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Early Music, April 2014

TURK, D.G.: Keyboard Sonatas, Collections 1 and 2 (1776-1777) (Tsalka) GP627-28
TURK, D.G.: Easy Keyboard Sonatas, Collections 1 and 2 (1783) (Tsalka) GP629-30

The scores are unusually heavily annotated in order to make [Türk’s] meaning clear, something for which modern players interested in performance practice will be duly grateful. This is melodically appealing, cultivated and clearly structured music that was designed to give pleasure and instruction to the amateur players of the day and to their listeners, a function that it can and should still have today. © 2014 Early Music

Christa Rakich
Clavichord International, November 2013

This project is an important event, fine music recorded for the first time, handsomely played. These are discs to listen to from start to finish, and enjoy as one would stroll from artwork to artwork at an exhibition. © Clavichord International

MusicWeb International, May 2013

TURK, D.G.: Keyboard Sonatas, Collections 1 and 2 (1776-1777) (Tsalka) GP627-28
TURK, D.G.: Easy Keyboard Sonatas, Collections 1 and 2 (1783) (Tsalka) GP629-30

These two double-discs from Naxos’s blue riband Grand Piano brand, released five months apart, are the first volumes in Michael Tsalka’s traversal of Daniel Gottlob Türk’s 48 published keyboard sonatas. The fact that these are all—astonishingly—premiere recordings is reason enough to send connoisseurs flocking to retailers, but in fact these are a music historian’s dream come true: Tsalka performs on nine different and often extremely rare period instruments, several of which were recorded at America’s National Music Museum in South Dakota. Thus any possible objection to four solid hours of late-eighteenth century keyboard sonatas is rendered null and void: the sheer variety of tone and tuning, let alone Tsalka’s expert reading of Türk’s highly expressive, idiomatic music, make these albums essential listening for all lovers of good music in authentic performance. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

John Irving
British Clavichord Society, February 2013

Tsalka…displays considerable artistry in his approach to articulation and tonal shading.

All in all, these two discs offer a feast of stunning original keyboards showed off to good effect in music of great distinctiveness, stylishly performed. Hearing Türk’s music communicating with such strength makes me re-read his Klavierschule with greater confidence that here we have a theorist actually worth his salt in the real world! © British Clavichord Society

Klaus Meyer
Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio), October 2012

Michael Tsalka […] knows the oeuvre of the composer like no other, and performs the music congenially—sometimes playfully, then dreamily and pensively, and of course, with plenty of lively virtuosity. © 2012 Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio)

Peter Grahame Woolf
Musical Pointers

TURK, D.G.: Keyboard Sonatas, Collections 1 and 2 (1776-1777) (Tsalka) GP627-28
TURK, D.G.: Easy Keyboard Sonatas, Collections 1 and 2 (1783) (Tsalka) GP629-30

Tsalka’s releases of solo keyboard music by Türk are especially exciting to me…

…this was a first opportunity to have heard the whole of his Easy Keyboard Sonatas of 1783. Not so easy, especially as to be heard in exemplary interpretations, flexible and with subtle nuances, by Michael Tsalka on four interesting and fully described historic instruments.

…do enjoy seeing him on line [R] playing a modern clavichord, con molto espressione, in part of Daniel Gottlob Türk’s Sonata in C.

P.S. Michael Tsalka’s first double-CD collection of Türk’s sonatas (not the “easy” ones) was and received later by special request, and is equally desirable, with authoritative essays…

Hearing each of these instruments for 10-15 minutes one after the other makes for a delightful listening experience with the ear constantly attentive to the remarkable range of keyboard sound in the times before Steinway practically took over in today’s concert halls. © Musical Pointers Read complete review

Roberta Rust
Clavier Companion

Tsalka deserves accolades for this world-premiere recording of twelve of Türk’s forty-eight keyboard sonatas. The University of South Dakota’s National Music Museum provides five different historical instruments—harpsichord, clavichord, tangent piano, spinet, and piano—and the use of this rich variety of keyboards (with their diverse qualities of expression) is a wonderful contribution to the early piano’s discography. Tsalka performs the sonatas from 1776 (Collection I) adroitly and with stylistic integrity. His effective pacing of the Largo e tenero of Sonata No. 3 contrasts with the catchy, energetic third movement of Sonata No. 5. In the 1777 sonatas (Collection II), Tsalka lets us “hear” the rests in the Allegro spirituoso of Sonata No. 5, and he takes a bold approach to the opening movement of Sonata No. 6. With luck, these important discs will stimulate the imagination of contemporary pianists and lead to an increased awareness of Türk’s music. © Clavier Companion. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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