Perahia Plays Bach
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|1. I. Allegro|
|2. II. Adagio Ma Non Tanto E Dolce|
|3. III. Tempo Di Alla Breve|
|4. I. Allegro|
|5. II. Affetuoso|
|6. III. Allegro|
|7. I. Allegro|
|8. II. Andante|
|9. III. Presto|
After playing and conducting Bach's concertos for solo keyboard, Perahia now turns his attention to a pair of similarly scored concertos which involve a couple of excellent colleagues. Except for instrument purists who insist on harpsichords and other period instruments, no Bach lover is likely to have any trouble with the sound of these performances. They are lucidly and expressively played, and every important line is clearly audible. After his rather aggessive approach to the solo concertos, Perahia and his colleagues sound surprisingly sedate in these performances, which are lovely but occasionally seem a bit deficient in excitement and drive. The "Italian Concerto," without the orchestra, is similarly mellow. If it suits your interests, this is a highly pleasing disc, quite well recorded, although there should have been more than 55:24 of music on it. --Leslie Gerber
Top Customer Reviews
The fact that the "emperor's new clothes" effect has made the critics hail Perahia for his Bach recordings is no excuse for putting out something as disturbing as this. The tempi, the sound and the character of each movement is just so wrong. OK, it is personal what you like but let's face it: the old stubborn tradition of playing this music in this manner can be compared to a sinking ship. Some people are still desperately hanging on to it. Still ignoring the true colours and intentions of past masters. Perahia is a wonderful pianist but he should stick to Schubert, Chopin and the repertoire that he can handle.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Perahia is at his usual level of perfection, energy and enthusiasm, and for me, the smooth and subtle playing of Kenneth Sillito's violin - and especially Jaime Martin's flute - is the real bonus - beautifully and sensitively crafted phrasing throughout both the Brandenburg 5th and the Concerto for flute, violin and clavier.
I think this would also be a fine gift for clasical newbies as it contains some of Bachs most immediately pleasing works - but like all Bach your pleasure only increases with multiple listenings (rather than the boredom which can occur over time with much highly touted "Light" classical music.)
However, in my opinion, the climax of this recording is reached in the famous Italian Concerto in F major (BWV 971) for solo keyboard. It reveals once more the renowned craftsmanship of Perahia, his unmatched poetic touch. A thoughtful and color-oriented pianism is masterly displayed, with meditative inflections and vivid finger-work to shed a fresh (but nut disturbing) light on these evergreens. Perahia's approach aims at revealing a truly meditative realm (see, for instance, the soaring central movement - Andante) and subtly contrasting it with a witty playfulness (in the outer movements) based on a impressive musical knowledge. The excellent recorded sound is favored (besides Perahia's stunning mastery) by use of a concert grand capable of an amazing palette of nuances.
All in all, an outstanding, valuable and aristocratic rendition in Bach's recordings catalogue!