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Classical - Released October 7, 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.

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

Solo Piano - Released August 27, 2009 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Diapason d'or - Choc de Classica - Exceptional sound

Classical - Released November 12, 2010 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Hi-Res Audio

Concertos - Released February 10, 2012 | Sony Classical

Distinctions Choc de Classica

Concertos - Released October 8, 2010 | Sony Classical

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Keyboard Concertos - Released August 21, 2006 | 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.

Classical - Released October 23, 2000 | Sony Classical


Concertos - Released April 8, 2011 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released October 7, 2016 | Sony Classical


Solo Piano - Released March 14, 2008 | Sony Classical


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.

Classical - Released March 4, 1997 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released May 16, 2008 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released March 4, 1998 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released August 1, 1990 | Sony Classical


Classical - Released August 29, 2014 | Sony Classical


Murray Perahia in the magazine