|Review by Jan Hanford:|
The liner notes say this is the first recording of these works on the clavichord. The clavichord differs from the harpsichord in several ways. Rather than plucking the strings, as a harpsichord does, it strikes them and, unlike the harpsichord, is capable of vibrato and dynamic variation.
Richard Troeger has given us a treasure. As well as the fact that the clavichord is rarely recorded, this is a delightful and exciting performance of The Partitas. His technique is stunning, it simply took my breath away. His performance is filled with vibrant tempos and flawless articulation. He is a master of this instrument; the sound is surprisingly full-bodied, contradicting my expectation that the clavichord can sound too frail and delicate. The liner notes say "The goal of this recording was to reproduce the effect made by the instrument in the room, as it would (be) heard by a nearby listener." He has achieved his goal and I appreciate the choice. I've heard clavichord recordings where it sounds like they put the microphone literally inside the instrument, thereby picking up extraneous mechanical noise and the musician's breathing, etc. That is not the case here, the sound is excellent.
His excellent liner notes provide interesting information about the mysterious clavichord and include photographs. This is the first in a series called BACH ON CLAVICHORD, which will include all of the major clavichord-apt collections of J.S. Bach's clavier music. Vol. 2 will include the 7 Toccatas in their clavichord debut. This is an exciting series and I will be looking forward to each release.