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CD Review

Samuil Feinberg

The Complete Solo Bach Transcriptions

  • Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548
  • Largo from Trio Sonata #5 BWV 529
  • Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr, BWV 663, 711, 662
  • An Wasserflussen Babylon, BWV 653
  • Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 720
  • Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 658
  • Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten, BWV 647
  • Kommst du nun, Jesu, von Himmel herunter, BWV 650
  • Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend BWV 655
  • Jesus Christus, unser Heiland BWV 665
  • Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland BWV 659
  • Ach bleib'bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 649
  • Valet will ich dir geben BWV 735
  • Concerto in A minor (after Vivaldi) BWV 593
Martin Roscoe, piano
Hyperion CDA67468 91m 2CDs DDD
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This is the fourth issue in what is turning out to be a fascinating collection of Bach transcriptions for the piano. Samuil Feinberg was one of the greatest pianists of his time and his love for Bach is definitely evident in these magnificent transcriptions, which transcend the art of interpretation with a sense of creativity that is almost spellbinding.

The magisterial Prelude and Fugue in E minor begins the proceedings and here it is quite easy to note the ever so slight re-workings by Feinberg. Martin Roscoe is no stranger to complexity and he handles the ebb and flow of the piece with aplomb. The shorter chorale preludes are also imbued with great wit and an eye for detail, especially the three settings of 'Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Ehr' which sound quite ravishing in Roscoe's hands.

It would be spurious for me to discuss the individual pieces one by one but each has its own natural charm in Feinberg's transcriptions. Particularly interesting is the Concerto in A minor after Vivaldi which is on the second disc and which shows an interesting anomaly in that it is an arrangement of an arrangement! Roscoe's playing is at once refreshingly satisfying and technically accomplished at the same time and this series is becoming ever more interesting and varied in scope.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech