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Bach: Original Works And Transcriptions By Franz Liszt / Schmidt

Schmidt,David Theodor / Bach / Liszt
Release Date: 05/31/2011 
Label:  Profil   Catalog #: 11025   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian BachFranz Liszt
Performer:  David Theodor Schmidt
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

BACH Partitas: No. 1 in B?; No. 2 in c. BACH-LISZT Preludes and Fugues: in a, BWV 543; in c, BWV 546; in C, BWV 547 David Theodor Schmidt (pn) PROFIL PH11025 (67:26)

Although David Theodor Schmidt is a pianist who has not appeared in these pages before, this is not his first CD. ArkivMusic lists another Read more Profil CD on which he plays a program similar to this one (with some Shostakovich thrown in), and Amazon also lists a Sony Classical disc on which he plays Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Brahms. Schmidt is almost 30, and studied in Karlsruhe and at London’s Royal College of Music.

This is, quite simply, a quietly impressive program. Schmidt’s Bach is sensitive to Baroque style, yet it is very much of the present era. Although his legato playing is enviable, he does not apply it indiscriminately, and there is ample variety in his touch, and also color. This makes his playing consistently interesting, even though he approaches the two partitas with more respect than outward showmanship. He varies dynamics tastefully, and embellishes with discretion. Where appropriate, the music dances, and even if Schmidt chooses some fairly unusual tempos, both slow and fast, he is able to justify them with playing that always is about Bach, not about Schmidt’s ego. I have enjoyed many pianists’ recordings of these works (Murray Perahia on one extreme, and João Carlos Martins on the other, plus many others in between), and Schmidt, even though he is young and not yet as familiar a name, belongs in their company. I hope he goes on to record more Bach on the piano.

Coupling Bach with Liszt’s transcriptions of three of Bach’s organ works was a fine idea. Schmidt brings the virtues of his Bach playing to Bach-Liszt, and adds, in this bicentennial year, the Lisztian element of pianistic virtuosity. Again, however, Schmidt is not interested in following many of today’s more prominent competition winners and media darlings, and he does not treat Liszt as a vehicle for self-display. Even in the most demanding passages—and there are many of them in these three transcriptions—there’s an appealing lack of pretension in Schmidt’s playing. One feels his personality, but more as a conduit for the music than as something immodestly applied to it. This is playing that will go on satisfying the listener long after the thrills that other pianists purvey have faded.

I look forward to more from this pianist, and recommend this CD with enthusiasm.

FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

1. Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  David Theodor Schmidt (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Germany 
2. Partita for Keyboard no 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  David Theodor Schmidt (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
3. Preludes and Fugues (6) of JS Bach for Piano, S 462: no 1 in A minor, BWV 543 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  David Theodor Schmidt (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842-1850; Weimar, Germany 
4. Preludes and Fugues (6) of JS Bach for Piano, S 462: no 3 in C minor, BWV 546 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  David Theodor Schmidt (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842 - 1850; Weimar, Germany 
5. Preludes and Fugues (6) of JS Bach for Piano, S 462: no 4 in C major, BWV 547 by Franz Liszt
Performer:  David Theodor Schmidt (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842 - 1850; Weimar, Germany 

Sound Samples

Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826: I. Sinfonia
Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826: II. Allemande
Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826: III. Courante
Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826: IV. Sarabande
Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826: V. Rondeaux
Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826: VI. Capriccio
Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825: I. Praeludium
Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825: II. Allemande
Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825: III. Corrente
Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825: IV. Sarabande
Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825: V. Menuet I-II
Partita No. 1 in B flat major, BWV 825: VI. Giga
Bach - 6 Praludien und Fugen fur die Orgel, S462/R119: Prelude and Fugue in C minor: Prelude
Bach - 6 Praludien und Fugen fur die Orgel, S462/R119: Prelude and Fugue in C minor: Fugue
Bach - 6 Praludien und Fugen fur die Orgel, S462/R119: Prelude and Fugue in C major: Prelude
Bach - 6 Praludien und Fugen fur die Orgel, S462/R119: Prelude and Fugue in C major: Fugue
Bach - 6 Praludien und Fugen fur die Orgel, S462/R119: Prelude and Fugue in A minor: Prelude
Bach - 6 Praludien und Fugen fur die Orgel, S462/R119: Prelude and Fugue in A minor: Fugue

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