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Murray Perahia plays Orchestra Hall / Chicago Classical Review

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As pianists go, Murray Perahia is not one to often stray from his comfort zone. Throughout his four-decade career his bread and butter has been the music of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Chopin, with occasionally forays into later 19th century Romanticism. One might even label his recitals predictable, if you expect unerringly perceptive and idiomatic readings of the core repertoire to be a given.

Sunday - March 22, at Orchestra Hall, the pianist's accounts of staples by four of these masters was, as expected, fluid and penetrating, beginning with an uncommonly glowing account of Bach's French Suite No. 6. The eight baroque dance movements were precisely etched, yet still moulded with an exquisitely nuanced rubato that gave shape to nearly every utterance, whether melody or figuration. One might expect formal contours or forward momentum to be compromised, but the pianist held all of these elements in exquisite balance.  READ THE FULL Chicago Classical Review.