their poise and momentum. Discreet re-scoring - some thinning of textures and the replacement of bowing by pizzicato - stops the orchestration sounding soupy and the propulsiveness of Perahia's playing counteracts the accusation that he is too concerned to cultivate pure beauty of sound.

Perahia's pedigree in Bach is flawless: his Goldberg's are among my top three favourite versions and his forays into Bach generally have met with great acclaim. Purists may retreat to their harpsichords and good luck to them; meanwhile the rest of us will bless these recordings as utterly life-enhancing.
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on 5 May 2012
Wonderful playing with excellent clarity as ever - some movements a little on the fast side(tempo) for me but apart from this definitely recommend CD
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on 10 February 2010
This disk is the equal of Perahia's first disk of Bach keyboard concertos. His performance, and that of the ASMF, are incandescent. The clarity, power and excitement that Perahia generates is not to be missed.
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on 15 March 2010
For me Bach music is - however hard it is catch the intangible with words - about rythm and wisdom. Murray Perahia seems to play it for melody and lyricism. And he plays very well, no doubt about it.
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on 21 October 2008
Murray Perahia is one of the very rare masters of the keyboard who attains perfection whether he is playing Bach, Chopin, Beethoven or Mozart I find his interpretations definitive. Words seem inadequate- buy this and any other recordings of his and they will convince you.
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on 5 October 2014
Perahia at his best ! He really makes Bach's music breathe... Some might not like his "romantic" style, but I for one love it.
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on 15 March 2016
This is a really good recording, clear with overall good quality sound . Delighted to have it in my collection.
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on 3 November 2016
I'm a fan of Perahia, and of Bach - usually in more historically informed renditions. But then Perahia is historically informed, and carries Bach's solo keyboard works off wonderfully. So what's up here? Mostly the doublings of keyboard and modern strings. The sound is greasy and fat and unwholesome. Harpsichord adds attack to the ensemble, Perahia's modern piano does not.
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