"...At 24 years old, Joseph Moog knows no fear. He takes the virtuosic slaloms eyes wide open and then reins back without brakes for the onset of Baroque curlicues. I have a feeling we’re going to hear much more of Moog. German-born, he has an original turn of mind and an impressive technique. The music is never less than unexpected, with an occasional wistful quirk that hints at might-have-beens. Contrary to the usual rules, this album could be a career-making release..."
Norman Lebrecht, Sinfini Music
"...Many play Scarlatti's sonatas, but only a very few play them well: Pogorelich, Perahia, Pletnev, Tharaud ... and Joseph Moog. The young pianist seems to have banned the thought of a cembalo from his head, as he obviously wants to draw the maximum effect from the piano. It was not without reason that he placed a transcription, by either Carl Tausig, Ignaz Friedman or Walter Gieseking, after each original sonata. This reveals his interest in sonorousness. This is not another cembalo rendition of Scarlatti on the piano, nor is it one based on fanatical research and diversification as with Pogorelich. Moog takes a more direct, unwavering approach. Now, no one should think that he simply plays through the sonatas. Absolutely not! If you will please allow me this seemingly paradoxical thought – he shows that speed by itself is not movement. Movement is created through very refined agogics, remarkably subtle articulation and phrasing, and the use of dynamics; and Moog is in total command of them all. And he wouldn't be Joseph Moog if he didn’t allow his own temperament and his inherently authentic way of playing to play a role. This gives these sonatas, both in their original and transcribed forms, lots of color, some pleasingly spirited warmth, and brings out a genuine reminiscence of folk dances, which most certainly influenced Scarlatti. Also, Moog does not take a "romantic" approach to do this, but instead does so with total ease, and crystalline clarity, using clever tonal nuances and his unique ability to bring the pieces' structures to light with an ever-changing richness in color. The white lights on the cover photo are the sum total of the entire color spectrum that resounds from the sonatas.
Between the youthfully impetuous, full of zest for life and thoroughly happy fleetingness of Sonata K135 and, just 14 tracks later, the reserved swaying nostalgia of K32, Moog traverses through extremely contrasting mood images. And in the circus-like gigue (Scarlatti/Friedman), the serene K466, the reflective, good-natured K380 (medicine for the soul, certain to be effective as an antidepressant) and the agile scampering of K519, one thing is never lost: the positive attitude, the intensely human and thus total authenticity of the music, in which there is no artificiality, like that in which Pogorelich cloaked his Scarlatti Sonatas.
All of that combined reveals Moog as a Scarlatti interpreter with unlimited resources, who, with this CD, has written the Gospel of Joseph for the Scarlatti bible..." [translation from French]
"...I’ve a weak spot for hearing the baroque keyboard repertoire played on a modern piano. Bach has been endlessly rearranged and transcribed, and Joseph Moog’s collection includes much more obscure retreads of Scarlatti, made by Carl Tausig, Ignaz Friedman and Walter Gieseking. Strangely, the originals don’t sound at all primitive or bare when compared to the revamped versions. Scarlatti's sonatas are compelling, mischievous pieces. You’re prompted to laugh out loud at the hyperactive D major jollity of the K96 sonata, four minutes of zany rhythmic playfulness and bombast. Then you’ll be floored by an elegant, sinuous bass line, as with the more expansive F minor sonata K466. Moog’s reading of the K70 is one of the most electrifying bits of pianism you’ll hear. The two hands battle unsuccessfully for supremacy, and the sonata is articulated with supernatural accuracy. Sample the Sonata in E K380 and marvel at Scarlatti’s crystalline two-part writing, giving way to some deeply peculiar chord progressions and parping horn calls. Why isn’t this music better known? The Tausig and Friedman revamps are sumptuous but don’t add that much, apart from juicily thickening the textures. Scarlatti’s eccentricity is happily preserved. Walter Gieseking’s Chaconne on a theme by Scarlatti sticks out like a sore thumb, as the theme of Scarlatti’s K32 sonata is transmogrified in epic, anachronistic style over a compact seven minutes. All magnificently strange and supremely entertaining, dispatched with panache and good humour..."
Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk