The preludes and fugues that make up Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” operate on multiple levels at once — they’re a compilation of techniques for keyboard writing, a polemic on the subject of tuning and a master class in the art of counterpoint.[...] when you arrange these pieces for string quartet, as violinist Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet has done very deftly here, those agendas take different paths.Bach’s counterpoint shines through far more clearly here than it can in the hands of even the most technically adept pianist or harpsichordist — with one string player on each melodic line, the interplay of individual voices becomes almost glaringly bright.[...] the task of re-crafting Bach’s keyboard textures for strings — particularly in the moody, unpredictable preludes — spurs Kitchen to appealing feats of invention.The result is a familiar body of music cast in a wonderful new light, and the quartet’s performances rise to the occasion.
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MARCH 10, 2014
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2014 - BAGHEERA BACH BOOKS, LLC
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