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Classical - Released October 6, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Award - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique
Approaching age 70, American pianist Murray Perahia moves with this release from his longtime home of Sony Classical, formerly Columbia Masterworks, to Deutsche Grammophon. The set of Bach's six French Suites, BWV 812-817, was recorded in a Berlin studio in 2013, but did not appear until three years later. This probably testifies to the complexity of the move, but whatever the case, the wait has been worth it. Perahia has long been a marvelous Bach pianist, but the French Suites perhaps display his skills especially well. The "French suites" designation was applied by later writers, not by Bach himself, but they do capture something of the music, even if the dances involved were as much Italian as French by the time Bach composed them in 1722. They apply deep counterpoint to dance rhythms, and Perahia's genius resides not in some great overarching concept of how to play Bach but in finding the balance between disparate elements in a work, and in finding the human warmth in the result. Each movement is distinctive; each moment unfolds something new. You could really start sampling anywhere, but try the final gigue of the second suite, in C minor, where the little ornaments that form the central feature of the movement each take on a rather eerie individual significance. Perahia avoids extremes of tempo, and his extremely detailed approach could be called intellectual, but only if that word did not denote a certain coolness: Perahia is never cool. A wonderful Bach recording of the sort that one will return to again and again. © TiVo
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Solo Piano - Released February 9, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Record of the Month - Le Choix de France Musique - Choc de Classica
Oh no, no, no: this is absolutely not a re-release of one of the many recordings which Murray Perahia made of Beethoven over the decades. This here is something completely new, made in 2016 and 2017, of two radically contrasting sonatas: the Fourteenth of 1801, which Rellstab nicknamed "Clair de lune" in 1832, while Beethoven merely dubbed it Quasi una fantasia, and the Twenty Ninth of 1819, Große Sonate für das Hammerklavier, written after several barren years. Perhaps, consciously or not, Perahia has coupled two works, one "before" and the other "after" - after all, he himself has known his fair share of fallow years, following a hand injury which removed him from the stage from 1990 to 2005. Whether or not it's true, it's certainly tempting to imagine. Either way, like Beethoven, Perahia made a storming return, as shown in this recent performance, in which vigour alternates with moments of intense introspection, always impeccably phrased and articulated, and deeply musical. Clearly all those years in which he concentrated almost exclusively on the works of Bach as a training regime while he waited for recovery seem to have in fact been immensely fruitful. © SM/Qobuz
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Solo Piano - Released September 14, 2009 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
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Classical - Released November 22, 2010 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
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Concertos - Released January 1, 1987 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Choc de Classica
Recorded over 13 years between 1975 and 1988, Murray Perahia's cycle of the complete piano concertos of Mozart, including the concert rondos and double concertos, remains perhaps the most enduring monument to his art. What is it about Perahia's art, some skeptics might ask, that is worth enduring? For one thing, as this 12-disc set amply demonstrates, there is his incredible tone. Clear as a bell, bright as the sky, and deep as the ocean, Perahia's tone is not only one of the wonders of the age, it's admirably suited to the pellucid loveliness of Mozart's music. For another thing, there is his unbelievable control. From the simplest melody to the richest sonorities, Perahia's control makes him the master of everything he surveys. For yet another thing, there is his astounding sense of rhythm. From the most vivacious Allegro con spirito to the most lugubrious Larghetto, Perahia's tempos are always brilliantly judged and wonderfully propulsive. To top it off, there are his poetic interpretations. While some cynics might assert that his interpretations are all beautiful surface with no profound depths, more sympathetic listeners would argue that Perahia's beautiful surfaces go all the way to the bottom of Mozart's music. Accompanied by the accomplished outstanding English Chamber Orchestra -- the wind playing alone is worth the price of the set -- Perahia's cycle of Mozart's piano concertos should be heard by anyone who loves the music. Sony's late stereo and early digital sound is consistently clean, colorful, and immediate. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released March 11, 2002 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Keyboard Concertos - Released January 1, 1987 | Sony Classical

