Related Reviews
Classical.net
'Butt's performance is magisterial...'
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International Record Review
IRR Outstanding: ‘John Butt's Olympian traversal is destined to be remembered…as a significant and enduring musical landmark. Be under no illusions – this is a colossal and revelatory feat, and a major addition both to the current Bach discography and to contemporary performance scholarship.’
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Limelight
5 Stars
Editor's Choice: 'The basics of familiar gesture are utterly unexpected but also feel instinctively right.'
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Early Music Review
'The overall effect is exhilarating and Butt's formidable technique means that one is made very aware of the keyboard virtuosity for which Bach was known, just as much as for the compositional complexity of the fugues.'
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MusicWeb International
'I am in awe of Butt's keyboard prowess.'
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All About Jazz
'Butt's playing is reverent, precise and accurate.'
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BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'[John Butt's] account of Bach's 48 preludes and fugues is illuminating and thought provoking.'
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Klassiekezaken
'Een heel spannende uitvoering dus, gespeeld op een fraai instrument en ook nog eens schitterend opgenomen.' / 'A very exciting performance therefore, played on a beautiful instrument and another included magnificent.'
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Gramophone
'Butt offers plenty of food for thought, along with his own extensive annotations discussing both the music and issues of performance practice.'
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CD Choice
'John Butt makes the best case for this music on a harpsichord.'
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The Times
4 Stars
'John Butt has the scholarly credentials to rethink how the 48 preludes and fugues should be performed, and the nimble fingers to translate his theories into impeccable clear readings on the harpsichord.'
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The Herald Scotland
'...there is brawn, wit and chutzpah behind pretty much everything [Butt] does.'
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AllMusic
5 Stars
'Editor's Choice': 'John Butt's set on Linn warrants attention, not only for being a rarity, but more importantly for the extraordinary quality of his interpretations...Highly recommended.'
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The Guardian
'assertive and muscular'
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McAlister Matheson Music
'I gained especial pleasure from Book II which came alive under Butt’s fingers, musically varied and not in the least dry or academic. Recommended!'
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The Scotsman
4 Stars
‘Butt’s infectious interpretations are as dazzling as they are intellectually challenging…a box of heavenly delights.’
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John Butt - Bach WTC - Taipei Times


04 December 2014
Taipei Times
Bradley Winterton

Again, it was only two months ago that we reviewed a Mozart Requiem from the Dunedin Ensemble conducted by John Butt [Taipei Times, September 25, 2014]. Butt now appears again among the new releases, this time as solo harpsichordist in Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2, otherwise known as the 48 Preludes and Fugues.

The characteristic of this recording is once again a supreme incisiveness and clarity. Last week The Guardian commented of these CDs that "the assertiveness always outweighs the charm," and called the harpsichord itself "muscular". I have to agree with these remarks, while at the same time enjoying the performances very much. Butt is the recipient of many awards, and this is his first recording with the Linn label, after many years with Harmonia Mundi.


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