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While not altogether persuaded by the booklet essay’s strained assertion of kinship between Bach and Philip Glass, I’m more than convinced by the idiomatically stylish playing of young Latvian rising star Iveta Apkalna. The Bach is vividly realised on Himmerod Abbey’s IV/79 Klais, instrument and soloist relishing the rich, sinewy sonorities of three Preludes & Fugues (BWV 531, 541 and 552), the flexing muscularity of the D minor Toccata & Fugue and airy poetics of the BWV 590 Pastorale. Especially appealing is the Glass disc – only the second complete offering currently available alongside Donald Joyce’s 1993 survey on Catalyst. Apkalna balances the driven, drunken rhythms and harmonies caught in shimmering suspension of the mercurial Mad Rush, austere Contrary Motion, contrasted Dances nos. 2 and 4, and the hypnotically liquescent conclusion to Satyagraha with aplomb. Excellent recorded sound, too.

MICHAEL QUINN Read the full review on Agora Classica

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