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Keyboards Concertos BWV 1052, BWV 1053, BWV 1055

Murray Perahia (Piano) & Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields

More Bach from Murray Perahia

O-1

Bach: Keyboard Concertos Nos. 1, 2 & 4

Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052 [20:41]
Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1053 [19:00]
Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055 [13:17]

Murray Perahia

Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields

Murray Perahia (Piano)

Sony Classical

May 2000

CD / TT: 52:58

Recorded at Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London, England.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

Donald Satz wrote (March 16, 2001):
First, Murray Perahia gives us an excellent set of Bach's English Suites. He then continues with the Goldberg Variations which receives sterling reviews. Now, Perahia issues three Bach keyboard concertos - BWV 1052, 1053, and 1055. The man is on a march with Bach which I hope continues toward the WTC and Art of Fugue. In his keyboard concerto disc, Sony 89245, Perahia also has the conducting honors as he leads the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Due to circumstances entirely within my control, this will be a short review. I did compare Perahia's BWV 1052 to that of Cyprien Katsaris partnered by the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra led by Janos Rolla. The first movement belongs to Katsaris who is uniformly strong and thrilling, a fantastic performance. By comparision, Perahia has a tendency to soften and lose some fire in his belly. In the second movement, I find Katsaris and company much too slow with an eight minute reading; also, Katsaris sounds rather flat and uninvolved. Any lack of strength and projection that Perahia displays in the first movement disappears in the Adagio. He is beautifully poetic and projects superbly; a performance in the six minute range helps considerably. The third movement is a toss-up. Perahia again is very strong and poetic; Katsaris continues in a somewhat flat manner. In the orchestral contributions, the roles are reversed. Rolla's group is excellently sharp with masterful accenting and phrasing; St. Martin is smooth and dull in comparison. Overall, Perahia's BWV 1052 is a fine reading let down some by his playing in the first movement and the chamber orchestra's lack-luster third movement.

In the other two concertos, Perahia excels in every movement. Unfortunately, that non-incisive playing from St. Martin does not go away and becomes a consistent negative in relationship to Perahia's contribution. Since Perahia's the conductor, I think it's fair to put the responsibility on his shoulders.

Don's Conclusions: I feel a little hesitant to not recommend Perahia's recording very strongly; he certainly delivers "the goods" at all times except for BWV 1052's first movement. However, the results of his conducting are unexceptional and often ordinary. I often found myself thinking that matching Perahia with Rolla would yield superior returns. My best advice is to sample the third movement of BWV 1052; if the orchestra sounds fine to you in this movement, the disc should provide much listening pleasure. Most likely, the review periodicals will gush over Perahia and his conducting. The next move is yours, and keep in mind that Perahia only provides about 53 minutes of music; another concerto could easily have been accomodated. I hope Perahia is not veering toward the Pollini disc time tradition.

 

Keyboard Concertos:
Reviews:
More Bach from Murray Perahia | Harpsichord concertos played on 2, 3, and 4 Organs | Bach on two harpsichords by Raskin, Milani | Bach(s) on two keyboards delivered by Hogwood and Rousset | Bach Harpsichord with Pinnock | Review: The Italian Bach in Vienna DVD

Murray Perahia: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Perahia’s Bach | More Bach from Murray Perahia

Instrumental Works: Recordings, Reviews & Discussions - Main Page | Order of Discussion
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Performers of Instrumental Works: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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Last update: żOctober 16, 2006 ż15:27:14