Various Artists

Solo Journey: Night Moods

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AllMusic Review by Carol Wright

There is nothing "new age" about Solo Journey except for the marketing concept of packaging a compilation album to suggest a mood. This album contains pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach; its companion album is Moonlight, movements by Beethoven. That being said (and it is not really a complaint), the music is not to be sneered at. Albert Imperato and R. Peter Munves, who developed the albums, selected these pieces from the gems in the Deutche Grammophon catalogue. I was pleased to see several tracks from the DG album of Wilhelm Kempff's exceptional Bach piano transcriptions (his first recording of Bach, at age 80); these arrangements are nobility squared, perfection on perfection. Speaking of perfection, the album includes a movement from one of Nathan Milstein's seminal recordings of the violin sonatas. Andrei Gavrilov plays a crystalline piano on the aria from the Goldberg Variations. Just as warm is the resonant guitar of Goran Sollscher. Other pianists include Sviatoslav Richter, Martha Argerich, and Maria Joao Pires (from the album that won the 1995 "Grand Prix du Disque"); Pierre Fournier offers gutsy interpretations of two bourees from one of Bach's cello suites. The novice listener will probably recognize most of the familiar pieces; the connoisseur will be thrilled to score such a collection of perfect gems. Liner notes by Albert Imperato add much to the appreciation of Bach, his music, and the performers.