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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The problem with playing Bach's keyboard concertos one-to-a-part as opposed to a string orchestra is that Bach's intended soloist-ensemble differentiation is texturally obscured. In the case of pianist Awadagin Pratt and his colleagues, no one seems to want to take the lead in the A Major Concerto's slow movement, in which the string accompaniment never really balances with the solo keyboard line. Likewise, the plucked backings in the F Minor Concerto slow movement wrongly take center stage. By contrast, the musicians pounce on the outer movements with unyielding, almost brutal energy. This contrasts to their glutinous, rhythmically limp Wachet Auf. While the Fifth Brandenburg offers more sensitive playing and chamber rapport, Pratt throws all finesse to the wind in the cadenza. His solo selections (the Bach/Busoni Wachet Auf and Contrapunctus One from the Art of Fugue) do not project or clarify the linear strands to consistent and shapely effect. A disappointment. --Jed Distler

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