15 and 21. When receiving the invitation, Bach thought a series of variations on a theme will have a soothing effect on the sleepless count. Lori Sims presents a “live” version in all sense of the word; There is a lot of spontaneity, extra excitement, obvious audience noise and, let’s admit it, some missteps that would have been corrected in studio conditions. The only question is whether the listener will be taken by Schiff declaratory phrasing. Again, this is one of the most impressive Goldberg Variations in the current catalog, and even if you are looking for a more “jubilance” experience, Tharaud is too talented to ignore. Gavrilov is a truly fascinating pianist, using all of the tools of his disposals to illuminate this masterpiece. You may find that Dennerstein requires several listenings to fully appreciate the tiny intricacies of her sound-world. Love Gould or hate him, without him we wouldn't be discussing this — or any other — list of recordings of what has been called the longest, most ambitious and most important solo keyboard work written before Beethoven. On the same label, we have the immaculate Jenő Jandó, who recorded to the label practically all of the major piano repertoire. Your email address will not be published.

Friday, July 7, 2017. In the early years of the Naxos label, it was snobbishly treated by the established music outlets and part of the classical music enthusiasts. His Goldberg Variations, unfortunately, do not reach the same artistic level. She is also unapologetically pianistic, incorporating noticeable crescendos and diminuendos, not available on instruments in Bach’s time, though her usage of the sustaining pedal is spare. His ornaments in repeats sound just right and never excessive, and he also enjoys Sony’s best engineering services. Bach uses two tunes, both distinctly earthy: ‘Kraut und Ruben haben mich vertrieben’ (Cabbage and beets have driven me away) and ‘Ich bin so lang nicht bei dir gewest’ (I’ve been so long away from you…).

She keeps the tempo tight up except for some dramatic, strategically planned pauses like before the “black pearl” variation. They already love Gould's athletically racing, intellectually probing Bach, and there's nothing new on these discs for them. On first listening, it’s rather surprising how “modern” this performance sounds. The basis for ‘the Goldbergs’ is an ‘Aria’ in G major, effectively a sarabande in binary form (a piece in two halves, each repeated). Despite the pandemic, Lang Lang said his foundation, the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, will continue its efforts to buy musical instruments for children across the United States, holding a virtual fundraising concert sometime this fall. Just a few of the variations have tempo marks and we can’t know for certain, for instance, if Bach wanted a continuation of the rhythm or saw each variation as a stand-alone entity. This is the end of part 1 of the ‘best of’ guide to Bach’s Goldberg Variations.Continue below to the next part, which chooses the best Harpsichord versions. For the “sleeper” choice, Ekaterina Dershavina version is surprising with its effectiveness, without the pianist appearing to do large gestures or employing big dramatic gestures (isn’t that a mark of a great artist?). It’s also one of the biggest challenges available to pianists and harpsichordists. We can observe every detail of historical exactitude, or decide that there is no limit to its possibilities. The pianist recorded the piece in a short period of time and then edited it in the studio for few months. The variations require virtuoso playing with infallible coordination, especially as the hands frequently cross over each other. The only drawback is the rather dry recording, but with such high an artistic quality you soon forget it. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our classical music newsletter to be updated once new guides are published. 6 with the distance of a second, and so forth, until no. The sensitive, nuanced recording confirmed that the greatness of the Goldbergs could go far beyond the keyboard, opening the floodgates for new interpretative possibilities, which in recent years have included solo harp, string trio and even a band of Renaissance viols. It’s most definitely a different voice among the latest versions, and even if not one of the absolute best, it’s highly recommendable. Lang Lang’s long journey into the soul of one of the greatest landmarks of world culture began with childhood lessons in Bach’s music in his native China. The aria is then followed by 30 variations, based on the base line (and not mainly on the melody, which correlates with a common baroque “Chaconne” practice). It covers new album reviews by knowledgeable and independent writers, as well as in-depth guides and news. Another version for courageous listeners is by Vladimir Feltsman, who’s extravagant account takes one too many steps of making the variations “interesting” at any cost. There are some hints of 19th-century romanticism that can be heard in other early Bach studio recordings, and consistent tempo choices that make the performance flow from start to finish. Happily, harpsichord recordings — and the quality of both the instruments and their performers — have long since evolved from being mere academic curiosities. “Playing in the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church), where Bach is buried, was unbelievably emotional for me,” he recalled. There is a whole lot left for the discretion of the performer, as a matter of fact. Ultimately, everyone will read something different into Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Read our Best Of guides for classical music. I currently contribute to. At last, after we’ve taken in what feels like a panoply of life experience, the ‘Aria’ returns – yet our experience of it is transformed by the context. Gould's Goldbergs introduced millions of Americans to a breathtakingly new sonic landscape. The Classic Review was launched in 2018 for classical music lovers around the globe. Having said that, she is not the most imaginative in repeats (though they are interesting), her left hand is sometimes too prominent and heavy handled, and the recording quality is not at the same standard as others. The “black pearl” is one of the longest on record, losing most of the momentum built before. As you ponder that, consider what else Gould wrought: His was the first prominent album devoted to Bach's magisterial 32-movement work. The first was recorded in a single take in concert at the legendary St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, Bach’s workplace for almost 30 years and site of his grave; the second was made soon after in the seclusion of the studio, on the eve of the pandemic. Do you want to be the first to hear the latest news from the classical world? Feb-03-2010, 01:05 #3 It’s a voice that penetrates deeply, while never being an extrovert. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. There is a sense of direction, moving from the outgoing first variations to the more reflective late ones. Nor is it for the people for already hate Gould's revved-up, super-charged Bach. I loved it,” he explained. All of the original recording’s qualities are here, and it is still a well-planned performance to a fault, but there are some extra pronouncement of the musical ideas and a better recording. She appears to observe all the best qualities of Bach performers from the past (some are mentioned above) while having her own unique voice. Best Chet Baker Pieces: 20 Jazz Essentials, Best Pat Benatar Songs: 15 Power Ballads and Pop-Rock Bangers, Badu Babies: How Erykah Badu’s Vocal Style Transformed Music, How The ‘Hackers’ Techno-Forward Soundtrack Captured The Future, About Us • Contributors • Terms of Service • Privacy Policy • © 2020 uDiscoverMusic. Lang Lang finally felt ready to record Bach’s great “Aria” and 30 variations in early March 2020. With all of its oddities, it’s a great version. The ones that are available, show Nikolayeva as mesmerizing romantic Bach player, which, although not to all tastes, can be utterly enjoyable. What is most special about Willhelm Kempff’s recording (DG, 1969), is that he is determined to strip the score from any ornament, leaving the bare-minimum of the music (Listen to the aria – You’re in for a shock).

