The Sunday Times <Culture>
October 22, 2000
JS BACH – The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II
Metier MSV CD2002 (a+b) (2 CD’s)
As a Bach player Diana Boyle is at once fastidious and a free spirit. As in her recording of the Six Partitas on Integra, she is passionately concerned here to bring out the full, independent-mindedness of Bach’s endlessly subtle part-writing, and to this end invests her playing with an astonishing boldness of dynamic and accentual detail. Almost entirely avoiding the pedals, yet also avoiding undue dryness of texture, she re-creates these preludes and fugues – generally more extended and daring than the earlier 24 – with a clarity that can be brutally emphatic or imperturbably poised but is gripping just the same. No questions of phrasing or inflection, or even of what instrument to use, are taken for granted. Everything is newly invented, and crackling with intellectual energy.The pieces emerge in truly towering sequence.
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