Recorded over 13 years between 1975 and 1988, Murray Perahia's cycle of the complete piano concertos of Mozart, including the concert rondos and double concertos, remains perhaps the most enduring monument to his art. What is it about Perahia's art, some skeptics might ask, that is worth enduring? For one thing, as this 12-disc set amply demonstrates, there is his incredible tone. Clear as a bell, bright as the sky, and deep as the ocean, Perahia's tone is not only one of the wonders of the age, it's admirably suited to the pellucid loveliness of Mozart's music. For another thing, there is his unbelievable control. From the simplest melody to the richest sonorities, Perahia's control makes him the master of everything he surveys. For yet another thing, there is his astounding sense of rhythm. From the most vivacious Allegro con spirito to the most lugubrious Larghetto, Perahia's tempos are always brilliantly judged and wonderfully propulsive. To top it off, there are his poetic interpretations. While some cynics might assert that his interpretations are all beautiful surface with no profound depths, more sympathetic listeners would argue that Perahia's beautiful surfaces go all the way to the bottom of Mozart's music. Accompanied by the accomplished outstanding English Chamber Orchestra -- the wind playing alone is worth the price of the set -- Perahia's cycle of Mozart's piano concertos should be heard by anyone who loves the music. Sony's late stereo and early digital sound is consistently clean, colorful, and immediate. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 23, 2000 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released November 16, 1999 | Sony Classical

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. © TiVo
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Classical - Released May 16, 2008 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 23, 2000 | Sony Classical

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Concertos - Released April 8, 2011 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released June 9, 1997 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 7, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released March 18, 2008 | Sony Classical

Murray Perahia's Bach recordings are low-key, somewhat in the vein suggested by Bach's modest use of the words "Clavier-Übung," keyboard exercise, to describe the partitas played here in their published form. There is none of the eccentricity of Glenn Gould and none of the hard monumentality of András Schiff. Perahia is content to be straightforward and simple, choosing his points of emphasis with care. At first his playing, like Bach's title, seems too modest, but soon you realize that for sheer clarity in polyphonic textures he is unexcelled. The three partitas presented on this program may seem an unlikely trio (and presumably are part of a larger group of recordings to come), but they make a convincing whole that few performers have yet thought of. They embody progressive departure from the conventional structures of the French-style suite of dances that provided Bach's basic blueprint. Hear Perahia's treatment of the building excitement of the Courante of the Partita No. 3 in A minor, BWV 827, track 9, all the more effective because it is so confidently controlled. Perahia delivers the payoff with the big Allemande of the Partita No. 4 in D major, BWV 828, whose nine-minute span vanishes into the flow of time. Perahia's self-effacing style is never going to appeal to everyone, but for those who like it, it has rarely been as effective as it is here. Sony's German engineering should be especially noted; the resonances of the lower ranges of Perahia's piano, so carefully sculpted by the artist, emerge with their colors perfectly reproduced. © TiVo
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Chamber Music - Released January 11, 1999 | Sony Classical

During the 1720s, Bach grouped his harpsichord suites into two sets of six each and assembled a third, that was newly composed. These compositions have survived as the English Suites, French Suites and Partitas. Only the Partitas were published in Bach's lifetime. The English Suites are the earliest of these keyboard works and three of them are the focus of this recording by pianist Murray Perahia. There is nothing especially "English" about these works and their misleading title is one that was never known by Bach. Dubious titles notwithstanding, the works are marvels of invention that marry intellectually challenging contrapuntal lines to sublime melodies. Perahia wisely says the suites are "heart and mind connected." Perahia dazzles in this music. He excels in the twisting contrapuntal complexities of each suite: particularly the Prelude of the Second Suite and the Gigue of the Fourth. Perahia also revels in the melodic splendor of the elegiac slower movements, his playing of the Allemande of the Fifth Suite a high point of the disc. Perahia's Bach is yet another jewel in the crown of this wonderful pianist. © TiVo
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Classical - Released June 9, 1997 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released October 14, 2002 | Sony Classical

Is this disc really necessary? With spectacular recordings of Chopin's etudes by Horowitz, Richter, Moravec, and Pollini readily available, is a new recording by Murray Perahia really necessary? Except for fans of the pianist, probably not: the poetic Perahia has nothing new to add to the already profoundly poetic performances of Moravec and Richter, and the virtuoso Perahia cannot compete with the astonishing virtuosity of Horowitz or Pollini. And while fans of the pianist will be gratified by Perahia's beauty of tone and astounded by his jaw-dropping virtuosity, not even they would be able to say that Perahia's very fine recording is in the same league as the sublime Horowitz, Richter, Moravec, or Pollini recordings. For collectors of Murray Perahia, a collector of Chopin's etudes, or a collector of any recent pianists' interpretations of standard repertoire, this disc may be necessary. But the less-avid listener is directed to the recordings of Horowitz, Richter, Moravec, or Pollini. © TiVo
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Solo Piano - Released March 14, 2008 | Sony Classical

Classical - Released October 31, 2020 | UMG Recordings, Inc.

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Murray Perahia in the magazine