Bach: Italian Concerto, BWV 971; Toccatas, BWV 912 & 913; Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 903

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COMPOSERS: Bach
LABELS: Sony
WORKS: Italian Concerto, BWV 971; Toccatas, BWV 912 & 913; Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 903
PERFORMER: Gustav Leonhardt (harpsichord)
CATALOGUE NO: SB2K 60375 Reissue (1978, 1980)
After years of comparative obscurity, several of Gustav Leonhardt’s most interesting solo keyboard recitals are once again seeing the light of day. This two-CD set is one of them. The contents of the first disc, which includes the Italian Concerto, two toccatas, a fantasias and a fugue, have previously been available on CD; but the music on the second disc has not been reissued since the LP era. The recordings were made around 20 years ago and reveal two aspects of Leonhardt’s musicianship, those of performer and arranger. The Italian Concerto and Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue are played with rhythmic suppleness and a fine sense of virtuosity and rhetoric. The Suites, on the other hand, are fascinating, if not in the end altogether satisfying arrangements of the Fourth Suite for unaccompanied cello and a lute Suite in G minor. Both the playing and the fine sounding harpsichord by Christian Zell are well worth a detour. Nicholas Anderson

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