From NY Times:
With Seamless Fluidity, Uniting the Styles of the Masters[/b]
BERNARD HOLLAND [/b]
Published: February 22, 2005
There are performers who move laterally across the repertory, inhabiting with curiosity and a sense of adventure every style and period they encounter. Then there are those endowed with a benign provincialism: musicians who build walls around relatively small bodies of music and then dig deep into their sub-basements.
Unfairly or not, the pianist Richard Goode has been associated with the second group. Prolific commentator on the Beethoven sonatas, upholder of Classical style and one of America's more thoughtful spokesmen for German Romantic music, he has seemed another passionate excavator, extracting more and more from a limited number of texts.
The first half of Mr. Goode's recital at Carnegie Hall on Sunday night never argued against this image. Bach's E-minor Partita arrived as Baroque music filtered through Liszt and the 21st-century piano. The elaborate ornamentation was respectful of period decorum, and Mr. Goode labored carefully to make the contrapuntal conversations work on a modern instrument constructed to be uniform in sound rather than diverse. He hears this music with a kind of measured impetuosity that pushes against regularity of beat and sometimes beyond.
Beethoven's E-major Sonata (Op. 109) was as beautifully done as listeners knew it would be. Between Bach and Beethoven came Schoenberg's uncharacteristic and very beautiful adventure into aphorism: the Six Little Pieces. Mr. Goode made them into fleeting, strikingly colored theatrical episodes and in a way was preparing for Debussy after intermission, here Book I of the Preludes.
Posing as travelogues, weather reports, wistful daydreams or cheerful character sketches, these 12 pieces hide their awesomeness. Each in its own way is constructed in some undefinable, unparsable way that never tires the imagination. Any reasonable pianist who has played them will tell you so.
I have never heard their delicacies and their strengths better defined than on Sunday. If Mr. Goode is irrepressible in Bach, he finds the symmetry, order and underlying calm of this great music from an altogether different world. I will never picture him with shovel in hand again.