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This is a superb concept, enhanced by Michael Quinn’s fascinating notes. Both Bach and Pärt share a religious aspect and concision of expression.

The sheer clarity of Williams’ Bach – two absolutely equal hands, voices chasing each other playfully – lends qualities of purity and truthfulness to her readings. The order of the Bach sets (both dedicated to his son, Wilhelm Friedemann) is not the traditional one, ascending from C to B and then down again. The consoling nature of the Pärt pieces hangs hauntingly in the air, the temporal distance between the two composers subsidiary to their shared fundamentals.

Williams has the ability to mesmerise in Pärt, creating stillness, even timelessness. Caught in a fine recording, this is a magnificently stimulating concept, brilliantly realised.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica


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