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GRAMOPHONE (11/2021)
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Reviewer: Peter Quantrill

... the Italian pianist Filippo Gorini ... is coming at the cycle with a more traditional attitude (than Trifonov).

An associated website promises to host a film of the piece from the Mole Antonelliana in Turin, as well as discussions on Bach between Gorini and ‘some of the greatest personalities of today’, among them Alfred Brendel, Frank Gehry, Peter Sellars and Marcus du Sautoy. In lieu of booklet notes, Alpha has printed 14 sonnets by Gorini owing a heavy acknowledged debt to Eliot and the Four Quartets.

Perhaps it’s best to stick to the playing, which is wonderfully luminous, and complemented by studio engineering closer than for Trifonov but never claustrophobic. Gorini caresses the chromatic arches of the ‘Canon per augmentationem’; there is a tactile, pleading quality to his Contrapunctus 5, and even his quick movements (the Italianate Ninth, for example) are beautifully regulated by a meeting of fingers with brain comparable to (for example) Zimerman’s Chopin. Only the precious solemnity of his left-unfinished final fugue dissuades me from placing Gorini on the top table of my own Art of Fugue pianists, where Trifonov now joins Charles Rosen (Sony, 3/69).

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