Notes and Editorial Reviews
If there's a single moment throughout the three Partitas on this gorgeously engineered disc where Murray Perahia produces less than a vibrant, singing sonority, sculpts a polyphonically unaware phrase, or fails to nail a perfect tempo, then I've missed something. Certainly you shouldn't miss the marvels of Perahia's intelligent, technically refined, and inherently musical Bach pianism. At first the C minor Partita's Grave introduction sounds slightly fragmented, phrased in a stop/start manner. But a quick glance at the score reveals that Perahia simply is observing the rests. In the Andante (indeed, everywhere) the conversational give and take Perahia effects between both hands unfolds naturally,
without artificial highlighting of voices or exaggerating articulation. Notice also how a moderate basic pulse and the full-bodied quality of the pianist's non-legato touch elegantly underlines the Rondeaux's genuine dance-oriented profile--and ditto for the A minor Partita's Courante.
The pianist also sustains the D major Partita's large-scale dimensions without losing sight of the inner movements' intimate, almost lute-like characteristics. For example, Perahia takes full lyrical advantage of the Allemande's highly decorative right-hand lines, yet keeps the slower left-hand lines alive and harmonically alert. This applies as well to the Sarabande. Although the final Gigue is brisk, it never sounds the least bit rushed by virtue of Perahia's firmly centered timekeeping and thoughtful accentuation. As a result, the cross-rhythmic implication of certain phrases resonates loud and clear. Perahia embellishes the repeats with style, imagination, and discretion. I fervently hope that the remaining three Partitas will follow in due course.
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
"Lots of performers play Bach on the modern piano. No one does it better than Murray Perahia, whose command of sonorities, dynamics and phrasing makes you hear the piano as an ideal Baroque instrument. These perfectly judged accounts of three partitas are full of persuasive insights and beguiling subtleties."
The San Francisco Chronicle
"American pianist Murray Perahia has now recorded Bach's Partitas nos. 2, 3 and 4 in an utterly heartfelt and intimate setting. A truly great moment!"
"...Murray Perahia is back on the scene, and he has been in the recording studio in order to take advantage of the moment. And naturally, Perahia chose to record music by his all-time idols no. 1 and no. 2: Bach and Beethoven. The results, at least for the Bach (Beethoven is to follow later), are of a compelling intensity...And what a skilled diversity Perahia demonstrates in his interpretation, what spectrum of tonal shades, all masterfully evident in the longest allemande in Bach's piano oeuvre, the piece from the D major Partita. Here too, we learn what a great story-teller Perahia is, the diverse range of his playing. This recording, like many others, is a joy to listen to".
Also available: Bach: Partitas No 1, 5 & 6 / Murray Perahia
"Perahia imbues these Partitas with mastery, care, and insight. Easily a first choice recommendation." -- ClassicsToday.com
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