, June 2008
"The CD contains 18 tracks of recordings from between about 1925 to 1947. They have been lovingly restored. The results are astonishing and from casual listening do not betray their 78s origins. They are described as 'rare historical recordings' and this is an accurate description. However the CD can be, and should be, considered not as a mere historical record but also as an alternative way of listening to great music. One cannot but believe that Bach would have enjoyed these transcriptions.
... Rachmaninov is an ideal opening for the disc with an outstanding performance of a very appropriate transcription. Evidently he had a real feeling for the spirit of Bach...
The CD is well presented and has useful documentation. The essay by Nalen Anthoni is interesting but is mainly concerned with Transcriptions in the 19th Century, whereas in fact most of the pieces on the CD were written in the 20th Century. Whilst there is no doubt that many transcriptions were written for concert use by Pianist-Composers, we should not forget that during most of the 19th and early 20th centuries, a good many houses contained a piano and this was the main way that most people heard music. Home playing of transcriptions was very common in those days before the gramophone became fully established.
Naxos has produced here a most enjoyable record which can be fully recommended not only to piano specialists but also to the general music lover and to people who are only just beginning to enjoy Bach's music."