Nils Anders-Mortensen returns to NativeDSD with his 3rd DSD release from LAWO Classics. With his critically acclaimed recordings and his soloist appearances with the principal Norwegian orchestras, Nils Anders Mortensen has established himself as one of Norway’s leading pianists. Employed as state musician in Finnmark County, he is also active as a freelance artist.
This new release features Mortensen’s performances of Bach’s French Overture in B minor, BWV831, Sarabanda con partite, BWV 990, and English Suite No. 6 in D minor, BWV811. The album is a DSD Exclusive, Not Available on SACD release.
LAWO Classics says “Excluding the numerous organ compositions, the majority of Bach’s keyboard music is classified under well-defined headings – the 48 Preludes and Fugues known as The Well Tempered Clavier, the English Suites, French Suites, Partitas, 2- and 3-part Inventions, Toccatas, and arrangements of other composers’ concertos. Works which stand alone include the Goldberg Variations, the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue and the Italian Concerto, but there remain many other gems which are relatively neglected simply because they are not so readily pigeon-holed.”
Total time: 01:12:09
|Original Recording Format|
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Fund For Performing Arts, Scene Finnmark
Jar Church Bærum, Oslo, Norway on January 14-16, 2019
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||June 6, 2019|
The Arts Desk
There’s so much to love about this Bach keyboard album. Namely attractive artwork, glowing sound, and an intelligent program clearly chosen by the artist.
And there’s the pianist himself, Nils Anders Mortensen, who I’d only previously registered as a skilled, sensitive accompanist. It’s rare to find an artist with such a peripheral presence on social media. Mortensen doesn’t have a website, and the sole photo in Lawo’s booklet shows an appealingly disheveled figure distantly clambering over some rocks.
Mortensen’s Bach is very, very good. He opens this solo album with the Overture in the French Style, written a decade after the better known French Suites. The opening flourish is like a call to arms, the ensuing faster section thrilling in terms of how Mortensen cranks up the tension. You daren’t breathe until he hits the final B major chord. Mortensen shrewdly gauges the mood of each subsequent dance movement, the Gavotte, and Passepied both toe-tappers here. And the little Echo movement which closes the work is brilliantly done, the dynamic contrasts ear-tickling.
Bach’s Sarabande con partite is a theme with 11 variations, the Sarabande dispatched with grace and the faster variations exhilarating. We’re on more familiar ground with the last of the six English Suites. Mortensen’s Sarabande is heart-stopping. Especially when compared with the energy he injects into the faster movements, the final Gigue’s twists and turns brilliantly negotiated.
There’s no shortage of pianists who can play Bach convincingly, but Mortensen deserves a place among the best of them
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