Since the very dawn of the compact disc era, Ralph Kirkpatrick's seminal recordings of Domenico Scarlatti have mainly been conspicuous only by their absence from the active catalog. It's hard be sure just why, as all along listeners and reviewers alike have been requesting their return. Kirkpatrick's Bach has been reissued here and there, along with some oddities, including a live, all twentieth century recital Kirkpatrick performed in 1961, released on Music and Arts. But of the Scarlatti, nothing - how could the man who put the "K." in Scarlatti go neglected; were not his performances once considered the acme in Scarlatti played on the harpsichord?
Richrad Lester has been at the center of early keyboard music for fifty years with a professional career that began in 1966. His teacher, George Malcolm generously promoted his debut recital at the Wigmore Hall, and from that followed concerts including the Royal Festival Hall Purcell Room, master classes and recitals at Dartington International Summer School, Bruges Festival and the Bath International Festival. As a Fellow of the London College of Music, he has given many organ recitals in King’s College, Cambridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, Coventry, and in 2013 he was invited to perform in St. Mark’s, Venice, and Bergamo Cathedral. His vast discography for Nimbus Records is acclaimed worldwide.
Listeners familiar with other recordings in Masaaki Suzuki's ongoing traversal of Bach's solo keyboard works may find his performances of the Partitas somewhat of an anomaly. For instance, the sharply delineated juxtapositions of tempos that made his Fantasias and Fugues program so thrilling (type Q3840 in Search Reviews) are nowhere to be heard here. The interpretive agenda this time is much subtler and decidedly more introverted.
Under the Antoine Marchand (that's Ton Koopman in French, or Anthony Merchant in English) imprint of the Challenge Classics label, Dutch early music veteran Ton Koopman recording the large corpus of surviving works by Dietrich Buxtehude, inspired by the tercentary of the composer's death in 1707. All initial indications are that few other musicians could have done this at all, and probably no one could have done it as well.