J.S. Bach: Inventions and Sinfonias

Zhu Xiao-Mei

(CD - Accentus #ACC 30350)

Review by Blair Sanderson

The Inventions and Sinfonias of Johann Sebastian Bach are essential training pieces for young pianists, so they are quite well-known, though somewhat less venerated than the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Goldberg Variations, and the Art of the Fugue, which are regarded as much more challenging and lofty. Yet Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording on Accentus Music demonstrates that these are not mere exercises or easy pieces for beginners, but artistically challenging works in their own right, in which every choice is evident in the exposed two-part and three-part counterpoint. This album was recorded in the Mendelssohn Room at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, which has lively acoustics that complement Zhu's playing without drowning her sound or taking the edge off her crisp articulation. Listeners who prefer to hear these pieces played on harpsichord may not care for any performances on piano, but Zhu is so meticulous and precise in her execution, even a Bach purist can appreciate her skills and ability to make these pieces intellectually and emotionally satisfying.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:00 Amazon
2 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:43 Amazon
3 Zhu Xiao-Mei 00:59 Amazon
4 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:07 Amazon
5 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:23 Amazon
6 Zhu Xiao-Mei 03:04 Amazon
7 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:34 Amazon
8 Zhu Xiao-Mei 00:54 Amazon
9 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:34 Amazon
10 Zhu Xiao-Mei 00:55 Amazon
11 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:22 Amazon
12 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:20 Amazon
13 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:09 Amazon
14 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:23 Amazon
15 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:08 Amazon
16 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:07 Amazon
17 Zhu Xiao-Mei 02:08 Amazon
18 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:15 Amazon
19 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:49 Amazon
20 Zhu Xiao-Mei 02:18 Amazon
21 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:21 Amazon
22 Zhu Xiao-Mei 02:05 Amazon
23 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:09 Amazon
24 Zhu Xiao-Mei 02:55 Amazon
25 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:09 Amazon
26 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:45 Amazon
27 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:23 Amazon
28 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:44 Amazon
29 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:31 Amazon
30 Zhu Xiao-Mei 01:23 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick