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CD News

by Adriaan Kans in Music & CD's , 10 juli 2003

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar

The passion of Paul McCreesh

A simply brilliant, stunning recording. With ‘only’ eight topnotch vocalists, this recording sweeps with its crystal clear, dramatic performance two centuries of performance-practice-dust off of Bach’s timeless masterpiece. In McCreesh’s own words: “There’ll probably always be performances that use choruses of three hundred!

I’m happy with that, not least because everyone should sing Bach’s fantastic music. But please let’s not pretend that that’s what Bach necessarily did, or would wish for.

I feel that (researchers) Parrott and Rifkin have had to endure a huge amount of scorn from other so-called scholars; yet most of the scholarly counter-argument has been utterly pathetic. [..] But ultimately my interest in musicology is only in that it informs my own personal musicianship. The purpose of the exercise (of this recording) is not to prove an academic theory, but to open the ears to the fantastic musical possibilities in performing Bach’s music in this way.”

All I add is: run! To your nearest CD store and get your own copy quick! It’s worth every penny and will make for endless hours of enraptured repeated listening.

Johann Sebastian Bach
St. Matthew Passion
Gabrieli Players, under the direction of Paul McCreesh
DGG - Archiv 474 201-2/474 202-2

More info: - -

Lots of fire, little heat - Yundi Li plays Franz Liszt

“The Greeks would have ranked such a gifted creature amongst their demi-gods”, as the German poet Heinrich Heine once described the 19th century definitive piano lion, womanizer, near-priest and God-sent composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886). “At times I feel like someone who, just having lit the most fantastic fireworks, during the concert slowly but inevitably discovers all the visitors are from an institute for the blind. All they’re hearing is the noise, the forms and colours they don’t see”, Liszt once remarked. Such insight still seems far from the youthful mind of the latest star in piano heaven, Yundi Li.

Indeed, his technique is impeccable. But to bring that Olympian masterpiece, Liszt’s Sonata in B minor, to not only vibrant, but above all profound life, one only has to listen to recorded performances of earlier masters like Bolet or Arrau to realize the crucial difference. Certainly, Yundi’s fireworks are brilliant. But the heart ... that area Yundi touches remarkably little.

Yundi Li : Liszt (Sonata in B Min., Liebestraum No 3, Concertparaphrase on Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’, etc.)
DGG 471 585-2

Meer info: -

‘Furniture music’: Jean Yves Thibaudet plays Erik Satie (1866-1925)

In Thibaudet’s loving hands, Satie blooms as never before. In all of its disarming, honest and, not in the least, elegant French simplicity. 5 cd’s long! According to Poulenc, Satie taught us ‘the greatest daring of our age: being simple’. Such teaching, in the caressing, charming, sublimely talented hands of Jean Yves Thibaudet! .... to quote Ravel, one of Satie’s dearest friends: ‘a delicious and ever new pleasure of an idle pursuit.’

Erik Satie
The Complete Solo Piano Music
Jean Yves Thibaudet
Decca 473 620-2

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In the New Issue of Gay News, 323, July 2018

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