Related Reviews
Classical.net
'Butt's performance is magisterial...'
more >>
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.’
more >>
Limelight
5 Stars
Editor's Choice: 'The basics of familiar gesture are utterly unexpected but also feel instinctively right.'
more >>
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.'
more >>
MusicWeb International
'I am in awe of Butt's keyboard prowess.'
more >>
All About Jazz
'Butt's playing is reverent, precise and accurate.'
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
'[John Butt's] account of Bach's 48 preludes and fugues is illuminating and thought provoking.'
more >>
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.'
more >>
Gramophone
'Butt offers plenty of food for thought, along with his own extensive annotations discussing both the music and issues of performance practice.'
more >>
CD Choice
'John Butt makes the best case for this music on a harpsichord.'
more >>
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.'
more >>
Taipei Times
'...supreme incisiveness and clarity...'
more >>
The Herald Scotland
'...there is brawn, wit and chutzpah behind pretty much everything [Butt] does.'
more >>
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.'
more >>
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!'
more >>
The Scotsman
4 Stars
‘Butt’s infectious interpretations are as dazzling as they are intellectually challenging…a box of heavenly delights.’
more >>

John Butt - Bach WTC - The Guardian


27 November 2014
The Guardian
Andrew Clements

John Butt has such a fine pedigree of scrupulously prepared and immaculately performed recordings of baroque and classical choral works with the Dunedin Consort for Linn that his first recording for the label as a solo instrumentalist was always going to be immensely interesting. For his account of Bach's 48 preludes and fugues, Butt plays a modern copy of a German harpsichord from the beginning of the 18th century. It's an instrument with a big, muscular sound - though not, on this evidence, one with an enormous tonal range - and Butt makes clear in his sleeve notes that his performances have taken account of the latest research into the way in which Bach put together the collection, and how and at what tempi he might have expected them to be performed. Certainly there are plenty of surprises along the way, especially in Butt's treatment of the preludes, some of which seem gruff, almost peremptory, and in the rhythmic liberties he takes.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

John ButtJohn Butt
J.S. Bach: Das wohltemperierte KlavierJ.S. Bach: Das wohltemperierte Klavier