21 and 25) especially moving. Gavrilov is a truly fascinating pianist, using all of the tools of his disposals to illuminate this masterpiece. This concludes our definitive guide to the best recordings of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. A right balance between playfulness and serenity. Rosalyn Turuck, another great Bach pioneer, recorded the Goldberg Variations many times over, on piano and Harpsichord, live and in the studio. Listen free to Glenn Gould – Goldberg Variations (Bach's Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Aria, Bach's Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Variation No 1 and more). This may be one reason that Pi-hsien Chen’s impressive version (1988) hasn’t been given a proper attention. There is a calm naturalness to his playing, as was so impressive in his release of the complete Partitas in 2014. This version stands out due to the consistency of its approach. 9). This period also saw a recording by Maria Yudina (Melodia, 1968) – a fascinating document and a worth-while listening if you’d like to get to know this unique artist, often referred to as “the Russian Glenn Gould”. Rudolf Serkin made a piano roll take on the variations, and it was later adapted to modern pianos and recorded as an original performance. The highlights of this version include the minor, slow variations (try var. Rather disappointingly, Chen rerecording of the piece in the more up-to-date Teldec Studio in Berlin (2001) took the other opposite in regards to repeats, ornamentation and exploratory territory, and the results are forced and unnatural. Some of the ornaments are missing in historical awareness, with trills played before the bit. Joanna MacGregor restless version has one really memorable moment – The Aria De Capo at the end, where the last variation continues to echo, breaking into what should be a clean start of the last chapter. We continue our “Best Of Classical Music Guides“,  in this case dedicated to Bach’s Goldberg Variations, this time choosing the best recordings played on the piano. The Classic Review was launched in 2018 for classical music lovers around the globe. Variations Goldberg par Vladimir Feltsman, Variations Goldberg par Ekaterina Feltsman. It’s a fine performance, but relatively hard to come by. Her later, digital recording on Deutsche Gramopphon (1999) sounds the best technically, but Tureck in her mid-eighties lacks the focus and technical command of her younger self. A great version that no one will regret purchasing or listening to. The main downside of this release is a little lack of spontaneity; Everything sounds well planned and executed, even when Hewitt breaks from the original written text. (ré)écouter l'émission : La Tribune des critiques de disques de dimanche 1er octobre 2017. What did you think about our recommendation for Harpsichord and Piano? Variatio 3 a 1 Clav. He also, for some reason, chooses to repeat only the first part of most of the variations, playing a single take on the second part. Vladimir Feltsman bouscule, déboussole… irrite, mais vous oblige à écouter. A new recording by Lang Lang, a star Chinese pianist, is a reminder of the complex beauty of Johann Sebastian Bach’s compositions And it’s a fine version. It’s a brilliant idea and that is brilliantly executed, but unfortunately, there is little to be persuaded by in the 70 minutes of music that proceeds it. Filming & Editing: Liora Livne. Version F 15 is the highlight of the performance). Seules ont été prise en compte les versions pour piano enregistrées au cours des 30 dernières années. The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 was first published in 1741.It is considered a landmark composition, and one that demands expertise in performance technique. Recorded in Teldex Studio, Berlin, 2012. As with the Harpsichord of this guide to the best recordings of the Goldberg Variations, I decided to recommend 3 versions; two of which I feel present as big a scope of the piece, exploiting the full potential of it and illuminating all of this still difficult to crack masterpiece. Lars Vogt Ondine release (2015) is reserved, unassuming (in a good sense) and very pleasant. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club … Variatio 1 a 1 Clav. Levit has the sound world of Perahia when playing Bach – He will always opt for the singing line than the clarity of the contrapunct, so obsessively observed on some performances. Happy to play and recompose Bach in a jazz-inflected modern idiom, he performed with an impish sense of humour which lends delight and legerdemain to his 1961 recording of the ‘Goldberg Variations’, made for L’Oiseau Lyre and receiving its first CD release. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our classical music newsletter to be updated once new guides are published. Explore our masterpiece guide to Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ featuring Lang Lang’s studio and live recordings of the monumental work. Igor Levit’s recording was released as part of his much-praised 3 variations set, which included, besides the Goldbergs, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!”