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Album Reviews

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Sensible Sound, May 2002

"I reviewed volume one of this series in Issue 87, and will state here that Naxos continues to hold its own in terms of sound quality with any other label out there. The stereo presentation was excellent, with a moderate spread and good middle-distance listening perspective."

David Patrick Stearns
Stereophile, May 2001

"Van Asperen is supremely mellifluous...In fact, it's one of the most beautiful harpsichords I've ever encountered. And with the warm reverberant acoustic, there's a radiant aura around the performances."

David Denton
The Strad, February 2001

"Bob von Asperen's playing has tremendous panache in the fast movements, often adding a degree of drama, as in the solo allegro in the Sonata no. 6. The problem that exists with all recorded performances is one of balance, the sonatas being in reality trio sonatas, with the hands of the harpsichordist providing two independent voices. Even with the lean tone quality of the period violin, it is all too easy to mask the complexity of the harpsichord writing. The Naxos engineers have resisted the temptation to place the microphone too close to the keyboard, though they have still managed to pick up some unwanted actin noise. The different sound quality of the two recording sessions that cover the two discs is noticeable.

Adding interest comes in the inclusion of the four alternative movements Bach composed for his three very differing versions of the Sonata no. 6. You can programme your CD player to create the various versions.

It may sound churlish when the discs are sold at such a low price, but Naxos must supply details of instruments used in its period instrument releases."

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group