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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

Adrian Lenthall
Harpsichord and Fortepiano, October 2013

…Tsalka’s sensitive shaping and intense commitment to this music give a very satisfying result, making this neglected repertoire available as it deserves to be… © 2013 Harpsichord and Fortepiano

Rob Haskins
American Record Guide, July 2013

…the charming pieces contain more than their share of individuality and compositional elan; the Sinfonia in D and Sonata in E-flat, from the second collection, are two fine works with modest but expressively substantial movements. [Tsalka’s] readings are spirited and appropriate… Enthusiasts and students of classical music should take note of Tsalka’s project; a rival recording is not likely soon. © 2013 American Record Guide

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

Johan van Veen
MusicWeb International, May 2013

In most parts of this set [Michael Tsalka’s] playing is fine and enjoyable. In my collection I have only one piece from Türk’s pen, played by Paul Simmonds on the clavichord. I doubt whether much more is available on disc which makes this production all the more valuable. Those readers who are interested in keyboard music of the 18th century definitely shouldn’t miss this one. They may also look for the previous set of two discs, entitled “Keyboard Sonatas, Collections I and II” (GP627-28). © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2013

Born in northern Germany in 1750, the year of Johann Sebastian Bach’s death, Daniel Gottlob Turk was a composer of merit if somewhat lacking in Bach’s inventiveness. He had enjoyed a solid education in the German style of composition, his mentors included Gottfried Homilius a pupil of Bach. As a composer he was not prolific, his most significant contribution to music coming in a treatise, Klavierschule, the most detailed performance practice of the keyboard made in the late 18th century. Outside of that his 48 keyboard sonatas were of considerable merit, while, to help young musicians and amateurs along the away, he published two books of Leichte Klaviersonaten (Light or Easy Keyboard Sonatas) where technical requirements were modest, and would probably have been used by the younger members of the family. Cast in three movements they offer far more than passing melodic pleasures, few movements lasting more than four minutes, the finale invariably in a fast and happy mode. [Tsalka’s] playing is neat and unfussy; the sound is excellent and the Sigal Collection in Boston, USA, must be delighted to have the publicity of this release. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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

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