"This young Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar...has a maturity and purity to his playing which places him firmly in the tradition of Alfred Brendel (with whom he has studied in masterclasses) or András Schiff rather than those showier technicians whose names may be better known." - Fiona Maddocks,
BACH INSPIRATIONS • Hannes Minnaar (pn) • Read more class="ARIAL12">COBRA 0038 (75:28)
BACH/LISZT Prelude and Fugue in a. BACH/BUSONI Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme. Nun komm der Heiden Heiland. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g’mein. FRANCK Prelude, Choral and Fugue. BACH/RACHMANINOFF Violin Partita No. 3 in E. BACH/BAUER Die Seele ruht in Jesu Christ. BACH/VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Ach bleib uns, Herr Jesu Christ. LISZT Fantasia and Fugue on the Theme B-A-C-H. GRAINGER Blithe Bells
Nothing new about this concept; music inspired by, or transcriptions of, the music of Bach. But surely this never gets tired. The young Dutch pianist Hannes Minnaar has collected many of the “usual suspects” as well as some charming rarities. In the former category there are the great Liszt works, including an essentially literal transcription for piano of a prelude and fugue originally for organ, and his masterful melding of the Baroque and the high Romantic in his grandiose tribute to the Master by using German notation to make a melody of the letters of his name (which Bach himself did), that is, B?, A, C, B?. There is also the somber beauty of Busoni’s transcriptions of three organ chorales, and the ever-delightful transcription of one of the violin partitas by Rachmaninoff, surely one of the most joyful and inventive of any Bach transcriptions. The Franck is not directly related to any music of Bach, but it rivals Liszt in its powerful juxtaposition of styles.
New to me were the elegant and heartfelt transcriptions from a pair of Englishmen, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Harold Bauer, a well-known concert pianist in the first half of the 20th century. And then there is the completely charming Blithe Bells by the always surprising Percy Grainger, a “free ramble,” in the composer’s own words, of the beloved aria Sheep May Safely Graze, in which the sound of distant sheep bells is mimicked in the treble range of the keyboard.
Minnaar is a well-schooled and respectful pianist, but in the pieces where there are competitive versions, he sounds polite to a fault. I have to say that his take on the Rachmaninoff transcription is as gleeful and sprightly as any, but Kempff and Lipatti are far more soulful in the Busoni, for example, and Brendel and Hamelin are not afraid to embrace the giddy gaudiness of the Liszt B-A-C-H extravaganza. Nevertheless, although he fails to reach for the stars in his interpretive manner, Minnaar honors the spirit of the music admirably, and given the wonder of this material, that alone guarantees a worthy release.
Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543by Johann Sebastian Bach Performer:
Hannes Minnaar (Piano)
Period: Baroque Written: 1708-1717; ?Weimar, Germany Venue: Westvest90 Schiedam Length: 9 Minutes 55 Secs.