"The classically-minded listener is in for a real treat with Matthew McAllister’sBach & Brouwer, which cleverly juxtaposes the very well-known J.S. Bach Suite No. 1 with a lesser-known work, Suite No. 2 by Leo Brouwer (b. 1939). The works, though separated by centuries, share interesting similarities in structure and harmony, and seem an absolutely natural pairing.
The same musical sensitivity which likely led McAllister to couple the Suites is equally present in his playing. For example, it is easy to tell that McAllister truly savors Bach’s slow Sarabande — here, as throughout the entire work, he pays careful attention not only to the notes and ornaments, but also the space in between: a consideration that is so vital to an effective and affecting performance of Baroque music, but so often forgotten.
The somewhat lighter Brouwer Suite is delightfully and deftly performed, while McAllister’s final selection, Brouwer’s “Canción de Cuna,” is a dynamic and affecting capstone to the album.”