Boomkat Product Review:
Well this is a charm: solo pianist Fred Thomas leads an ineffably light and gorgeous transigurations of 24 organ chorale preludes, vocal cantata movements and orchestral sinfonias by JS Bach, accompanied by Aisha Orazbayeva and Lucy Railton.
Thru twenty four works transcribed by Fred Thomas for trio and his solo piano, and sequenced by ECM’s Manfred Eicher, ‘Three Or One’ offers a quietly joyful reading of the late Baroque master’s abundance of organ chorale preludes, vocal cantata movements and orchestral sinfonias and perhaps act as an inviting portal to fresher ears.
The set includes the famous chorale prelude ‘Ich Ruf Zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639’, here resplendent in its timeless simplicity thanks to the fresh character of Aisha and Lucy’s performance. Their effervescent touch counters the gravity of Fred Thomas’s lead where needed, but his own solo works are also gently luminous and inventively playful, speaking to a variegated background ranging from interests in rhythmic cultures of Africa and South America to improvised counterpoint that’s detectable in his rhythmelodic filigree. Trust this is a collection for the ages; accessible, enchanting, and beautiful in execution.