Reviews über „Die Kunst der Fuge“

“Johann Sebastian Bach’s Kunst der fuge for harpsichord in the original order, played in a lively way, so it is really passionate music, not an academic exposé.”


“… Albert-Jan argues against its inclusion, and can give many and diverse reasons why this ‘unfinished’ part of the work doesn’t fit with the rest of the work. The same goes for the dancing rhythms of the two versions of Contrapunctus 13 a 3. Whatever one thinks of this recording, one can at least rest assured that every aspect of it has been carefully considered and researched…”

“Following on from the arguments against the movements which have not been included, the performer writes that the remaining movements “are played in the order that is most likely to reflect Bach’s intentions, an order that shows wonderful mirror structures on different levels.” 

“I am sure the arguments will rage on as to which order of movements is best, but in this recording the sequence has an inner logic which to me seems to work very well indeed. The long sequence of twelve Contrapuncti might suggest monotony, but the richness of Bach’s invention is a never ending source of mental refreshment in whichever order you place the movements. Albert-Jan’s judicious choice of tempi helps is this regard, even if the differences are subtle in the first seven pieces.”   

“…In the end, all of the intellectual discussions are worth nothing if the musical message isn’t brought across, and my opinion is that in this case it most emphatically is. Roelofs’ playing is rhythmically accurate, and restrained but not puritanical in terms of ornamentation. Helped by a recording of excellent clarity, the contrapuntal voices can be followed like the lines in a Rembrandt etching, and are as equally rewarding of repeated study.”

”… With his carefully prepared and expertly executed performances, Albert-Jan Roelofs easily convinces that the harpsichord is as valid as many of the alternatives available, if not more so – fans of the instrument will find plenty to revel in from this recording.”

Dominy Clements

Reviews über „La Superbe“

“I was […] impressed by the next item on the programme: the 17th Ordre by Couperin. I find [Roelofs’] interpretation quite convincing from a musical point of view. …The playing of this piece [Petit Moulin a vent] is excellent, and makes the interpretation of the title all the more convincing. In the next piece in the Ordre, ‚Timbres‘ (bells), the technique of ’notes inégales‘ is used quite brilliantly to illustrate the irregular ringing of bells. The Ordre starts with a musical portrait of the famous French viol player and composer Forqueray, called ‚La Suberbe‘ (which gave this disc its title): the little breathing spaces create a strong tension, which makes this piece very enthralling.”

“…There is nothing wrong with Roelofs‘ playing,…”

“The harpsichord is a very beautiful instrument with a strong sound and technically well recorded here. The liner notes by Albert-Jan Roelofs are informative and to the point. […] Since the performance varies from good to excellent and the disc contains a suite by Clérambault, which is – as far as I know – not available elsewhere, and the pieces with violin by Duphly are also not frequently played and recorded I don’t hesitate to recommend this disc.”

Johan van Veen

“This CD has already been reviewed on these pages, and I can most certainly agree with the comments on the recording. Jan Kalsbeek’s instruments have come across well on all of Albert-Jan Roelof’s recordings to date (see my reviews of his Art of Fugue and various works on four different Kalsbeek instruments), and this is no exception. Brilliance of tone tops off some rich sonorities in this fairly closely miked recording, which is one that I find I could listen to for a long time.“

“Louis-Nicolas Clérambault’s Pièces de Clavecin appeared in around 1704, … The criticism has been levelled that these movements are less inspired in terms of performance, but I suspect that Roelofs is being faithful to the performance practice which actually allows dancing – maintaining a stability of tempo that would keep the formal passes and exchanges moving along nicely.”

“…Albert-Jan Roelofs and Elisabeth Wallfisch have performed regularly together, and show a fine synergy in this recording…“

“This is once again a superbe example of very good playing on a marvellous instrument. The decoration on the booklet is also reproduced on the inside of the jewel case and the CD, which makes for something of a trompe l’oeil feast – topping off a very fine recording indeed.”

Dominy Clements