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Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, November 2015

…Häkkinen devotes the fullness of his artistry to every piece on the program, investing the least of them with as much musical imagination and insight as he does the best of them.

…Strongly recommended. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Bradley Lehman
American Record Guide, November 2015

…Igor Kipnis’s “Big Red” harpsichord…sounds powerful and in perfect playing shape, with a great variety of tone colors and a terrifying roar when the 16-foot stop is engaged. Hakkinen recorded Bach’s concertos on it recently and brilliantly… © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2015

For those who used to droll over the Bach recordings by the legendary, Igor Kipnis, a massive welcome to a fabulous release that features his remarkable instrument. Gathering together many keyboard works from Johann Sebastian’s younger years, which in many ways was his most interesting, we hear him experimenting in counterpoint and fugue, while his melodic invention had the freshness of youth. That this disc is so utterly compelling is much due to the scintillating playing of the Finnish-born, Aapo Häkkinen, the agility of his fingers being quite remarkable even at the most elevated level—just listen to the opening of the A minor Fantasia (BWV 922), a true fantasy performance that sounds purely spontaneous. Many of the works are very short and would have been used as instruction pieces or for Bach’s own enjoyment. In lesser hands they can sound rather threadbare, but by shading, subtle changes in tempo, and shaping of phrases, they here emerge as sparkling little jewels. The most extended is the six movements of the Suite in A minor (BWV 828), a series of dances, lovingly brought to life. Then we have the sheer power of the lower octaves of this two-manual instrument built in 1970 by Frank Rutkowski and Robin Robinette, the effect coming close to a chamber organ. Probably enjoying the resonant church acoustic, it is a very punchy, yet immaculately detailed sound, the minor caveat being a particular note that ‘catches’ the microphone. Fervently commended, though I warn you it is headily intoxicating. © 2015 David’s Review Corner

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