dda 25128
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LUCIA MICALLEF (pianoforte),
conducted by BRIAN SCHEMBRI

The Bach Keyboard Concertos are cornerstones of the baroque repertoire, for performance both on modern instruments as here, or on 'authentic period' fortepianos, harpsichords or clavichords. Maltese pianist Lucia Micallef is lauded wherever she performs for crisp, articulate phrasing and nuance and this shows through clearly in this beautifully balanced and lively performance. The EUCO under Brian Schembri shine and support perfectly. Among the hundreds of recordings made of these works, this one has a freshness that will make it stand out for a very long time.



AUDIO SAMPLE: F minor Concerto, BWV1056 - 1st movement (extract)

dealer release date: 14 April, 2015





CD program:

Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052
Concerto in D major, BWV 1054
Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056
Concerto in G minor, BWV 1058
review extracts: for full reviews click here
“This vibrant recording was made in St John's Smith Square, London with its excellent acoustic: it is perfectly balanced between soloist and orchestra. Lucia Micallef's playing is superb with a fine and nuanced interpretation of this great music. Her ability to imbue the concertos with just the right amount of vivacity or reflection as appropriate is ideal.” – John France (MusicWeb)

“These are absolutely beautiful piano performances by Maltese pianist Micallef. Every dynamic capability of the piano is used, especially long crescendos and diminuendos. Bach would probably not have had this ability with the instruments of his day, but would heartily approve if he heard this performance. The attention to detail, especially at the slight ritardandos at the end of sections and movements, make these performances as perfect as I have ever heard. Divine Art's booklet notes and production values are up to their usual high quality, and they have found a sensitive and engaging new pianist. More will be most welcome.” - James Harrington (American Record Guide)

“This album is a good introduction to classical music itself: it's top quality. If you feel you want to buy a classical CD, this is an excellent first investment. [Micallef's] playing is precise yet subtle, and she brings out the best in the music. This sounds fresh and modern and not in any way imposing. If you like Bach already: this must be one of the better recordings of his work, so neither neophytes nor the knowledgeable can go wrong.” - Jeremy Condliffe (The Chronicle)

“Spirited and alert renditions ... Schembri's European Union Chamber Orchestra opts for a sound that appears a compromise between “authentic” and contemporary sonorities, certainly transparent enough to allow Micallef's pearly articulation to shine through. Micallef and Schembri deliver a most congenial rendition.” – Gary Lemco (Audiophile Audition)

“I welcome this superb disc without reservation. Her Bach playing is quite magnificent. A truly outstanding production in every way.” – Robert Matthew-Walker (Musical Opinion)

“The performances are clean and distinctive. One can certainly see the benefit of having a small chamber orchestra of only 15 players against a rather powerful modern piano to bring out a more modern concept of Bach's works. The orchestra playing is extremely precise... [Micallef] is quite precise and fits the orchestral accompaniment so that it sounds chamber-like rather than a fuller, thicker orchestral texture that one might expect.” – Bertil van Boer (Fanfare)