. Daniel Barenboim’s live Goldberg Variations (1989, Teldec) is full of wisdom and some nice individual touches, very reminiscent of his early Beethoven Piano Sonatas cycle for EMI. Maybe she would treat us with a new, better-recorded version of the Goldbergs some day. Nous voici plongés dans le luxe d’un piano sculptural, dont l’opulence dessert peut-être la lisibilité de la polyphonie. His Goldberg Variations, unfortunately, do not reach the same artistic level. It’s a voice that penetrates deeply, while never being an extrovert. Evgeni Koroliov (Hänssler, 1999). An obvious solution is to play some elements on the piano as Forte, and others Pianissimo, but that still doesn’t fully do justice to the intention of the composer. Her two versions of the Goldbergs I find somewhat cold and indifferent. 41: The Chess Game, based on J.S. … Tharaud’s keyboard control is a source of wonder, changing colors and projecting lights and shades like very few pianists. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. The result is fascinating, still steers controversies and demands to be heard. Zhu Xiao-Mei has many admirers worldwide, partially because of her unique biography and documentaries made of her life. “Open Goldberg Variations – BWV 988 – 32 – Aria da Capo é Fine″ Youtube Upload: False Claims and Disputes Report on October 10, 2013 “Open Goldberg Variations – BWV 988 – 31 – Variatio 30 a 1″ Youtube Upload: False Claims and Disputes Report on October 10, 2013 As most (if not all) of Gould’s recordings, there are intentional oddities, some of which plain nonsensical, including unnatural phrasing, inflation of staccatos and excessively fast or slow tempo choices. Although he is not ideally recorded, his handling of repeats will never cease to put a smile on your face (It may also allow you to ignore the mediocre recording quality and instrument). On the other hand, there’s a little “middle of the road” feel here, with many of the repeats (only a few are observed) not exploring anything new. The recording quality, though tolerable, is not ideal. What are the Goldberg Variations? Aria 2. Luckily, the latest evolution of the classical music streaming services has brought it back to the catalog. Zhu Xiao-Mei (Mirare, 1990), N°2 ⇒ 5 more: Variations 1-6 • Variations 7-12 • Variations 13-18 • Variations 19-24 • Variations 25-30, Aria da capo e fine ... Open Goldberg Variations. Variatio 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. Pourtant Ekaterina Dershavina échoue à caractériser la seconde partie, privée d’allégresse. There are some oddities Schiff explored in these years, including changes in registers that sound a bit comical (Var. Alexis Weissenberg (1981, EMI-Warner) plays the Goldberg Variations in what can only be described as unequipped to handle Bach’s style, with changes of tempos, awkward ornamentation, exaggerated dynamic and heavy-handed sound. For Hewitt admirers, then, the second version on Hyperion is the way to go. 7). After four days in the recording studio (in this case, London’s wonderful Henry Wood Hall), Angela had every variation on tape, but wanted to try the opening Aria again. Ekaterina Dershavina (Arte Nova, 1994), N°6 First published in 1741 as the fourth in a series Bach called Clavier-Übung, "keyboard practice", the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. After a long absence from the recording studio, Derzhavina releases new recordings on the German Hänssler label, with recent albums of Bach’s French suites and Medtner solo and chamber works very nicely done indeed. Many will, others won’t. Another pioneering Goldberg Variations recording was made in the same period by Eunice Norton, as well as some other attempts by this less-known American pianist. It can easily be compared to another outlandish account of the repeats – mentioned in the previous part when deceasing Igor Kipnis’ version on the Harpsichord. It’s better to ignore the “Cinderella” tale of Simone Dinnerstein’s release – Referring to a self-made recording that was picked up by a major label – So we can listen to the performance with fresh ears. Hewitt is well mannered, well prepared, but fail to make a real impression. And this is projected not only through the broad tempi she adopts. 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. The best reason to hate Bach's Goldberg Variations—aside from the … Listening to Beatrice Rana’s quite recent release, the word “refreshing” is the first to come to mind. Elsa Fottorino, Alain Lompech et Philippe Venturini élisent la version de référence des "Variations Goldberg" de Jean Sébastien Bach. Benzi Gadash - Goldberg Variations / Piano Concerto (Grieg) - 1990 : 01:00-41:20: Goldberg Variations BWV 988 [40:20] Benzi Gadash (Piano) YouTube: 1990: Video / TT: 55:51: Recorded & filmed at Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel. It’s a fine performance, but relatively hard to come by. A worthy listening, then, not one of the best. Version C Anne-Marie Sylvestre, Producer Purchase: The