Press, Reviews and Awards
Fanfare USA 2012
American Record Guide January/February 2013 Page 55
BACH: Rare Harpsichord Pieces
Hera 2125—71 minutes
Holtz offers “rare works” of JS Bach: the Fantasy and Fugue in D minor H 905 and Fantasy in G minor H 920, along with more familiar workslike the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue H 903.
H 905 and 920 were completely new to me.They are energetic and elegant works. H 905 is an evocative musical miniature, a “musical moment”, to use Schubert’s term. The prelude is in trio-sonata style: sustainedviolin-like lines that unfurl over a walking bass.
The piece may remind some listeners of the B minor Prelude from Book 1 of the Well -Tempered Clavier. Holtz plays the bass-line with a mute stop, like a pizzicato cello. The fugue summons the spirit of composers like Buxtehude and Reincken, Bach’s musical fathers and grandfathers. Its archetypal repeated three-note canzona subject was a favorite improvisatory impetus for generations of composers.
An astounding passage of distended dactyls toward the end of the piece is a playful and mischievous gesture on Bach’s part.
H 920 contains a dizzying and fantastic variety of textures and moods. A memorable moment is an almost galant arioso section.
That sweet, song-like music is offset by the arpeggiation that precedes it and a fiery fugue that follows it.
Holtz plays with joy, elan, and unimpeachable clarity of intention. He dedicates this program to the memory of Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012) the influential harpsichordist and conductor. Holtz was Leonhardt’s last official student. Perhaps he has placed the poignant Chorale H 691 ‘Wen nur den Lieben Gott Lasst Walten’ at the heart of his program as an homage to his beloved teacher.
"Record Geijutsu Award"
Itinerary : Aizawa Shohachiro
For “Record Academy Awards”, we choose discs very strictly, thus naturally
each of nominated discs for this time is distinguished da sé, as all three of us
agreed at first. (…) We discussed again and again and finally this disc is
speculated among all: the harpsichord recording played by Christiano Holtz.
We highly evaluate its overwhelming energish impression, which anew our
stereotyped ‘fragile and gracious’ image on this instrument. (Aizawa
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