Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Favorite-Record Profile #2: Dubravka Tomsic plays J.S. Bach

Stradavari SCD 6010 (1987)
J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto in F Major BWV 971
Partita #1 in B-flat Major BWV 825
Toccata in D Major BWV 912
Dubravka Tomsic (piano)

Slovenian pianist Dubravka Tomsic's 1987 readings of three familiar works by J.S. Bach are a singular delight, all the more so for being almost completely unexpected.  There is technical brilliance in abundance here, with just the right amount of lightness and panache, and Tomsic's playing is infectiously joyful. Think Glenn Gould without the in-your-face exhibitionist tendencies or "tortured-genius" eccentricity. These are, in short, treasurable performances, and the recorded sound that captured them is quite good as well; straightforward, full and natural, without any distracting  overabundance of reverb or the kind of annoying "clattery" quality one often expects from a budget label.

A true diamond in the rough, this recording first appeared on the fairly-obscure American budget label, Stradavari, disappearing from circulation fairly quickly. It resurfaced again on yet another-- somewhat better known-- discount label,  the Vienna Masters' Series (Pilz 160-202 (1990)) and was subsequently re-issued several more times by the Canadian Madacy label in ultra-cheap packagings of the sort commonly found in discount chain bargain bins (1994, 1995).

Well worth seeking out.

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