BACH Piano Transcriptions - 7

“Markus Becker is a heroic exponent of this obscure yet satisfying repertoire, less 'pianistic' than the contemporary Bach-Busoni arrangements yet setting the performer equal if not greater challenges. A fascinating addition to Hyperion's series of Bach transcriptions.” --BBC Music Magazine, July 2009 ****

“Das alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV614, is slow and thoughtful, yet is made serenely beautiful in Becker's glowing performance. …the D minor Toccata and Fugue… is superbly articulated and full of colour, while we can hear the "organ effect" from the piano's sustaining pedal, generously applied. The result is just fascinating, and I do recommend you to try this collection. It really is rewarding.” --Gramophone Magazine, August 2009

Markus Becker (piano)

Hyperion’s Bach piano transcription series, which has done so much to illustrate the unique effect of Bach on the nineteenth-century mind, has reached volume 7 with the complete transcriptions by Max Reger.

Reger was described by his contemporaries as ‘the modern-day Bach’, partly because of his frequent use of fugue and other characteristic forms. His skills as a pianist were matched by his abilities as an organist—a situation that influenced his a profound understanding of Bach’s counterpoint. Therefore it is fascinating to see the composer’s direct response to his predecessor.

In the young German virtuoso Markus Becker we have the ideal performer: he has already recorded the complete original piano works of Reger. As Francis Pott writes in his comprehensive booklet notes: ‘In adopting a balance of linear and polyphonic clarity with the full expressive resources of the piano and of virtuoso technique, Markus Becker respects the historic significance both of Bach’s original inspirations and of Reger’s transcriptions as documents of their own time’.

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