from American Record Guide
Crossland's view of Bach sounds fresh not because it's particularly novel but because it's somewhat old-fashioned (a good thing in this case). She stresses beauty of tone, spontaneous and sometimes romantic-style phrasing, and tenderness of expression. This approach works very well for the Partita and the English Suite. I can't remember a more convincing and thoroughly engaging performance of the Allemande from the suite, for instance. Murray Perahia's performance of the English Suites on Sony matches Crossland quite well, of course, but his seriousness and profundity--noteworthy qualities of the disc--create an effect quite unlike the intimacy Crossland so wonderfully projects. And Perahia's tone is more traditionally pianistic, where Crossland's is delicate, transparent, almost like an aural pastel. I enjoy both Perahia and Crossland, and would choose either of them over Angela Hewitt, who recently released the English Suites. Her sound is too bright, too strident; and her overall musicality is not very warm.
As I mentioned when I reviewed Ivo Janssen's recording of the Partitas (Jan/Feb 2003), the cultivation of cantabile keyboard playing was one of Bach's pedagogical aims. Crossland's account of Partita 1 closely resembles Janssen's in this respect, yet I hear even more variety in her performance. Let's hope that we have an opportunity to hear more from this gifted artist.
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