Clavier Companion - July/August 2017 - 73
recorded Piano Concerto, Op. 38. Orr joins conductor
En Shao and the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra
(along with an outstanding recording engineer, Andreas
Meyer). The team provides a tonally rich and fulfilling
performance that highlights Barber's swooning romantic
melodies and complicated metric passages with
pronounced rhythmic clarity and excitement. The oftenheard Nocturne offers an effective glimpse into Barber's
beautiful lyric style, while the Ballade contrasts lyricism
with intense and violent outbursts. Orr's approach to
the "warhorse" sonata is abundantly confident and
intentional. The only slight disappointment is the fugue,
as one is left wanting a more playful syncopation and
impulsive sense of flair in the jazzy subject.
- Laura Melton
This issue's contributors:
Steven Hall has performed throughout the United States,
Europe, and Taiwan as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and
chamber musician. He is cofounder and faculty member of
the Brandeis Piano Conservatory in Dallas, TX, and President
of BPC Recording Company. His two critically acclaimed
CDs are released on the ACA label.
Leonne Lewis has a varied career as a pianist, music
journalist, concert manager, and lecturer. She has been
a consulting editor of Clavier, a
contributor to publications in the
United States and Europe, and a
juror of Vienna's Rosario Marciano
J.S. Bach Six Partitas
Charles Owen, pianist
Avie Records AV2366
[Total Time: 142:22]
Teachers, students, and
Bach devotees such as Rosalyn Tureck, Angela Hewitt, and Andras Schiff understand the challenges of articulation, phrasing,
and pedaling when performing Bach on the piano.
Additionally, unedited editions invite heated debate
about "stylistically accurate" interpretations. Owen's performance of the complete Partitas is noncontroversial and provides a well-manicured tapestry of contrapuntal clarity combined with faultless
fingerwork, notably in the piquant Scherzo of No.
3, the Gigue of No. 5, and the Capriccio of No. 2. His
interpretive approach brings out the sequential purity and dancelike quality of the Allemandes of Partitas 1 and 4. Yet his overriding use of staccato touch
combined with limited metric flexibility suggests
that more could be done to project the tonal mysteries inherent in Bach's writing, specifically in the
Sarabandes and in the florid Toccata of Partita No. 6.
- Leonne Lewis
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Laura Melton is the Coordinator of
Keyboard Studies at Bowling Green
State University in Ohio. A frequent
recitalist and clinician throughout
North and South America, Asia, and
Europe, her recent CD recordings
are on the Naxos and Albany labels.
Stephen Pierce is Assistant
Professor of Keyboard Pedagogy
at the University of Southern
California. He has performed in the
Czech Republic, Canada, the United
States, and South Africa, and
published in Clavier Companion,
The South African Music Teacher,
and Music Research Forum.
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