Andrea Padova

Bach: Keyboard Suites, Vol. 1

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Perhaps more so than with any other composer, listeners are likely to have their specific favorites when it comes to interpreters of Bach and are hesitant to look elsewhere. That puts relatively unknown pianist Andrea Padova at an unfortunate and undeserved disadvantage for his playing and vision of Bach are quite rewarding. Performing on a modern instrument, Padova nonetheless possesses a touch and articulation befitting these early suites. Balance is exceptional and at times the distinction between voices is so clear it almost seems as if Padova is playing on a multiple-manual instrument. Tempo choice is on the conservative side, but is never dull or lifeless. Articulation is precise and ornaments are clear and sparkling, considerably adding to the color of the performance. The sound quality of the recording itself further enhances Padova's technical and musical skills. There's practically no reverberation, which for Bach is amazingly effective. The intimacy and presence of the sound gives the sense that the listener is sitting at the piano with the performer. Listeners looking to step outside of the more familiar Gould/Schiff/Perahia box would do well to consider this album, and will no doubt look forward to future volumes by this gifted artist.

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