J.S. Bach: Keyboard works/Nishimoto-Neubert

Review by: Jed Distler

Artistic Quality: 7

Sound Quality: 10

Often heard as an accompanist, the Tokyo-born pianist Miku Nishimoto-Neubert takes center stage and proves herself a sensitive, polished Bach soloist, if not a consistently inspired artist. She assertively projects the introduction of the E minor Partita Toccata and shapes her brisk, fluent fugue with carefully gauged climaxes. Her lyrical, introspective way with the Allemande sounds rounded off and relatively bland when measured against Murray Perahia’s stronger inner rhythm, yet her Air and Gigue boast vitality and varied articulation.

Any pianist would be happy to claim Nishimoto-Neubert’s clean fingerwork in the Italian Concerto’s outer movements, although she doesn’t convey Bach’s designated solo/tutti textures to best effect. Neither does her square, matter-of-fact left-hand work in the slow movement come close to Angela Hewitt’s gorgeous evocation of winds and strings. However, I should mention Nishimoto-Neubert’s Glenn Gould-like propulsion in the French Suite’s Courante and Bourée, and her fluid, vocally-oriented Sarabande. She doesn’t match the refined contrapuntal repartee and characterful profile of Piotr Anderszewski’s remarkable 1997 Harmonia Mundi recording, yet her poise and professionalism cannot be questioned. The exceptional engineering preserves Nishimoto-Neubert’s sonority in a well balanced, ideally resonant perspective.



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Recording Details:

Reference Recording: Partita No. 6: Perahia (Sony), Italian Concerto: Hewitt (Hyperion)

J.S. BACH - Partita No. 6 in E minor BWV 830; Italian Concerto in F major BWV 971; French Suite No. 5 in G major BWV 816

  • Miku Nishimoto-Neubert (piano)

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