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Jens F. Laurson, May 2017

…it isn’t just the wistful arpeggiated chords, the subtle syncopations, and the delicious twisting of notes in the more somber pieces (Rotaru’s Allemandes), that define this disc: it’s the freedom and vivacity that make the music come to life in a way you might not have hitherto associated with Froberger. It makes even the wonderful Gustav Leonhardt’s Froberger sound a little musty. The instrument helps, too, because Alina Rotaru plays on the juicy Neuchâtel Ruckers harpsichord, a queen among its kind. © 2017 Read complete review

Frank Decolvenaere
MusicWeb International, December 2012

…it takes an interpreter of particular ability, well versed in the notational and performance practices of the time to successfully render Froberger’s keyboard works into a satisfying amalgam of the various national styles. In this, Ms. Rotaru excels, perhaps beyond the boundaries set by some of her notable predecessors. Partitas and Partita…provide much assistance and guidance in performance practice, it is ultimately up to the performer to combine these elements into a satisfying musical whole. Rotaru also demonstrates a flawless technique, but not in such a way as to draw attention to itself at the expense of the music.

…Ms. Rotaru’s performance …clearly emerges as an accomplished master in rendering Froberger’s oeuvre into a readily digestible and enjoyable whole.

In the Tombeau, Rotaru uses the sonorous lower register of her instrument to good advantage for the various pedal points and maintains the subtle tension inherent in the piece throughout. She also repeats the second section, which appears to be at variance with the score…but it does add a certain symmetry given the indicated repeat for the first section.

Rotaru plays the second Suite with great freedom and finesse, as appropriate: deftly using agogic accents in the Allemande, playful in the Gigue, flowing wonderfully in the Courante and stately in the Sarabande without being ponderous.

Ms. Rotaru plays on a visually and aurally gorgeous Ruckers harpsichord…It has a wonderfully resonant lower register, and I cannot think of a more appropriate instrument for these works.

As to the particular incarnation of these impressive recorded renderings, the CD comes packaged in a space-saving cardboard folder in which the CD slides inside the left “cover”. There are detailed notes on Froberger and on the relevant recorded pieces. These are by Wolfgang Kostujak, with whom Rotaru also studied. Production values are high.

If you have any interest in Froberger or the innovations he provided to the keyboard music of his time you should audition and acquire this disc. The rewards are endless. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Johan van Veen
MusicWeb International, September 2012

These performances are generally characterised by fully exploration of the many contrasts in character and tempo in Froberger’s oeuvre, either between different pieces or within compositions. Ms Rotaru opts for a quite theatrical style, as she immediately demonstrates in the opening Tombeau: Blancheroche’s falling down the stairs is depicted graphically, and even if you know the piece it comes as a surprise. She uses a beautiful historical instrument, built by Johannes Ruckers the Younger. It is dated 1632 and 1745, the latter being the year a reconstruction (ravalement) was performed.

I have greatly enjoyed this disc. It has to be ranked among the best recordings of Froberger’s music. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Benjamin Katz
American Record Guide, September 2012

…I was drawn to the ricercar on this disc. It is a piece that brings to life a time when, as in Kircher’s intellectual world, science and mysticism were not always separate. Rotaru accentuates the piece’s esoteric and earthbound aspects in equal parts. She mingles the grand sound of pillar-like organ sonorities with a style of free resonance that evokes the lute’s “broken style” of playing. Her deep understanding of musical structure in the ricercar is evidenced in her acute sense of timing between sections. This release is excellent, musically satisfying, and beautifully presented. © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Christopher Brodersen
Fanfare, September 2012

The music of Johann Jakob Froberger…is fertile ground indeed for aspiring harpsichordists, and Rotaru has chosen perhaps his best-known piece, the Tombeau faît à Paris sur la mort de Monsieur Blancheroche, to open the program…all of the suites recorded here (the C Major excepted) are inspired by actual events in the composer’s life.

Rotaru’s playing is…assured and authoritative; one hangs on every note as the musical narrative unfolds. She understands the gesture and rhetoric behind the music, which allows her to engage in a kind of conversation with the listener. The performer must walk a fine line in Froberger, but Rotaru’s thoughtful keyboard work always lands squarely at the service of the music, and never veers into self-aggrandizement.

As with all Carpe Diem CDs in my experience, the engineering is exceedingly lifelike. The booklet includes an excellent essay by Wolfgang Kostujak, one of the leading experts on Froberger’s music. In all, a successful second effort from this up-and-coming artist, and highly recommended. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Laurence Vittes
The Huffington Post, June 2012

The relative flood of fine Froberger releases continues with Suites & Toccatas…from harpsichordist Alina Rotaru…Froberger’s …programmatic and personal music is the creation of an exquisite and sensitive mind, masterfully crafted with enigmatic and mystical elements…Playing on a 17th century Ruckers in the Musée d’art et d’histoire in Neuchâtel, on Switzerland’s largest lake, Rotaru unleashes waves of pre-Bachian power, grandeur and gravitas. © 2012 The Huffington Post Read complete review

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