Zhu Xiao-Mei - Bach, WTC II

Zhu Xiao-Mei (朱曉玫) - J.S. Bach, Well Tempered Clavier Book II

A prodigy raised in China but then banned from playing piano during the Cultural Revolution, then migrated to Paris, continued her study, and became a professor at the Conservatoire de Paris, Zhu is not an international superstar nor a recording icon. Yet, she receives high praise from the inner circle and her recitals are always sold out. It sparked my curiosity to find out more about her.

I had high expectations for this CD - a pianist can't hide anything behind WTC, and Book II is my favorite "bible book" - and I am not disappointed! Amazing colors are hard to find in Bach, but Zhu does it so well, AND with such moving motion and energy! This can't replace Richter or Schiff, and you can pick out technical details (trills, tempo, consistency, etc.) that could be improved. But who can resist a story teller that draws you into the music so well? This will definitely stay in my daily bread collection for quite a while.