Helene Grimaud presents her first-ever Bach recording! Once again, charismatic Helene Grimaud presents an album with an individual concept. Bach vs. Bach Transcribed brings together original keyboard works by the master with works by Bach arranged (transcribed) for the piano by pianist-composers of later generations: Busoni, Liszt & Rachmaninov. This is the first time that Hélène Grimaud has recorded Bach - a challenge for any musician. The repertoire includes the famous Well-Tempered Clavier II and the Concerto no. 1 in D minor, the latter performed with Grimaud's regular collaborators, the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Bach "Transcribed" features the Bach/Busoni version of the Chaconne in D minor, the Violin Partita in E major arranged for piano by Rachmaninov, and Liszt's version of the Prelude and Fugue in A minor. A landmark project in Grimaud's successful career, this recording is bound to be a best-seller.
"Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach" is one of several titles in Sony's new "Music For You" Series, easily identified by their artsy, photographic covers. The material on this CD has been available previously on CBS Masterworks. True, Ma does play music by Bach, but it is sonatas (originally intended for viola da gamba and not cello) by Bach, and the Sinfonia Concertante by Bach's youngest son, Johann Christian Bach. Not that Sony is lying and not that most people will care or feel cheated, but since this title is obviously aimed at classical novices, I just thought I'd set the record straight. In a similar vein, hopefully those that discover both Bach and Yo-Yo Ma via this disc will like what they hear, and go on to get one of Ma's two recordings of the Bach "Cello Suites" – the real yardstick for composer and performer alike. ~Amazon
Gulda plays Bach at the clavichord. It sounds so simple, and yet it holds a wealth of musical depth and expression. In about 1978, the famous pianist Friedrich Gulda recorded his clavichord playing on various different occasions: at intimate concerts or during his morning practice, when he buried himself in the music as if at a séance – and from the unique combination of brilliant musician, eloquent instrument and eminent composer grew something quite special.
The recordings released in this series are devoted to the music of Bach, never a specialty among Russians, and they have the feeling of something extreme, developed in isolation. Feinberg plays Bach, perhaps, as Liszt might have heard Bach and played him – with maximum use of the pedals, a full range of dynamics, and an approach that in every way transforms Bach into an arch-Romantic. This disc, in the label's Feinberg series, is perhaps the most extreme of all, for here the artist tackles not only piano works but those for organ – the listener is treated not only to Feinberg's interpretations but also to his transcriptions. Sample the booming bass lines of the group of chorale preludes in the middle of the program. Of course, the line between transcription and interpretation in this case is not terribly clear. Taken as a whole, the Chromatic fantasia and fugue, BWV 903, leaves the impression that the music has been pushed nearly as far as in Busoni's Bach transcriptions; it's not Bach, really, but it's quite a thrill.