Colton Williams | Oklahoma City, OK | 06/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's just that....I mean....hmmm....well...?
It's Eliot Fisk. I was so angry at his CD of Paganini Caprices that it became my most over-used hot drink coaster. But this is a more reasonably played collection of music. I had decided to hate it before I even heard it, but I cannot say that this is awful. The bit from Bach's Second Partita is a little silly, though. It's dizzy enough to give a merry-go-round vertigo.
To put a finer point on it, I dislike Eliot Fisk's playing. The opportunity to warn others of this man's deceptive stature inspires me to listen, and listen closely, to his CDs, when I have the chance. And then to review the CDs on amazon.com. Hopefully I'll get through to someone.
This beautiful music (on paper, in my mind, on other CDs) is played in a jumbled manner, with mistakes left in. Perhaps Fisk and his engineer/producer/whomever select takes that have a particular emotional quality. I don't think anyone, whether they like or dislike Fisk, could disagree that he senses something in his own playing that the listening public isn't privy to. And no one discounts his impeccable classical background. But the product has to count for something.
But again, I digress. The music ON THIS CD.
Uh, let's see: sloppy ciaconne, and Fisk plays Bach in a pretentious manner that is off-putting to me. And he misses notes, and garbles others, and has this, erm, -thing- he does where he slaps a note for all its worth, obliterating it amid the enormous reverb in the recording venue. And if you're a Scarlatti devotee, avoid the aural insult of the "Fisk Treatment", as he plays those splendid keyboard essercizi as if he were channelling John Philip Souza as an ascot wearing baton twirler.
But Fisk is multi-talented. He can suck on so many different levels, that the performances here rate a "3 Star" amazon.com recomendation for tolerability. But just skip through the Scarlatti. And the Bach."