pianist recorded the piece in a short period of time and then edited it in the studio for few months. For me, Murray Perahia’s version will probably remain not only one of the best versions of the Goldberg ever recorded, but also one of Perahia’s best and a landmark piano recording. But some do manage to stand out from the crowd. Bach's Goldberg Variations, Part 1 (Variations 1-15) Consists of selections from Bach's Goldberg Variations BWV 988, performed on harpsichord, alternating with variations composed by John Lewis for harpsichord and piano, each based on the preceding original: Queens Pawn Opening Aria On Harpisichord Before moving to the “sleeper” recommendation, there cannot be an overview of the Goldberg Variations without an honorable mentioning of Alexandre Tharaud’s more recent survey, already gushed over earlier in this guide. There’s a certain heaviness in her playing, along with a didactic directness, making us aware of every interpretational decision and ornamentation (The last of which she was a true academic expert). Schiff’s way with Bach is not of sacred robustness; The virtuosity and dancing elements are thoroughly explored while preserving a true sense of the whole. It sometimes becomes available on YouTube, if you’re curious. The Goldberg Variations belong to Bach’s late period, in which the composer pushes the boundaries of musical themes in a play of variations, canons and fugues. I also decided to recommend a “Sleeper version” that may have missed the eye of the criticism or the public. Votez ci-dessous pour votre version préférée.Laissez un commentaire et tentez de gagner le disque France Musique de la semaine. As we’ve seen in the second part, which recommends the best recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the Harpsichord, in some variations Bach instructed the performer to use two manuals (i.e. It’s a shame it didn’t get the attention it deserved at the time of its release, a mistake this guide may be able to fix. Bach loved virtuosity, and the Goldberg Variations is full of moments that could fairly be described as “flashy” – dazzling scale passages, risky hand-crossings. The dances and canons and folk-songs of Bach’s Goldberg Variations mostly express a cheerful companionability. 4. The approach here is different, almost ideological in the consistency of rhythm from first note to the last. 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. András Schiff’s first recording of the piece for Decca (1983) still sounds unique; Schiff has his own sound and way of playing Bach (and other composers). J.S. Unfortunately, there is no single definitive version of the Goldberg Variations as played by Tureck, as each has its pros and cons. Like many great performances, it’s hard to explain how the artist actually achieves what he does, or hearing the piece played in any other way. 32 tracks (38:30). After transforming the music over the course of an hour, using different time signatures, textures, and harmonies, the beautiful first aria returns, with a completely different feel from the first hearing. Like her other second takes for the British label (Namely the Well-Tempered Klavier), there is a sense of freer movement and additional purpose to the performances. In 1802, Johann Nicolaus Forkel, who wrote the first biography of Bach, claimed the piece was named after a certain Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, a teenager attached to the Russian ambassador who took lessons from J.S. Guère envie de s’attarder en compagnie de ces Goldberg bien sérieuses. 227 "Jesu, meine Freude" de Bach, La Tétralogie de Richard Wagner (version concert) : Prologue "L'Or du Rhin", Les chants de révolte des mondine en Italie. There is too much octave doubling, registers changes and non-legato, Gould-like phrasing, though without the Canadian mastermind behind it. There is much more maturity in this version, without scarifying one bit of the spontaneity and true wonder and fascination of the piece. See below the previous parts (Part I, Part II). In some variations, you sometimes feel as if you are in the midst of a lullaby. The long journey with the variations (she observes all the repeats) is sustained with a wonderful singing tone and little, appropriate ornamentations. Jeremy Denk on the Goldberg Variations' sense of play {The Guardian} NPR. Compared to other versions, Tharaud is less inclined to walk the extra mile to emphasize some internal jokes and humor, and it’s indeed a very “serious” version. KenOC. The first real, full piano version of the Goldberg Variations was probably made by the great Chilean pianist, Claudio Arrau in 1942. 7. Et le son de ce piano, décidément, ne séduit guère. La référence moderne ? It may show us some musical intents from this well-respected pianist, but it’s hardly a full image of how Serkin might have performed the piece. His ornaments in repeats sound just right and never excessive, and he also enjoys Sony’s best engineering services. You may find that Dennerstein requires several listenings to fully appreciate the tiny intricacies of her sound-world.