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Bach: 15 Sinfonias Bwv 787-801; English Suite No. 4 Bwv 809; Busoni: Three Chorale Preludes

Vincent Craig
Release Date: 09/11/2013 
Label:  Vincent Craig   Catalog #: 5638178131   Spars Code: DDD 
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

BACH 15 Sinfonias, BWV 787–801. English Suite No. 4 in F, BWV 809. Chorale Preludes: Nun komm der Heiden Heiland, BWV 559; Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639; Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645 Vincent Craig (pn) Read more class="ARIAL12"> VINCENT CRAIG no catalog number (56:44)

This is obviously a self-produced CD and, according to Vincent Craig’s website (vcraig7066.wix.com/vincentcraigpiano), it appears to be his first. Dr. Craig earned his Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, where he studied with Frances Walker. He then went on to earn his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Peabody, where he studied with Ann Schein. Active mainly in the New York and New England areas, Craig’s repertoire represents over 300 years of piano literature, with a special emphasis on works by African-American composers.

Craig has chosen a fine selection of Bach’s keyboard works to demonstrate his technical command of the music’s contrapuntal demands, and in the slow pieces, in particular—e.g., the E?-Major Sinfonia, the Sarabande of the English Suite, and the three chorale preludes—he communicates real depth of feeling without indulging in any overly Romantic impulses.

Overall, I’d be inclined to judge Craig’s effort a success and to recommend his presumed debut album—available at Amazon and CD Baby—but for one thing which is not his fault. The acoustic of the recording location, Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, Pennsylvania, is overly reverberant, resulting in a rather too echo-y sound that is not ideal, especially when it comes to clarifying Bach’s linear textures.

According to Craig’s web site, the pianist has quite an extensive repertoire. I look forward to hearing him again, next time recorded in a venue more conducive to his instrument.

FANFARE: Jerry Dubins    
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