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Johan van Veen
MusicWeb International, April 2013

This set of discs is…a great achievement not least because of Glen Wilson’s research and reconstruction efforts. His engaging interpretations allow the music to blossom. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Benjamin Katz
American Record Guide, November 2012

In the ‘Tiento Sobre Cum Sancto Spiritu’…The variations sets are full of fantasy and virtuosity. The ‘Pavana Italiana’ is just two minutes long, but it feels much grander than a miniature. The piece builds enough momentum to sustain vigorous two-handed passagework by the time it concludes.

The second disc, dedicated mostly to variations, concludes with three polyphonic pieces. The ‘Fuga a quatro’ is a canon. It is a haunting and intricate musical machine, a perpetual canon that can potentially last forever. Wilson plays with a strong awareness of contrapuntal structure. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Lawrence Schenbeck
PS Tracks, September 2012

Wilson, who is both a performer and a musicologist, contributed his own notes for this recording. They provide a thorough introduction to Cabezón’s achievement and a most necessary account of the troubled publishing history of his works, beginning with the error-riddled 16th-century editions. Wilson’s reconstructions of the scores have made it possible for us to hear the actual music for the first time in centuries. © 2012 PS Tracks

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2012

Antonio de Cabezón’s role in musical history was to establish the keyboard as a solo instrument that was of equal status to the vocal polyphony of the time. Blind from birth in 1510, he had the good fortune of having a relative that could introduce this young musical protege to the Spanish royal family. He was just fifteen when he was appointed in the role of keyboardist to the wife of the Emperor Charles V, and he would remain in royal employment for the remainder of his life, dying at the age of 55, just two months before his brother who had looked after him throughout. It was probably that relationship—Juan also a major keyboardist—that had been able to turn his compositions into printed form, and it was Antonio’s son, Hernando, who published a large collection of his father’s music. Much more you will learn from Glen Wilson’s excellent notes that accompany the two-disc set containing all of the Tientos and Variations. There you will read of the uncertainty that surrounds the authenticity of many of these works, and of the ongoing research that may well find the parentage of scores written in different hands. At this point let me extract myself and remain content to say that the forty-two tracks on the two discs provide considerable pleasure and show where Alessandro and Domenico Scarlatti were coming from. Certainly I have loved every minute of the fourteen Variations with their intriguing ornamentation, Wilson’s playing throughout being of immaculate clarity, and if the music does not ask for a prodigious technique, it is good to hear such fluid articulation. He plays a harpsichord that attempts to recreate an instrument that might have been available in 16th century Spain, though it may not have possessed such a smooth action as this one. The recorded sound is close to the instrument, but largely free of action noise. To have such a valuable document at such an affordable price is uncommon. © 2012 David’s Review Corner

Stephen Smoliar, June 2012

Wilson’s new recording provides an excellent opportunity to appreciate this composer’s talents by giving an account of all of his published sets of variations on a theme and all of his tientos

As is the case with Bach, the number of pieces on the two CDs may first strike one as overwhelming; but, as is also the case with Bach, there is nothing wrong with beginning one’s listening experiences with selective sampling. However, as one gradually expands the samples one considers, one will discover how each individual piece comes to assume its own distinctive character. Like snowflakes, no two of these works are alike; but one needs to develop an ear for the subtleties that determine their differences, just as one will become familiar with the thematic potential of the different tones.

Thus, while Wilson has taken an exhaustive approach to accounting for two of the major genres of Cabezón’s compositions…what he has provided for the rest of us is a new form of opportunity for discovering musical inventiveness. © 2012 Read complete review

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