Bach, Keyboard Concertos, M. Stadtfeld,
Lucerne Festival Strings, A. Fiedler
(released on March 12, 2007)
Sony 88697036322 | 59'13"
BWV 1052 | BWV 1053 | BWV 1056
BWV 853 | BWV 867
If one is going to play these concertos on the modern piano, as Stadtfeld does, it would be hard to resist using the full complement of its power and variety of attack and tone. With only sixteen strings (or so -- the booklet does not list the personnel, although there are plenty of photos of Stadtfeld) arrayed against it, the Steinway dominates the ensemble. The group's director, Achim Fiedler, conducts and keeps the forces in line, with the strings mostly acting as a supportive cushion. Stadtfeld plays well, keeping up (mostly) with the fleet tempi chosen for most of the outer movements, often seeming to seek out dynamic extremes or incisive attacks. Some extra octaves sneak into the left hand here and there, there are some nice little embellishments, and a few segments of the first violin part are handed to a soloist (in the last movement of the fifth concerto, for example). Stadtfeld also includes a prelude and fugue, selected from the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier, between concertos. These are well played but not of great interest, in spite of Stadtfeld's grand statement in the ill-advised liner essay that the theme of one of them "may seem to represent a constellation around which the dust of the universe revolves." This disc is not recommended except to those who want to follow a promising young performer's progress.