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The problem with playing Bach's keyboard concertos one-to-a-part as opposed to a string orchestra is that Bach's intended soloist-ensemble differentiation is texturally obscured. In the case of pianist Awadagin Pratt and his colleagues, no one seems to want to take the lead in the A Major Concerto's slow movement, in which the string accompaniment never really balances with the solo keyboard line. Likewise, the plucked backings in the F Minor Concerto slow movement wrongly take center stage. By contrast, the musicians pounce on the outer movements with unyielding, almost brutal energy. This contrasts to their glutinous, rhythmically limp Wachet Auf. While the Fifth Brandenburg offers more sensitive playing and chamber rapport, Pratt throws all finesse to the wind in the cadenza. His solo selections (the Bach/Busoni Wachet Auf and Contrapunctus One from the Art of Fugue) do not project or clarify the linear strands to consistent and shapely effect. A disappointment. --Jed Distler
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Bright and refreshing
Revitalizes your appreciation of some of the "old faithful" Bach pieces!
Sorry, but the guy just has no clue what he's doing, and obviously hasn't been "promoted" based on his professional / musical merit after about a decade of "trying".
A blunder of a release, and Bach in particular was perhaps the worst thing for these performers to team up on. Hopefully the quartet can get its act together in the future and find worthwhile collaborators.
If you *have* to listen to this, find it used. Cheap. Very very cheap. Don't put more into this than the performers did. It's definitely one that listeners are willing to part with without batting an eye.