John Butt - Bach WTC - Taipei Times
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.