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James V. Maiello
Fanfare, November 2018

Armstrong’s cohesive and thoughtful programming creates an epiphanic experience, the history of the variation form unfolding for the audience like the time-lapse photography used to allow science students to watch the life cycle of a plant in 90 seconds. By the time the main event—the Goldberg Variations—arrives, listeners are primed, unconsciously attuned to Bach’s subtle uses, manipulations of, and departures from convention. Individual performances themselves are also carefully considered and reflect both a deep understanding of the music and its context as well as a sensitive musical sense. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review





Alex Baran
The WholeNote, August 2017

…Armstrong is brilliant at his period ornamentation. His trills are fast and tirelessly perfect.

Once into the Bach Goldberg Variations, after the opening aria, there’s no doubt that Armstrong is going to play this his way—unhurriedly. The first variation comes as a surprise in its deliberate, more relaxed speed. But what emerges at the same time is Armstrong’s knack for boldly pulling out melodies from the left hand, especially where the hands cross over.

Armstrong is also fairly free with his rubato and sometimes applies it only in one hand, while the other moves ahead hoping its partner will catch up. It’s a thoroughly pianistic approach that impresses the audience, whose attention never wavers for a moment. © 2017 The WholeNote Read complete review



Hank Zauderer
My Classical Notes, August 2017

…Armstrong mesmerized his audience with Bach’s monumental Goldberg Variations—preceded by earlier polyphonic variation masterpieces by William Byrd, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and John Bull. © 2017 My Classical Notes Read complete review





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