Sunday, April 23, 2017

Daniel Martyn Lewis - BACH Well-tempered Clavier II (ODRADEK RECORDS 2017)

Bach’s name in German means brook or creek, but as Beethoven put it upon seeing his scores, this was “Bach the Sea”. And so it was, at the seaside, that Daniel Martyn Lewis passed hours listening  to these works for the first time. He presents now his magnificent and powerful reading of Bach on his first disc with Odradek dedicated to the Well Tempered Clavier II.

Daniel Martyn Lewis
Well-Tempered Clavier II

The music of J.S. Bach is a rare combination of profoundly human expression and fiercely intellectual power, with the ability to move and fascinate listeners in equal measure. The Well-Tempered Clavier consists of two monumental volumes, spanning every key available, and it is the second of these two volumes which has been recorded for Daniel Martyn Lewis’ Odradek debut, The Well-Tempered Clavier II.

As the CD’s title reveals, Daniel Martyn Lewis has chosen to perform these exquisitely crafted works on the piano rather than on the harpsichord, and through the sonorities of the piano he presents this music in fresh guises, shedding new light on Bach’s extraordinary work.



The enduring appeal of Bach lies partly in the fact that fresh interpretations of his music are always possible. The Well-Tempered Clavier II is so intricate, so finely honed, yet not prescriptive in its nuances, enabling each interpretation to bring something different to the listener, who in turn will experience the music in a unique way. For Daniel Martyn Lewis, Bach’s music is the epitome of beauty and joy, and he communicates that sense of joy in radiant performances throughout this disc.

As a pianist, Daniel Martyn Lewis immersed himself in music of many eras before feeling compelled to return to his first love, Bach, and focus the greater part of his attention on interpreting that master’s music. This CD represents the fruits of that dedication to Bach’s output.