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Pamela Hickman
Pamela Hickman’s Concert Critique Blog, January 2015

In the opening galant-style Aria, Tsalka not only plays with spontaneity, he offers the singing quality of the (vocal) aria as a message to the listener—that we are about to hear this instrument really “sing”.

This is a recording to interest, surprise and delight listeners. Michael Tsalka’s performance of the Goldberg Variations on two clavichords is articulate and brilliant, allowing for projection of Bach’s counterpoint and subtly shaped inner voices and bass lines, neither being lost in the complex textures. In playing that bristles with creativity and emotion, he makes fine use of both instruments’ palette of colors. © 2015 Pamela Hickman’s Concert Critique Blog Read complete review



British Clavichord Society, April 2014

…the player’s empathy with the music and detailed consideration of its demands have given us something of a landmark CD… if one still has reservations as to whether the Goldbergs have a place in the clavichord repertoire, then this recording seems certain to sweep away any such doubts. © 2014 British Clavichord Society



Michael Unger
American Record Guide, March 2014

It is refreshing to hear Bach’s masterpiece performed with two beautiful 18th-century style clavichords…The excellent quality of this recording beautifully captures the richness and sweetness of both instruments.

It is exciting to hear how Bach’s familiar keyboard works can take on new interpretive meaning when performed on the clavichord… © 2014 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide




Jake Barlow
MusicWeb International, December 2013

This is a brilliant recording by an artist with a passion. Stepping outside the well-worn path of keyboard music, he creates a performance that make you sit up and listen. Technicality and creativity meet in a beautifully balanced performance. © 2013 MusicWeb International




Byzantion
MusicWeb International, December 2013

There is no doubt the sound of the clavichord is an acquired taste, probably even more so than the harpsichord, but for those with an interest in historical authenticity who wish to deepen their understanding and appreciation of this keyboard masterpiece, Michael Tsalka has much to tell, such as a masterly control of dynamics and a thorough attentiveness to phrasing and tempi in a way that totally explains J.S. and C.P.E.’s faith in the instrument. © 2013 MusicWeb International



Jake Barlow
MusicWeb International, November 2013

The playing is wonderful throughout, the lines and phrasing crafted with a very high sense of musicianship. Each variation is invigorating in its approach and feels like a new piece. The playing and choice of instrument also provide us with a constant reminder of the underpinning bass line, creating a sense of unity over the disc as a whole. The performance is also a very intimate one, and its delicacy only serves to enhances this aspect. © MusicWeb International Read complete review



Christa Rakich
Clavichord International, November 2013

This is a highly ornamented performance, and the ornamentation is often superfluous, sometimes spectacular, sometimes beautiful, and often surprising. Many pianists tend toward trills that straddle the beat, floppy and quick, creating neither dissonance nor lyricism, just a little jiggle. There is some of that in this recording. But there are waterfalls of melodic ornamentation. © Clavichord International



Byzantion
MusicWeb International, August 2013

…Tsalka…demonstrates a masterly control of dynamics, and is moreover thoroughly attentive to phrasing and tempi in a way that totally explains JS and CPE’s faith in the instrument.

Clavichord recordings are of necessity low-volume, in order to minimise ambient noise…but Paladino’s engineers have made a reasonable job of ensuring that no extreme demands are made on the listener’s volume control, and that effective timbral distortions are thus avoided.

…for those with an interest in historical authenticity who wish to deepen their understanding and appreciation of this keyboard masterpiece, Tsalka has much to tell. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review





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