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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Taipei Times
'...supreme incisiveness and clarity...'
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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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John Butt - Bach WTC - The Scotsman


16 November 2014
The Scotsman
Ken Walton
4 Stars

Any new recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier - the entire two books of 48 preludes and fugues - would have to have something special to distinguish it from all those that have gone before. John Butt's new solo release on Linn is certainly one that makes you sit up surprised and stimulated. The characterisation he applies to these pieces is mostly revelatory, positively stylish, and only occasionally a little questionable, such as the highly affected rubato of the very first C major prelude. But when it comes to the likes of his bright, fresh perspective on the C sharp minor Prelude and Fugue of Book 1, or the French-like flamboyance of the same key Prelude in Book 2, Butt's infectious interpretations are as dazzling as they are intellectually challenging. He approaches this mammoth, multi-flavoured collection as if it were a box of heavenly delights.


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