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<<  -- 2 --  David Wilkins    PERFECT LEGATO


The sometimes-so-called French Overture's opening movement is played with seriousness but no pomposity; the ornamentation is lucid and illuminating; all the required crisp articulation is present when speeds and fugal figurations require -- though with no loss of light and shade. The individuality of the dance movements is a delight. After a beautifully solemn little Courante, we have a pair of Gavottes ornamented with delectable charm and the Passepieds have their own quirky rhythmic propulsion. In her own liner-notes, Angela Hewitt claims that the Sarabande needs, 'a perfect legato without the use of the pedal ... to do it justice.' She certainly has that perfect legato to die for and the avoidance of sentimentality is commendable. Maybe, though, a touch of pedal could have enhanced the emotional impact. The Bourrees skip along with infectious joie-de-vivre and without reckless haste. The very-much 'up front' Echo is a master-class in dynamic control.

The less familiar Capriccios and Duets make for very worthwhile listening. This is not revelatory Bach playing (as, for instance on Murray Perahia's recent Goldberg Variations disc) but it is as honest and durable a tribute to the unending delights of Bach's mastery as one could wish for.

Copyright © 5 August 2001 David Wilkins, Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK






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