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Christopher Latham
Limelight Magazine, October 2008

While I am a great believer in period instruments, I am also a fan of Bach played on the piano because of the greater phrasing and colour one can impart to the lines, something the harpsichord (designed mainly as a harmonic instrument, not a melodic one) is less able to do. Having said that, I really like the clarity of both this instrument and the playing. This particular instrument, made by Rejean Poirier, has a strong, clear tone, sounds miraculously well-regulated and always projects the two hands in clear relief. The playing of Luc Beausejour is engaging and convincing, flowing easily without mannerisms, and always with a strong sense of line.

Julian Haylock
International Piano, June 2007

A lot of water has flowed under the authentic bridge since the days of the great Helmut Walcha, who recorded the definitive old-school W- TC for EMI in the early 1960s (inexplicably never transferred to CD). Perhaps it's a sign of the times but there are currently far more piano recordings available than those that use the instrument which Bach originally intended. For a combination of consummate technique and arresting interpretative focus Bob van Asperen's late 1980s Virgin recording set the bar at a new high level (561711-2, four discs), although the Canadian Luc Beauséjour is far from overshadowed even in such distinguished company. First and foremost the disruptive rhythmic distortions that some modern players employ in the name of 'interpretation' are blissfully absent. Another plus point is Beauséjour’s instinct for discovering exactly the right tempo and his restrained use of ornaments. Above all his phrasing is so natural that he convinces you he is gently crescendoing and decrescendoing when clearly this is impossible. It will be fascinating to see how he copes with the more overtly intellectual rigours of Book 2.

Gabrielle McLaughlin
The WholeNote, June 2007

Johann Sebastian Bach is known for many things. He was a genius keyboardist, had three million children (or something like that), he wrote more sacred music than you can shake a stick at and all of his children were the kind you would want to take home to your mother. He had a lot to be proud of, and his Preludes and Fugues are more than most people could accomplish in a lifetime.

This double CD set of Luc Beauséjour features the twenty-four Preludes and Fugues of the first book of The Well-Tempered Clavier. Among these twenty-four pieces are some of Bach’s better known keyboard masterpieces, made famous again by Glenn Gould a number of years back. It is a delight to hear the pieces on the harpsichord, as they were originally intended.

The crisp nature of the instrument (built by Yves Beaupré in 1985) and the precision of Luc Beauséjour’s playing make for what feels to be a highly German Baroque experience. That said, however, this recording could not be more Québecois. Performers, instrument-makers and researchers are all esteemed representatives of La Belle Provence.

I listened to both CDs in anticipation of falling asleep from boredom, but no such thing occurred. Luc Beauséjour disproves Sir Thomas Beecham’s statement that the sound of the harpsichord resembles “two skeletons copulating on a corrugated tin roof.”

Lawson Taitte
The Dallas Morning News, April 2007

Grade: A

BLESSEDLY STRAIGHTFORWARD: In recent decades, most harpsichord recordings of Bach's great collection of preludes and fugues have come from players trained in Amsterdam. Those tend to be so filled with rhythmic subtleties, some might say distortions, that the music never builds momentum. In contrast, you can tell as early as the C Minor Prelude that Canadian harpsichordist Luc Beaus‚jour knows how to get the pulse pounding. Thank goodness, this music is fun to listen to again.

BUT SUBTLE TOO: Not that Mr. Beaus‚jour lacks finesse. He phrases and ornaments with supple grace, and his playing definitely has soul: His take on the cycle's darkest moments, such as the E-Flat Minor Fugue, assume a tragic grandeur.

BOTTOM LINE: This set definitely moves to the top of the harpsichord list - and I may reach for it in preference to my favorite piano versions, too. Mr. Beaus‚jour's diary doesn't mention that he has yet performed Book II, but let's hope he hurries up and gets around to it.

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5:40:14 AM, 28 November 2015
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