Murray Perahia, Murray Perahia – Bach Piano Concertos

George Grella

By George Grella

on 08.25.11 in Reviews

Murray Perahia - Bach Piano Concertos

Murray Perahia
Arguably the finest of Bach’s keyboard concertos

Among a large pool of exceptional Bach recordings these are arguably the finest of the keyboard concertos, and certainly the first-choice for modern piano performances. Perahia came to Bach after an already substantial career of playing and recording the great body of classical and Romantic piano music; Mozart, Chopin and the like. His virtues — the ability to play and articulate any passage with utter transparency, deeply musical phrasing and something to say about the pieces — are even more apparent in Bach, the unforgiving proving ground of musical intelligence. His playing is elegant without being flaccid, self-effacing but full of judicious choices. His fluid style gives each note weight and sound while maintaining a consistent legato, as if he is making a point about Bach being played on the modern instrument. At all tempos, and even with some forceful accents in the left hand, the music is full of life, carrying the voice of the composer and the musicians and full of substance without ever sounding weighted down. Perahia relishes the sound of the works while also thrilling to the passing accumulation of ideas about how counterpoint, dialogue and structure work. He’s aided by expert and sympathetic accompaniment from the ASMF throughout.