Bach: Partitas Nos. 2 & 6, Toccata BMV 911
Young French pianist David Fray has been making waves as the new Bach specialist. Naturally, the comparisons to Glenn Gould have followed – and they are justified, both in the sound and idiosyncratic style behind the sound. But there is something of Keith Jarrett in Fray’s approach too – where Gould was all but exorcising demons through – and in – his playing Fray simply is the music while the music lasts; it flows through him, a lifeblood, he creates a new life force.
There’s a joy in the Toccata that touches on Jarrett’s Koln Concert and his more disciplined classical playing. The Partitas even bring to mind, in places, Michael Houston’s work covering Mike Nock – short bursts of intensity that never lose their focus but are alive with colour, the technique brings with it freedom (again see Jarrett).
Fray launched his career with his interpretations of Bach and this is his third album to feature his immersion in this musical world. I’ve been hooked on this album for months now. I love it.