I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

David Fray Records Concerti by Bach

It has been several months since French pianist David Fray has come out with a disc featuring four concerti by Bach for single keyboard, joined by the Bremen Chamber Philharmonic chamber orchestra. A series of videos on YouTube featuring the artist rehearsing for this project piqued by interest, Fray being an articulate player, in addition to having some strong ideas about his orchestral support. The works of course aren't new - they've been in my radar for years as Harpsichord concertos - but here they are realized a well-recorded way, with great sensitivity towards dynamics and articulation. I've read some compare Fray to Gould, and while I see where the comparisons are apt, that's not to say Fray is simply imitating Gould or is his clone (he's not, in either case). He's an articulate player (I keep returning to this modifier - articulate - as to indicate sensitivity, but also precise articulation of notes on the keyboard). Unlike Gould, he doesn't play like he's playing a harpsichord, yet the playing remains clear and achieves it's own appropriate style that isn't necessarily authentic in a historical way, nor lyrical in a "Romantic" way. Instead, without fancy modifiers, his playing seems "just right." This recording is about the artist, and you might hear him articulating from his vocal cords (I did, in the first mvt. of BWV 1052), but he has well-trained the orchestra to match his musical ideas. In the end, it's cohesive, entertaining, and exposes ever more the genius behind Bach's writing for keyboard concerto. Well-recommended. Upon hearing Fray's Bach partitas via YouTube, I'm looking forward to more beyond his recording of Bach coupled with Boulez.

The World is What We Make of It

Richard Galliano performs Bach