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Alan Swanson
Fanfare, May 2016

In Invention No. 10, Zhu Xiao-Mei shows how one really can combine clear articulation with cantabile: Here and elsewhere, she often takes the quarter notes independently but keeps a good singing line in the eighth notes. Her tempos are on the fast side but rarely sound rushed. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review




Blair Sanderson
AllMusic.com, February 2016

This album was recorded in the Mendelssohn Room at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, which has lively acoustics that complement Zhu’s playing without drowning her sound or taking the edge off her crisp articulation. …Zhu is so meticulous and precise in her execution, even a Bach purist can appreciate her skills and ability to make these pieces intellectually and emotionally satisfying. © 2016 Allmusic.com Read complete review



Alex Baran
The WholeNote, January 2016

Zhu’s playing is sensitive, articulate and precise. It’s obvious she takes this music very seriously. She argues that Bach wanted players to learn how to play polyphonically and so, be able to highlight the dialogues between voices. She also believes Bach wanted young players to experiment with different approaches by varying tempos and phrasings. Her interpretations reflect this as they move gently and fluidly through what many students deliver as merely dutiful finger exercises. It’s a very satisfying performance and convincingly raises this collection of Bach keyboard works to a significantly higher level. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Steve Holtje
Culture Catch, January 2016

Best Classical Albums 2015

This Chinese pianist’s Bach is always superb, and her take on these cycles (AKA Two and Three-Part Inventions) also functions as a much-needed corrective to the overly interventionalist style of Simone Dinnerstein… Zhu, by contrast, manages to give each little piece character and expression without exaggerating or interrupting Bach’s flow. © 2016 Culture Catch




Guy Engels
Pizzicato, November 2015

Johann Sebastian Bach’s Inventions and Sinfonias become real musical pearls in Zhu Xiao-Mei’s incomparably refined playing, peppered by a totally respectful imagination and creativity. Enchanting! © 2015 Pizzicato



Vivien Schweitzer
The New York Times, November 2015

…[Zhu Xiao-Mei] follows Bach’s instructions to perform in a “cantabile” style, the melodic lines always emerging with crystalline clarity over the counterpoint. © 2015 The New York Times





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