25. Point of fact is that playing the Goldbergs on a single keyboard instrument means that a pianist has to resort to tricks, compromises, fudging or outright studio chicanery to play all the notes as Bach wrote them. It will maybe make you rattled, smile or upset, but it’s certainly never dull. Angela Hewitt first recording (1999) is very attractive with its clarity, beauty of tone and wise tempo choices. Roughly 20 of the original publication of the piece survived to this day, one of which contains corrections by the composer. Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The long journey with the variations (she observes all the repeats) is sustained with a wonderful singing tone and little, appropriate ornamentations. This is a partial list of commercial or professional recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach's … In short, Glenn Gould gave Bach soul — and Bach gave Gould great source material. Share this guide or tell us in the comments. This matters, because to organise pace, energy and logic over such a lengthy span, Bach creates in the Goldbergs several structural devices that reflect his fascination with mathematical principles, or even numerology. Her handling of repeats has more to do with bringing out hidden voices than adding more notes, and she is at her best on the slower, mellow variation (Var. Schiff has a lifelong experience with the Goldberg Variations yet it’s marvelous how live and spontaneous it still sounds. The entire performance seems rushed, not giving the music time to breath or make an impression by itself (Gould’s decision not to play a single repeat adds to this). There is too much octave doubling, registers changes and non-legato, Gould-like phrasing, though without the Canadian mastermind behind it. 3 in D minor (after Alessandro Marcello), BWV 974 (BC L194), Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of the Fugue), for keyboard (or other instruments), BWV 1080, Contrapunctus 7 (a 4, per Augmentationem et Diminutionem). Maybe this: there is a sense of exploration, traveling through all the intricacies of the human experience. This includes debatable tempo and dynamic choices. Legend has it that Bach received a commission to compose a set of variations aimed to ward off Count Hermann Carl von Keyserlingk’s insomnia. Gould’s digital 1981 version is also fascinating from start to finish, and like his 1955 mono recording, should be in any record collection. A later 80’s recording on the VAI label probably finds her at her absolute best, relatively free and flowing, but she is let down by an amateurish recording made on a private concert. 1 in C major (WTC I/1), BWV 846 (BC L80), Prelude and Fugue, for keyboard No.

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