My first ever live contact with Murray Perahia's art took place some three years ago when he gave a highly acclaimed recital during the "George Enescu" International Festival - 2007, in Bucharest. The first piece in the program on that occasion was Bach's Partita No.4 in D major BWV 828 (recorded here), so one can say that I properly made the acquaintance with the artistry of the great American pianist through a magic door, opened by none else than Johann Sebastian Bach and its powerful music. And for me that occurrence is not simply a casual thing, as long as Murray Perahia, worldwide recognized as an indisputable Bach maestro among living pianists, considers him (like I do) the supreme authoritative figure in music and has recorded a vast amount from his keyboard output (which found a privileged place in my CD collection). And the coincidences don't stop here: my first ever CD collection items were Perahia's two CDs comprising the complete set of English Suites, released more than a decade back by Sony Classical. The same label issued recently two further recordings in Perahia's Bach series: the complete set of keyboard Partitas, of which this was the first (Partitas 2, 3 & 4).
Speaking about Bach's music seems quite impossible for me. It's like speaking about the Milky Way or the Michelangelo's Pietà - they simply exist for ever and charm for ever without any need to explain them. Bach's music is overwhelming and all-embracing by itself, as a mysterious Universe unceasingly pulsating and breathing so much humanity. You can only marvel at it and let it traverse you without any other comment. Its logical and mighty structures - apparently monotone but so full of substance - unfold Bach's consummate knowledge of the sounds' science. But there is more than science or even art. It is a point of departure for a fabulous inward travel in searching ourselves, our most intimate thoughts, feelings, acts. Its apparent simplicity gets mere transcendence and mediates rather a mystic ecstasy. However, this giant of the baroque music, also known as the "modest cantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig", composed permanently watching God. Therefore, his music gathers solemnity, fervour, serenity, passion, humility and much love.
There is always required a great musician - and Murray Perahia is one of them - to recreate compellingly this mysterious and enthralling Universe in front of us, the inhabitants of the XXIst century.
By aiming at completing the Partita's cycle Murray Perahia consolidates his reputation as an exquisite Bach interpreter and imposes a reliable point of view regarding the need for a fresh approach in reading Bach's work. Five stars!