Christian Grøvlen : Bach Inside Polyphony


88.2kHz & 176.4kHz/24-bit, FLAC; DSD64; Lindberg Lyd AS 2L-139 (supplied by

Forget the PDF booklet hyperbole about a project ‘opening new doors’ and seeking the ‘spirituality and sounds’ of Bach. Now 27, Christian Grøvlen plays 18 works – the Chromatic Fantasy And Fugue, Sinfonias Nos 1-15; French Suite No 3, Partita No 5 – on a modern Steinway and he’s recorded with an array of mics set up in a Norwegian church. There’s a pleasing ambience to the sound which is as clean as Grøvlen’s own fingerwork. He’s a thoughtful interpreter and unafraid to use the pedals (which András Schiff avoids in Bach keyboard works), while his ornamentation ripples and gives a fluidity to the musical line. The Sinfonias (three-part Inventions) only last about a minute and no two artists agree about tempi – Gould’s playing [Sony] sounds very eccentric nowadays, where Grøvlen’s is always reasonable and enjoyable. CB

Sound Quality: 80%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Recorded in Sofienberg Church, Norway, using a 352.8kHz/24-bit Horus ADC, Pyramix workstation and Ravenna AoIPnetwork, the 176.4kHz file is an elegant downsample – more than sufficient to capture the output of this Steinway. PM