Kimiko Ishizaka's Well-Tempered Clavier
Critical reviews of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, performed by Kimiko Ishizaka on the piano. Both live performances and reviews of her studio recording are included.
American Record Guide, July-August 2015
she is a beautiful and technically accomplished player
The A-major fugue, fast and exciting, is one of the best performances here
the light hand in interpretation makes this performance preferable to Hewitt (the later recording on Hyperion) or Schiff (ECM, Jan/Feb 2013)
Robert Cummings, Classical.net
elegant, spirited, technically impressive, and ever sensitive to the expressive character of the music
Ishizaka subtly employs various shadings of dynamics, uses a fair amount of legato, and phrases the music with a keen sense for Bach's expressive soul.
A brilliant performance and brilliant set all around!
Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone Magazine
Ishizaka plays the 24 preludes and fugues with impeccable taste and technique, finding many levels of musical meaning even as she brings utmost clarity to the multiplicity of textures.
She scales her Bach to the rhythmic, structural and sonic needs of the music, without touching the sustaining pedal.
Her articulation runs the sensitive gamut from cushioned to bitingly crisp.
Each line has a transparent place in the scheme of unfolding things, and the pianist seems to take enormous pleasure in weaving together all of the miraculous strands.
Campbell Vertesi, The Cast, March 20, 2015
This is a recording to change your perception of the Well Tempered Klavier.
2012: New York Times, James Oestreich
A gifted and obviously devoted Bachian
Ms. Ishizaka kept things moving nicely and raised the energy level after intermission, occasionally rising to a touch of virtuosic flair, as in the A major Fugue, which she ended with a private little smile.
Planet Hugill, March 3, 2015
she also has a very poetic touch, and seems to have a wide variety of colours at her finger tips
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, February 26, 2015
in all the years, all the versions, I have never heard "Book 1" done better than on the new recording by pianist Kimiko Ishizaka (Navona 5993, 2-CDs)
The results are fabulous. There is a great grace to what she gives us, a marvelous clarity, a sense of totality that is a very real joy to hear. She takes Bach at his word, that each part is important in the ultimate contrapuntal result. You hear Bach with new ears.
There have been other beautiful versions of "Book 1." This is up there with the very best. At the moment it is most certainly my favorite. Bravo, Kimiko Ishizaka! Onwards to "Book 2"!
St. Aposteln, Köln, Germany - August 25, 2012
Ishizaka vividly carves out the individual characteristics, contrasts, and relationships of the 48 pieces from the rather lyric sounding instrument ,and thus creates an comprehensible cyclic context that doesn't sound like it's coming from the ivory tower.
1901 Arts Club in London, January 30, 2013
Some of the minor key fugues in particular were most glorious in their intensity. She was also open to the other-worldly and mysterious aspects of Bach's art, bringing out the strange intense worlds which some of the fugues go into
her superior legato technique created some exquisite cantabile playing, especially in the slow movements, while sprightly passagework and lively tempi gave the suggestion of the harpsichord in the rapid movements. Her sense of counterpoint was well-defined in the Fugues, with clear lines and distinct voices.