“ … music-making rarely comes as impressive as this … ”
“Pianos can be dull dogs, but not in Gary Cooper’s case – he is nimble and expressive.”
“rightly been showered with critical acclaim and awards for this series ... exquisite care for detail, beguiling phrasing and panache."
“Gary Cooper at the harpsichord led his band of eight in an exceptionally well-shaped reading of this gorgeous score: like all real conductors, he has confidence in his own taste and a beautifully expressive way of coaxing his effects…I have never heard the wrenching string suspensions of Acis’s death more movingly played.”
Kent Opera: Acis & Galatea, Margate Spring Festival - Opera Now
“Gary Cooper's combination of intellectual authority and transparency of texture made even this most daunting of piano works seem accessible."
Beethoven Diabelli Variations, The Nottingham Evening Post
"A transcendental performance; Cooper is a real find … his touch is precise yet lyrical, his approach winged, his sound crystalline … Cooper is special.
CD: Well-Tempered Clavier - Christopher Leggette, Web Review
“The second album of Gary Cooper’s Bach series excels the first: consummate musicianship that combines technical facility with imaginative voicing … Beautiful, sparkling and sharply delineated. This a joy from start to finish: a perfect balance between intelligence and sensuality and an account that rivals those of the big names.”
CD: Well-Tempered Clavier II - Independent on Sunday
"… an amazing ability to hold the audience spellbound."
Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Bk I & II/ Wigmore Hall - Early Music Review
" Gary Cooper's interpretation of Book I is among the more distinguished available, not least because of the clear facility he shares with his chosen instrument and his already quite profound intellectual understanding of the music itself."
Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Bk I CD review - Early Music Review
"...meticulous attention to detail, vivid tonal color and a striking balance of restraint and dramatic excitement - … Cooper maintains a keen sense of energy.
Conducting the Portland Baroque Orchestra/Messiah - The Oregonian
"Gary Cooper's recording of the first book of the Forty-Eight Preludes and Fugues makes a strong claim to being one of the finest offerings. Cooper combines the intellectual lucidity of a Leonhardt with an uncanny sense of expressive intensity, never afraid to slow the pace, to shape a phrase, to allow the music to make its point. The textures are kept clear..and there is an honesty about his playing that does not compromise the monumental feeling of the whole. It feels like a cycle, for Cooper leaves us, at the end of each prelude and fugue, thirsting for the next."
CD: Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Bk I - Sunday Times
" … an unforgettable climax and conclusion last week with a performance by the celebrated harpsichordist, Gary Cooper... a natural, unmannered elegance about G.C.'s playing which singles him out as one of the finest and most accomplished early keyboard players of our time. His is an art which conceals art [sic!]. He seems not to be concerned with "interpreting" Bach for a new generation but, of course, that is exactly what he achieves with all the resources at his command - flawless technique, superb dynamic control, and an articulation which yields power, clarity and the most delectable tones from Tudeley's beautiful new instrument...the genius of Bach and the artistry of G.C. took us into realms beyond the reach of words, and almost beyond the reach of music itself [sic x2!]."
Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Bk II /Tudeley Bach Festival - Tonbridge Courier
" When a player has had words like "masterly", "flawless", "unfailing elegance", and "stunning" applied to his performances, as Mr Cooper has...the prospect was enticing to say the least. In the event it proved rewarding beyond expectations.
Bach: Well-Tempered Clavier Bk I /Tudeley Bach Festival - David Inman, Tonbridge Courier
“Every now and then there is a concert that goes beyond mere critical review. Gary Cooper’s triumphant performance of the Goldberg Variations was one such - it was one of the finest I have heard. … A fantastic performance. I would like to think Bach played like this.”
Spitalfields Festival/Goldberg Variations - Early Music Review
“Probably the best keyboardist around at the moment.”
Early Music Review
"The virtuosity of the players is constantly in evidence throughout this entertaining disc, and should guarantee this complete set a slot under the “definitive performance” umbrella for period instrument recordings. 5 stars.
CD: Mozart Violin Sonatas Vol 4 - Audiophile
"Two excellent players find glorious freedom in Mozart period performance"
Rob Cowan, Gramophone
"Forget recent competition in these violin and keyboard sonatas: the honours go to Rachel Podger and Gary Cooper’s series on period instruments. Gut strings and the fortepiano’s dry attack encourage playing with character and snap; but the ultimate delight is the absorption and flair of Podger and Cooper. The music ranges from a kid’s trinkets to the big sweep of K454. The most enjoyable Mozart disc so far this year."
CD: Mozart Violin Sonatas Vol 4 - Geoff Brown, The Times
"… when Gary Cooper takes the podium for The Seraglio, the same band has Mozartian bite and bounce … this delightful production shows exactly how to do it."
Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, English Touring Opera - The Independent
"Mozart's marvellous score … busting out all over with youthful exuberance. Gary Cooper's sparkling conducting did it justice."
Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, English Touring Opera - The Telegraph
"With all the swaggering connotations to the name Gary Cooper, you have to smile at Gary Cooper the period fortepianist, who, alas, has just the intellectual look you would imagine. But there’s nothing wimpy about these sonatas, which are athletic, inventive and ahead of their time."
CD: Mozart Violin Sonatas Vol 4 - Buffalo News
"Every bit as good as the previous three … both players are charmingly elegant. Cooper and Podger capture fully yhe effervescent spirit … contributing shapely phrasing, incisve ornamentation and faithfully realized dynamic contrasts."
CD: Mozart Violin Sonatas Vol 4 - The Times
"Suffering from Mozart fatigue from last year’s centenary wallow? Listen to Cooper and Podger and rejuvenation is immediate. The fourth CD in their keyboard and violin cycle criss-crosses between sonatas early and late. Pianos can be dull dogs, but not in Gary Cooper’s case – he is nimble and expressive. And nothing is beyond Rachel Podger’s gut-string violin, not even silky delicacy. Magnificent Mozart playing from a terrific duo."
CD: Mozart Violin Sonatas Vol 4 - Geoff Brown, The Times
"Cooper and Podger have rightly been showered with critical acclaim and awards for this series, and Volume 4 maintains the high standards. … Podger and Cooper play with exquisite care for detail, beguiling phrasing and panache."
CD: Mozart Violin Sonatas Vol 4 - Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times