Discography and Bibliography

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Dear Reader,
“[…] the first thing he (J. S. Bach) did was to teach his
pupils his peculiar mode of Touching the (keyboard)
instrument…” J. N. Forkel.
Since I first read this sentence, a long time ago, I have embarked on
a long journey trying to decipher what that “peculiar mode” may
have been. After many years of research, reflection and intuition, in
2005, I had a crucial meeting, leading to work with Miklós Spányi,
who has occupied himself with this matter since 1988, both in
theory and in practice.
This meeting and cooperation have enlightened me enormously.
Although so many questions and doubts remain on this theme, I
must nevertheless say that the deeper I dive into it, the more I have
the feeling of coming home.

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Cristiano Holtz, harpsichord by Matthias Kramer after Zell (1728)
Ramée RAM 1912 (2CDs) [123:29]
★★★★★

This new recording of such familiar repertoire is a breath of fresh air! Cristiano Holtz’s playing is wonderful, responsive at all times to the many ‘affects’ of this music, and the harpsichord bringing a completely new dimension to the sound. It is based on a surviving lid of a harpsichord by Zell, which, given its length, obviously must have been a 16ft pitched instrument, so with two manuals and 16, 8, 8, 4 and a buff stop, the colour permutations are enormous. The sheer beauty of tone is immediately apparent in the single 8ft of the C major prelude, while the impact of the extraordinary weight and sonority of the full registration makes a powerful statement in the C minor prelude. Holtz uses this variety of colour to great effect, with 16 and 8 for instance giving the A flat prelude a darker quality than usual, the 16 with remarkable clarity. The full registration in the D major fugue is most impressive, as is his clarity of playing in all the fugues, while the individual 8ft registers alone are quite different in character. If the E flat minor prelude using just one 8ft shows Holtz in gentle and contemplative mood, with wonderful arpeggiation and freedom of expression, the G major prelude shows his ability to be lively and playful, while the B flat minor prelude takes on a magisterial quality played on the full registration, rather like an organ pleno. The combination of this unusual and supremely beautiful harpsichord and Holtz’s fine performances is unbeatable and highly recommended.
DOUGLAS HOLLICK

Tastenfest

Mit der Einspielung der Konzerte für drei und vier Cembali vollenden Aapo Häkkinen und das Helsinki Baroque Orchestra ihre international gefeierte Gesamtaufnahme der Cembalokonzerte Bachs. Häkkinens Mitstreiter Miklós Spányi, Cristiano Holtz und Anna-Maaria Oramo lassen die letzte Folge zu einem brillanten Tastenfest werden, das durch das Duetto des Bach-Schülers, Johann Gottfried Müthel abgerundet wird.

“Record Geijutsu Award”/2011

Itinerary : Aizawa Shohachiro

For “Record Academy Awards”, we choose discs very strictly, thus naturally each of nominated discs for this time is distinguished da sé, as all three of us agreed at first. (…) We discussed again and again and finally this disc is speculated among all: the harpsichord recording played by Christiano Holtz. We highly evaluate its overwhelming energish impression, which anew our stereotyped ‘fragile and gracious’ image on this instrument.

​(Aizawa Shohachiro)

 Fanfare USA  2012

“….His recital ends with what I can only describe as the most scintillating performance of the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue I’ve ever heard. This one goes on my shortlist of favorite Bach albums.”

​FANFARE: Lynn René Bayley

​ ***** DN Potugal/2008​ – Bernardo Mariano 

‘…Ces Inventions et Sinfonies résonnent de nouveau grâce aux doigts du brésilien Cristiano Holtz, un des meilleurs clavecinistes de notre époque. La Fughetta en ut mineur BWV 961 révèle des qualités fort précieuses pour un clavicordiste, la délicatesse, la finesse et le soin. Carl Philippe Emanuel Bach confiait lui-même que « tout bon clavicordiste est toujours un claveciniste accompli, l’inverse n’est pas obligatoirement vérifié. ». Holtz fait sonner la Sarabande en fa mineur BWV 823 l’inscrivant dans le “jeu” voulu par Bach. Seul face à l’instrument, ses doigts dialoguent avec les touches.

Posté le 27 févr. 2016 par Jean-Stéphane SOURD-DURAND

Baroquiades-France

Preis der deutschen SchallplattenKritk/2006

***** Goldberg Early Music Magazine/2006

 

” L’Artiste brésilien Cristiano Holtz joue trois sonates (les deux premières et la dernière) au clavicorde( d’après un Friederici) et les cinq autres au clavecin (d’après un Silbermann), avec un sens de la précision, des lignes et des nuances qui méritent tous les éloges. Les instruments sont très présents, ils n’ont rien d’une pièce de musée.” 

Marc Vignal – Classica 2014.

” Il est spécialiste du répertoire de J.S Bach : son enregistrement des « Œuvres rares pour clavecin » a été loué par la presse internationale, et considéré par plusieurs revues comme l’un des meilleurs enregistrements soliste de Bach.L’interprétation de Cristiano Holtz, juste et claire, nous fait oublier que ces études étaient destinées à la pédagogie. Ces oeuvres transpirent le génie de la famille Bach, elles sont originales, riches et de bon goût, exactement ce que CPE Bach veut nous faire assimiler. Cristiano Holtz, passionné par Bach, est un interprète idéal pour ces morceaux qu’il doit jouer depuis des décennies maintenant. Le fait d’avoir deux instruments différents sur le disque évite aussi la monotonie des disques de soliste et les choix de l’interprète sont plutôt bien sentis.”

Publié le 20 sept. 2016 par François Pervillé-Baroquiades.

Stunning performances of Emanuel Bach’s Grandiose Concertos

By Mr. N. R. Birkhead on 5 Feb 2014​

” There have been lots of great releases for this composer this year already for his 300th anniversary but this is just stunning. Great sound, compelling performances of ground-breaking works. All involved with this recording have excelled themselves. Yes it is highly recommended. Bravo!! “

“A sua interpretação pauta- se pela elegância e clareza”…”As Sonatas de Scarlatti podem facilmente adquirir uns aspecto mecânico e frio,mas Holtz, pelo contrário impregna-as com calor, colorido e vivacidade da música tradicional Ibérica…”

José Carlos Fernandes

Time Out magazine Lisbon 2016.

 “Une magnifique interprétation et une musique dont on ne se lasse pas, par son élégance, sa sonorité et sa joie.”

Patrice Imbaud

L’education musicale France 2016.

“Cristiano Holtz è il raffinatissimo narratore dei quindici capolavori qui registrati, evocandone tutta l’umanità, con le sue luci e le sue ombre, le gioie ed i drammi, il lamenti ed i sensuali deliri del genio napoletano.

Feruccio Nuzzo

CD e altre musiche di maggio II Italia 2016.

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