Listeners familiar with any of Masaaki Suzuki's many Bach recordings for BIS are likely to know what to expect from his recording of the Well-Tempered Klavier Book II: immaculate playing, impeccable taste, and immediate sound. Perhaps best-known internationally for his series of recordings of Bach's cantatas and other sacred works, Suzuki started his career as a superlative keyboard player, and as his performance here on the harpsichord demonstrates, he has kept his skills well-honed.
While one might reasonably prefer this, that or the other recording of Bach's "Goldberg" Variations, one should still take the time to listen to this 1997 recording of the work played on the harpsichord by Masaaki Suzuki on BIS. For one thing, Suzuki is the conductor of BIS' series of Bach Cantata recordings and it is interesting to hear what he can do on his own without other musicians as intermediaries.
Following his magnificent recording of J.S. Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias for BIS last year, the Japanese harpsichordist/organist/conductor Masaaki Suzuki here offers more revelatory performances of some of Bach's equally well known (as well as some lesser known) masterpieces. With this collection, simply titled Fantasias & Fugues, Suzuki provides a grand overview of Bach's lifelong sporadic exploration of the Fantasia genre.
Born in 1964 in Chiswick, England, the only son of a world-famous guitar legend, Juergen Richard “J.R.” Blackmore began his musical career in Germany. When he was just five years old, his parents separated and J.R. left the United Kingdom together with his mother to live in her birthplace Hamburg. It was the early years of modern-day Hamburg, which had seen legends to be like The Beatles play in the Star-Club before their heyday. Just like his father, Ritchie Blackmore, who made a name for himself and later became world-famous as a founding member of Deep Purple and later Rainbow. If you were going to be somebody in the music business, Hamburg was the place to be and was a gateway into stardom for a plethora of bands…