"Hochman distinguished himself mightily in the summer’s first Bach Plus program last Saturday. Hochman offered a challenging triple bill: Luigi Dallapiccola’s 1952 Quaderno Musicale di Annalibera, sandwiched between two Bach partitas for keyboard. Written as a birthday present for Dallapiccola’s 8-year-old daughter, the Quaderno consists of 11 not-easy pieces, each the soul of brevity, composed in the 12-tone style the composer favored at the time.
Oddly and no doubt intentionally, many of the miniatures have a distinct tonal or atonal cast. Hochman’s effective, non-cerebral reading offered a powerfully pianistic take on the work. His opening, Partita No. 2 BWV 826, has been called by Bach scholar Malcom Boyd, “a graveyard for all but the most nimble-fingered executants.” Hochman’s swift traversal, buoyant and dynamically pure, left not a corpse behind. The same can be said of his concluding Partita No. 4, BWV 828. The weighty Allemande flowed and flowed, and the final Gigue exploded in a rapture of excitement.
Bach’s introductory note to the six partitas states that they were “Composed For Music Lovers To Refresh Their Spirits.” With Hochman in charge, they do and they did."