horizontal line

Martha Argerich has long supported Bach on the piano, and her 1979 DG recording of solo Bach retains classic status. This two-DVD set, recorded live over two consecutive evenings at the Salle Pleyel in Paris, is a treat for all Bach lovers.

The soloists are carefully hand-picked and what unfolds is a miracle of concentration, as if each pianist was preternaturally aware of the importance of the collective hommage. Khatia and Gvantsa Buniatishvili’s Andante from the C Minor concerto for two keyboards unfolds with perfect tenderness, the conductorless Lausanne Chamber Orchestra responding with freshness and immaculate ensemble.

This is not all about young soloists: Stephen Kovacevich gives a performance of the F minor concerto that perhaps smiles less, yet includes a jewel of a Largo. Following on is an enjoyable BWV1055 from Nelson Goerner. Denk-Hyek Lim, a name new to me, is outstanding in the G minor.

The multiple-soloist concertos are the ones that bring most joy: the three-keyboard BWV1063 (Michael Dalberto, Frank Braley, David Kadduch) finds the players bouncing off one another. Braley and David Fray are perfectly matched in BWV1061, while the two performances of the four-keyboard concerto (both led by Argerich, and featuring Lilya Zilberstein, Mauricio Vallina, Nicolas Angelich, and Akane Sakai in addition to others already mentioned) encapsulate the joyous spirit of the event.

Gabriela Montero’s Improvisations feel like a slightly gimmicky inclusion, but not a disruptive one. The video production is excellent.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


   Read full review   


To continue reading, please upgrade to a premium account. You will have immediate full access.



Read more classical music reviews online here:



Piano International, 2015 - ©Rhinegold Publishing