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Bradley Lehman
American Record Guide, March 2017

Keyboard Recital: Vicens, Catalina - BYRD, W. / BULL, J. / GIBBONS, O. (Parthenia) CD-16298
Harpsichord Recital: Rotaru, Alina - BYRD, W. / BULL, J. / GIBBONS. A. (Parthenia) DSL-92208

Rotaru’s tempos are faster in almost every piece in the book, and when she rolls chords, it’s often brusque. She makes the long lines brilliant, and her smoothness of fingering helps to project the music at the level of the big, slower beats. She also tends to play the fastest notes with a basic evenness of time, with an energetic forward drive. Vicens bends things more freely in the beats, making the ornamental details sound more spontaneous. Rotaru’s delivery of the Gibbons ‘Fantazia’ is relentless and hard-edged, while Vicens finds places for gentler phrasing and softened attacks in the same tempo.

Characterizing the bigger picture: Vicens finds a courtly world of the gentle lute, much of the time, while Rotaru plays as if for a public wedding in a big space. Both these approaches sound convincing. I’m glad to have these two contrasting recordings, both very well played and bringing out such different views of the music. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Stuart Sillitoe
MusicWeb International, February 2017

Alina Rotaru plays extremely well and I was impressed with her touch and sensibility throughout but especially in her Byrd interpretations. The harpsichord itself is a modern copy of a 1738 single manual German instrument which sounds a little too big for the music—I turned the volume down a little—but has a beautiful tone, making this a really fine recording. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review




Fritz Balwit
Audiophile Audition, December 2016

Of the playing of Ms. Rotaru, we have nothing but the highest praise. Three projects in a row highlight the rich lore of the harpsichord tradition and realize very high levels of artistry. © 2016 Audiophile Audition Read complete review





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