Janos Starker was one of the 20th century's best cellists, known for his warmth and expression, as well as a thorough knowledge of the instrument. On these historic recordings, Starker delivers Bach’s six suites for solo cello and sonatas with technical expertise and authenticity. Accompanied by pianist György Sebök, this re-release is captured with the pristine sound associated with the Mercury Living Presence series.
Hailed for his “revelatory” account of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (The New York Times), Richard Egarr turns to one of the least known collections for solo harpsichord. This complete recording of the solo oeuvre of Louis Couperin (c.1626-1661) revels in his full harmonic and contrapuntal textures, marked by a poignant use of dissonance – music that entrances the ear!
On this […] two-CD set from CPO, harpsichordist Ludger Rèmy is thankfully up to the task. He offers the debut recording of Froberger's complete autograph Strasbourg Manuscript, an amazing collection of 14 keyboard suites brimming with fine ideas which was discovered in 1675, eight years after its composer's death. How youthful and exuberant these works are! And how pensive and introspective they can become. The scope and variety of Froberger's imagination places him on par with Rameau, the Couperins, Frescobaldi, and d'Anglebert in their prime. In Germany certainly, he had no peer before J. S. Bach. (John Greene, ClassicsToday.com)
Mozart's keyboard works for four hands feature among the most delightful and entertaining of his compositions. Indeed, a favourite family pastime was to play duets on a harpsichord or pianoforte. The young Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl apparently spent many happy hours playing together on the same keyboard. This we learn about from the English music historian and traveller Charles Burney reporting in 1772 : «By a letter from Salzburg (…) I am informed that this young man, who so much astonished all Europe by his premature knowledge and performance, during infancy, is still a great master of his instrument. My correspondent went to his father's house to hear him and his sister play duets on the same harpsichord.».
Debussy's Études are really the only set that deserves to be put beside Chopin's. What makes them so special? Like his, they are truly "practice pieces," systematically exploring various aspects of keyboard technique. But at the same time, they are poetic works of art, full of fantasy, charm, and musical invention. Uchida's recording is almost universally regarded as the finest version of these works to appear in modern times. Her playing combines effortless virtuosity with pianistic precision, keeping the music's artistic and pedagogical tendencies in a state of exquisite tension. This disc also established Uchida's claim to be recognized as one of the most interesting and talented pianists now active. You need to hear it.