mysticriver | Texas | 01/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks to B. Johnson for his compelling review of this superb artist. Seeman's flawless technique, beautiful tone, and unerring sense of dynamics and rhythm provide a view of Bach that is as clean and unaffected as you could wish for on the piano. The pulse of the dance is there, the long lyrical line, the drama and emotional power that reveal the inexhaustable spirit of Bach shining through. Seemann fully realizes the expressive potential of the piano without romantic anachronism. I enjoy these performances more each time I hear them. Based on this album, Carl Seemann not only belongs among the great pianists of the 20th century, he is near the top."
The human touch
michael sharp | 03/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like the other reviewers I must start off by thanking B. Johnson for bringing this recording to our attention. Glenn Gould is a daunting figure to any professional or amateur pianist who endeavors bringing to life the works of Bach. I would guess the relatively few recordings of Bach played on the piano have much to do with Gould's total dominance in this domain.Listening to Gould, one senses the divine, sometimes the demonic (eg. choices of tempo) but never the human touch. It's awe inspiring and very disheartening to piano players ( see another B. Johnson recommendation, Bernhard's "The Loser").Carl Seeman is refreshingly human. His playing is refined and pure with much sensitivity. There are passages with a strong organ timbre, (like Gould, Seeman was an organist too). His partitas have a "correctness" about them. He is indeed the sane alternative to Gould. Ultimately it's a question of temperament. Thrill, excitement and the conundrum posed as to "how does he do it" will most often override the alternative of sanity and refinement. Gould has left little room for others. Seeman has the honor of occupying part of that small space."
Welcome the reissue of these sublime performances
Janet E. Palo | Denver, CO United States | 04/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My thanks also to B. Johnson for his excellent review. He says with such clarity what I have felt about Seemann ever since I first heard his recordings back in the '60s. I thought I was the only one who felt that way, and it is gratifying to know that his genius is appreciated by others. Technique, clarity of tone, full understanding and consciousness of every note, phrase, and piece are how I would characterize his playing. And there is nothing of the eccentric or subjective about is interpretations. They come, one senses, from the music itself.My first hearing of his playing was not Bach but a wonderful recording on American Decca of the Brahms Waltzes and a Haydn Sonata in E-flat and Variations in F Minor. The same qualities came through in these as I hear now in the Partitas (of which I had only heard the B-flat before). I have never heard anyone play those very non-simple waltzes without falling into at least a hint of frivolity. Seeman plays every one as if it were the greatest masterpiece, and yet with fluidity, clarity and a natural simplicity that only a master can elicit from them. The Bach recording I heard from him was of six Little Preludes, the B-flat Partita, a glorious Chromatic Fantasy and a heavenly performance of the Tocatta in D. It all comes back now as I listen to all the Partitas. I hope the others will be forthcoming as well. I also am about to open the Brahms Violin Sonatas."