Reference Recording - This one.
"Evgeni Koroliov′s well-deserved prominence among today′s Bach pianists began, in effect, with this 1990 recording of The Art of Fugue, newly repackaged by Tacet. I preferred Tacet′s original black cover design to the generic gray used for virtually all the label′s new releases and reissues. But that′s not important. What counts is Koroliov′s non-egoistic mastery plus his total spiritual and musical immersion into Bach′s valedictory opus. The pianist appears to have a brain in every finger as he contours the interweaving and often knotty polyphony with effortless control no matter what the tempo may be. On the back cover blurb, composer Gyorgi Ligeti claims that he would listen to this recording on a desert island until his last breath. We′ll see about that! Tacet′s clarion engineering does full justice to Koroliov′s warm, firmly focused sonority. A recording you′ll savor for years to come."
Jed Distler

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