by Steve Koenig
Lisa Smirnova is
a perfect guide through these eight suites. The first few notes make you think
you're commencing the Goldberg Variations. Although she plays piano rather than
harpsichord or fortepiano, she uses it to command fluid phrasing without smearing
notes, and she brings pianistic volume to the show when appropriate.
me is that in this performance the pieces sound of their own time, yet there
is a barely perceptible and most satisfying shifting between classical, baroque
and romantic feeling. The most important quality here is the frolicsome, dancelike
rhythms present throughout.
These discs have
been totally enjoyable throughout repeated playings, and have been a wonderful
discovery for me. I have not heard Keith Jarrett's performance of four of these
eight on his own ECM disc of various Handel keyboard suites.