J.S. BACH: KEYBOARD MUSICOriginal, Arrangement & Transcription
Johann Sebastian Bach
MARIJA ILIC, piano
"this is an attractive program... In the slow movements the music is varied and shaped beautifully, judiciously enlivened by pedal... the introduction to the Ouverture includes many unexpected but beautiful phrasing choices."
Haskins, American Record Guide [July/August 2020]
"As I grow older I find that the music of Johann Sebastian Bach seems ever more deep. And when a pianist makes a new selection of keyboard works that are worth re-hearing and then brings a fully pianistic expression to them, I am a happy listener. That's how I feel listening to a new volume of such things by Marija Ilic... It's an almost whimsical reading of some classics, sounding almost like she is recalling the music in memory with some feeling of past-in-present, some fond associations the music brings to her... this is a series of delicately dreamful readings, not a romping horserace like some of Glen Gould's classic interpretations, but then the choices reflect a reflection, a reflectivity more than a flurry... So the two Adagios are calm and introspective, the Six Little Preludes have a brittle delicacy. But then the Partita No.4 has the deep waters of the "heavier," somewhat more profound Bach and Ms. Ilic gives it all the weight it demands. And with this particular setting and these interesting repertoire choices you have a real keeper. I am glad to have it and I suspect you'd be too, if you love Bach on piano. Bravo."
Grego Applegate Edwards [June 2020]
"in Ilić’s own arrangement of the Adagio Ma Non Tanto...everything here is warmth and expressiveness, with plenty of pedal and thorough use of the piano’s sustaining ability and the way it allows notes to blend with and carry over into each other... Ilić is clearly interested here not in authenticity but in bringing forth elements that she believes are inherent in the music and cannot be fully elucidated with the instruments for which it was written... Ilić’s playing has a pleasant immediacy about it that many listeners will find attractive... [In the Partita No.4] Ilić paints a highly variegated and emotionally wide-ranging work of multiple moods – with special attention to the inward-looking ones... Ilić plays skillfully throughout and makes a strong case for her approach to all the material here; certainly she is effective in using the piano’s resources to bring out the elements of Bach’s music that she wants to highlight."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [June 2020]
4-Stars * * * * "Ilic derives pleasure in transcribing Bach’s alternative, instrumental works to the keyboard, as she does in [the opening Adagio ma non tanto]. The piercing clarity of the fluid, melodic line resonates in a particularly luminous effect... Ilic’s studies with harpsichord master Kenneth Cooper make their influence known here, providing a French character to the daintier textures [of the Partita No.4], executed with aplomb and secure finesse."
Gary Lemco, Audiophile Audition [May 2020]
"No matter how much of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach we might have heard, there is always much more to appreciate among Bach’s vast repertoire and its many renderings by countless musicians. To add to it all, we have a new MSR Classics recording of a selection of his work by noted keyboard musician Marija Ilic to enjoy. As a dedicated student of Bach’s music, Ilic takes a poetic but precise approach to his music in Baroque fashion which catches fire by turns as the disc plays... Her MSR recording obviously arises out of her extensive studies and playing many of Bach’s compositions as evident in a harpsichord-like clarity that bubbles out of her pianism. Her deep understanding of his music couples with the enjoyment she displays playing it, making her performance engaging and uplifting. Out of the many recordings of Bach’s music on piano, including a recent one by Vikingur Olafsson, Marija Ilic’s MSR disc is an excellent choice to add to a music library. The CD includes two adagios transcribed to piano, six short preludes, and a partita for keyboard. The more I listen to it, the more I like the distinct quality Ilic imparts to the music."
Joel C. Thompson, Cherry Grove Music Review [May 2020]
"[Ilic's varied experience] has further broadened her musical outlook and prepared her for the wonderfully expressive pianist, particularly as an interpreter of J.S. Bach, which she is today... This is an artist who is temperamentally inclined to study the details of a work carefully and then put them together to build a great edifice. The present recital is a good example... [the Keyboard Partita No.4 is] Presented in an exalted performance by Marija Ilić."
Phil Muse, Atlanta Audio Club [April 2020]
"[Ilić] plays with a] quiet intensity."
The New York Times
PROGRAM NOTESPianist Marija Ilić is a dedicated and expressive performer of the standard repertoire, as well as the newest music of the 20th and 21st century. She has been praised as a compelling, poetic, and decisive musician by The New York Times, and noted for her quiet intensity. Her performances include recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Clark Studio Theater at Lincoln Center, 92nd Street Y and Merkin Hall, as well as at the Music Festival of the Hamptons, Norfolk Contemporary Music Festival, Hoch Chamber Music Series at Concordia College, Vassar College, Trinity Church, and abroad at the Aldeburgh Festival in England and Musica Viva, Kolarac Hall, and Parliament Hall in Belgrade. Ilić has been collaborating in recitals with violist Lawrence Dutton of the Emerson String Quartet, performing numerous concerts at such venues as the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., as well as in Woodstock, Stamford and Bronxville. She has also worked closely with some of today’s most important composers, including William Bolcom, Martin Bresnick, George Crumb, Oliver Knussen, Joan Tower and Meredith Monk. Ilić is the founding principal pianist of Christopher Caines Dance Company, with which she has appeared regularly since 2000, and is a member of Dan Joseph Ensemble. She performs in a piano duo with Milica Jelaca Jovanović, playing concerts in Europe and the United States. Ilić is also a gifted harpsichordist, having recently performed J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and the Goldberg Variations, as well as a wide range of other music, spanning the seventeenth century to the present day. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Ilić holds her undergraduate degree from the Belgrade Music Academy, her graduate degree from the Mannes College of Music, and a doctorate in piano performance from Rutgers University, with J. S. Bach’s The Art of Fugue as her doctoral topic. Her piano teachers include Susan Starr, Pavlina Dokovska, Nina Svetlanova, Stephanie Brown, and harpsichord master Kenneth Cooper. She can be heard on MSR, New World Records, Mutable Music, Innova and Silent Treatment Music labels. She is on the faculty at Vassar College and Concordia College, where she is also the artistic director for the Concerts at OSilas Gallery music series. [ www.marijailic.com ]
PROGRAMJOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
ADAGIO MA NON TANTO (from Violin Sonata No.3 in E major, BWV 1016)
[Piano Arrangement by Marija Ilić]
SIX LITTLE PRELUDES, BWV 933-938
I. Prelude in C major
II. Prelude in C minor
III. Prelude in D minor
IV. Prelude in D major
V. Prelude in E major
VI. Prelude in E minor
ADAGIO IN G MAJOR, BWV 968 (from Violin Sonata No.3 in C major, BWV 1005)
[Piano Transcription attributed to J.S. Bach]
PARTITA FOR KEYBOARD NO.4 IN D MAJOR, BWV 828