Having noted thirty-six tracks and sixty-three minutes of playing time, I listened blind with keen anticipation of what might be coming my way. No mistaking J. S. Bach to begin the show, performed with shape and dexterity by Inon Barnatan; then shape and feeling for Handel. By track four it’s still ‘Barnatan does Baroque’, if soon to be complemented by a crisply enunciated movement from Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin, the latter composer having been preludial. The intricate counterpoint evident on track six gave me no clue – but I liked it – turns out to be by Thomas Adès (yes, that fits). Then two sides of Ligeti, severe and scorching, the latter quality matched by Samuel Barber, and by Barnatan of course. It’s now twenty-seven minutes left and a massive twenty-six tracks to go. What’s next and very short? Short is in fact numerous Variations and a final Fugue; in other words, Handel meets Brahms. One big work then, not what I was expecting, which was a contrasting confection of miniatures, but Brahms’s Opus 24 is a favourite of yours truly, and, for the most part, Barnatan does it individually proud. The Fugue takes flight, resoundingly. Excellent sonics (8/2020, La Jolla, California) on Pentatone PTC 518 6874.
The music played on this release can be found via the following link: https://www.pentatonemusic.com/product/time-travelers-suite-inon-barnatan/
Pentatone postscript: don’t miss this, http://www.colinscolumn.com/claude-debussy-arnold-schoenberg-pelleas-et-melisande-pelleas-und-melisande-jonathan-nott-records-both-for-pentatone-with-orchestre-de-la-suisse-romande/, Jonathan Nott records Debussy & Schoenberg in Geneva.