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In his 73rd year, this recording marks the culmination of Pinnock’s childhood fascination with the ‘48’, which he has only now finally recorded here. It joins a crowded marketplace, but stands as a testament to Pinnock’s musical maturity and experience. The harpsichord he uses has been his companion for nearly 40 years, a fine, sonorous but clear sound, tuned to an unequal temperament by Pinnock, at the low pitch of A=392. The recorded sound is wonderful, and the detailed and informative sleeve notes are by Pinnock. His exuberant virtuosity is evident in a number of the preludes, for instance that in C minor, and the brilliance of the B flat major, where the free sections are very well managed. The D major fugue has a subject with a notoriously hard rhythmic structure, but here superbly played, and with such vivacity. In the more reflective writing of the preludes, that in E flat minor is lovely, with well-judged arpeggiation, and the final B minor prelude, one of the longest, is beautifully sustained, with excellent clarity of musical line. It also shows the contrast between upper and lower manual 8ftregisters. The final fugue in this same key is by far the longest and most complex, and demonstrates so well Pinnock’s grasp of musical structure. A fine interpretation of this well-known collection that is imbued with Pinnock’s love of this great music.

DOUGLAS HOLLICK Read the full review on Agora Classica

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