The elegant and clean lyricism of Murray Perahia's playing fits this program of piano songs without words to a tee. Perahia has always had a wonderful knack for teasing out singing contrapuntal lines that other pianists ignore. Far from sounding willful, such interpretative playing seems to reveal music that one should have been hearing all along. Consequently, Perahia lends all music that falls under his hands a decidedly polyphonic cast. It is therefore not surprising that Perahia renders the richly textured Bach-Busoni chorale transcription, "Nun freut euch, lieben Christen," with unstudied charm. Similarly, in Mendelssohn's 'Songs without Words,' Perahia projects more that composers championing of Bach than his Romantic pioneering. Perahia's playing of Liszt's transcriptions of Schubert songs is virtuosic without being showy. Even in the tour-de-force final strophe of "Auf dem Wasser zu singen," Perahia stresses the singing of individual lines over theatrical dazzle.
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AllMusic Review by AllMusic
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, transcription for piano (after J. S. Bach, BWV 645; Ten Chorale Preludes No. 2), KiV B27/2
Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, transcription for piano (after J. S. Bach, BWV 659; Ten Chorale Preludes No. 3), KiV B27/3
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen, transcription for piano (after J. S. Bach, BWV 734; Ten Chorale Preludes No. 4), KiV B27/4
Ich ruf' zu dir, transcription for piano (after J.S. Bach, BWV 639; Ten Chorale Preludes No. 5), KiV B27/5
Ständchen, Leise flehen meine Lieder, transcription for piano (after Schubert D. 957), S. 560/7 (LW A49/7)