Kieth Jarrett, this one of a kind improviser and one of the best piano vocalists around, performs the piece like a personal experiment in playing the harpsichord. Hantai revisited the Goldberg in a newer recording for the Mirare label (2003), where the extremely high level of execution remains, but I personally prefer the first, more spontaneously sounding first recording for the opus111 label. I just bought Andras Schiff's recording of the Goldberg Variations the other day and I'm delighted (Also recommended as the best piano recording by BBC Radio 3). His instrument of choice is thin-sounding and the acoustics is limiting. His tempo choosing seems odd at times, breaking the continuity of the cycle, and giving each variation its own pace and sound world. Read our Best Of guides for classical music. Worth considering as a second or third version. The increased maturity of his interpretation over the 1992 recording is apparent in the richer emotional palette, improvisatory presentation, and variety of tempos. This release was a great surprise and can be considered among the best of them. Goldberg Variations/Keith Jarrett: Jack Botelho wrote (February 15, 2004): I had the good fortune yesterday to acquire the 1989 ECM Records release of the Goldberg Variations played by Keith Jarrett, thanks to an enthusiastic reference to this recording elsewhere. Is it theoretically sound or just a part of a fissionable habit? BACH Goldberg Variations, BWV 988. This is Part 2 of our ‘Best Of‘ series about Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which will recommend the best few versions on the Harpsichord. In Glenn Gould. ), but when you finish listening you have a sense of an almost inevitability which does not exist in other versions. And indeed, Ralph Kirkpatrick and Gustav Leonhardt give a clean, “purer” versions, each in his own way. This is a partial list of commercial or professional recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations, organized chronologically. It covers classical music reviews, as well as in-depth guides and classical music news. Masaaki Suzuki starts off well with the aria, but then continues with a chain of a hectic performance of the first few variations. Classico Classcd 416 (1CD). I was less enthusiastic about Mahan Esfahani’s version for Deutsche Grammophon (2016), putting aside his “Back to basics” approach with the aria, a practice made famous by William Kempff. The same mix also exists in Ketil Haugsand’s recording, but in his case, the recording engineering did jolly well capturing the instrument. You can alphabetically sort each column by clicking on the small box at the top of that column (click again to sort reverse-alphabetically). It’s a performance that’s easy-going and fun, maybe with a touch of superficiality. Another name you might want to try is Angela Hewitt, seeing as she's so prominent in Bach performance, but I don't know anything about harpsichord interpretations. When Richard Egarr took over the Academy of Ancient Music from the late Christopher Hogwood, he provided with most (if not all) of the major Bach’s pieces for ensemble and chorus, including one of the best versions out there of the orchestral suites and the Brandenburg Concertos. At the … Bach’s Goldberg Variations (released 1956) enjoyed an unusual popular success.. Read More; use of quodlibet. Maggie Cole provides a very confident, rhythmically exciting version, and her phrasing of long and short musical sentences is expertly done indeed. Review: Bach – Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II (Excerpts) – Piotr Anderszewski, Review: Weinberg – Violin Concerto, Sonata for Two Violins – Gidon Kremer, Review: “Contralto” – Nathalie Stutzmann, Orfeo 55, Review: Haydn – Complete Symphonies, Vol. 15). Beatrice Rana's new recording of the Goldberg Variations is out now on Warner. Kirkpatrick also can’t seem to shake the “bombastic” sound of the double keyboard. This is a Goldberg Variations of lifetime experienced player, and can be treasured for a lifetime, if you let it. originally CBS Masterworks MK 37779, now Sony Classical 52619 DDD (his second and last studio recording of the Goldbergs). Nikolayeva's 4th recording. with Bob van Asperen, who gives a performance of a surviving copy of a Mietke Harpsichord, a builder Bach himself apparently ordered instruments from. This earlier recording won the Gramophone Award for that year and is still one of the best. BBC 6483445 (1CD). The recording is a little close and harsh, but like many good performances, you quickly forget about it and concentrate on this fine achievement. Things get more engaging (interesting?) The Classic Review was launched in 2018 for classical music lovers around the globe. The Classic Review was launched in 2018 for classical music lovers around the globe. One only has to listen to Hantai’s performance of the Aria to be drawn into Bach’s world. Nikolayeva's 5th recording. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means. And he also has the benefit of clear, easy on the ear recording on a wonderful instrument. ), Private Label - Produced by Erik Smith with fewer than 30 edits to the entire master, 2 CD DG (the seventh and last recording of the Goldbergs by this artist), Festeburgkirche, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Recorded in New York, Italy and Germany October 1999 - January 2000, ECM DDD (his second recording; made live in concert), Mirare MIR 9945 DDD (his second recording), Harmonia Mundi HMU 907425.26, with BWV 1087 DDD, Lontano (Warner Classics) 2568 69199-6 DDD, King International, Inc., Tokyo, Japan KKC 29 DDD; Schepkin's second recording of this work, Zeeuwse Concertzaal Middelburg, Netherlands, Auditorio del C.C.R. The main attraction of this performance is the instrument, which incorporates some interesting effects, such as a lute-like sound, available on some instruments in the Baroque era (Var. Re-released on Naïve, 2012, Manhattan BMG Classics 09026 68188 2 DDD (the third of his recordings of the work), Denon Records #78961 DDD (Lifschitz was 17 at time of recording. The best qualities of Gilbert’s account are its spirit and energy, and (even more pleasing in some ways) its fertile imagination. I feel that Richard Egarr plays as if a life experience is incorporated in his playing, without losing any of the freshness and wonderment from this major piece of art. Bluebell ABCD043 (1CD). live at Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa. Trever Pinnock was one of the 80’s boomers of period-inspired performances. Opus 111 OPS 30-84 DDD (the first of his two recordings), L'Eglise de Saint Hippolyte (Tarn), France, Astrée Auvidis E 8745 (her second recording of this work). Outright ambiguity exists in some of Bach’s best-known works. The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, is a musical composition for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations.First published in 1741, it is named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may also have been the first performer of the work. Get our periodic classical music newsletter with our recent reviews, news and beginners guides. 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. Much as in Glenn Gould's LP recording … For his troubles, Bach was said to have been paid a goblet full of gold Louis d’or. Nikolayeva's 1st recording. Get periodic updates about new classical music albums reviews, news and guides.We respect your privacy. I researched quite extensively online to find my preferred recording of the Goldberg Variations on the piano (I wanted more dynamics than a harpsichord gives), listening to preview clips not only on Amazon but on certain other sites that have preview clips for various … - Goldberg Variations_Kemal Cem Yilmaz", Toccata and Fugue in D minor ("Dorian"), BWV 538, Fantasia and Fugue in G minor ("Great"), BWV 542, Prelude and Fugue in E minor ("Wedge"), BWV 548, Eight Short Preludes and Fugues, BWV 553–560, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564, Prelude (Toccata) and Fugue in E major, BWV 566, Fantasia ("Pièce d'Orgue") in G major, BWV 572, Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582, Canonic Variations on "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her", BWV 769, Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother, Concerto transcriptions, BWV 592–596 and 972–987, List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, List of fugal works by Johann Sebastian Bach, List of concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Goldberg_Variations_discography&oldid=997383862, Discographies of compositions by J. S. Bach, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, stereo Vanguard (the first of three recordings by this artist), HMV / Capitol, 2 CD Philips "Great pianists of the century", RCA (the first of 3 recordings by this artist), Philips 456 994-2 "Great pianists of the century", East-West, ISI Productions, Atlantic New Age Bach: The Goldberg Variations ADD, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi GD77149 ADD (his third and last recording). As is true of most of Bach’s works, everybody wants a chance to play it, no matter what instrument it was originally intended for. Mr. Shemer's performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations is of the highest caliber, and it is a landmark recording of this ever great masterpiece. Every musical idea is explored to the full, not to mention egarr’s way with the instrument and the state-of-the-art recording quality. Later on, there were more specialists from the “authentic movement” such as Ralph Kirkpatrick and Gustav Leonhardt who recorded the piece on a more “suitable” instruments, but that came some 20 years after the pioneering Landowska first recording. Ton Koopman’s manic trills and appoggiaturas distract more than have an added value, and his choices of repeats (or lack of) are questionable. Eglise Notre-Dame des Neiges, Alpe d'Huez, Live recording, Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London. I haven’t encountered this recording before and It was a pleasant surprise. : The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 / Giovanni Mazzocchin, Piano", "audite! Melodiya C10-13091 (2LP), Relief CR861006 (1CD), Victor VICC40126/7 (2CD). Luckily for Bach, and also for Goldberg, the new composition helped to ensure that Kaiserling was out for the count. The instrument, made by Bruce Kennedy in 1985 after a copy of an older Harpsichord from the beginning of the 18th century, is recorded just right, naturally caught in wonderful acoustic. Another great organist who took on the harpsichord was Helmut Walcha, and the results are very similar, for better and for worse. Glenn Gould recording Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations in 1955. I certainly didn’t find it a “benchmark recording” as Gramophone Magazine did a few years ago, when publishing a comparison piece on the Goldberg, but again, this is another enjoyable version. For this reason, when the two keyboards are used for doubling, they sound stressed and tense, contrary to what her interpretation tries to convey. Nikolayeva's 3rd recording. His ornaments on repeats add additional interest and bring out hidden voices not heard in other versions. I think that Anthony Newman recorded the Goldbergs either 3 or 4 times - 2 or 3 on harpsichord and the one on piano. Each and every variation is thought out through and through but executed without ever sounding mechanical of planned. A master is at work. Nikolayeva's 2nd recording. All of that can be said of his Goldberg Variations release as well; Why should one or the other variations be played so fast? The first harpsichordist who emphasized the playfulness of the variations was Igor Kipnis, whose performance (1976) is still a joy to listen to. Canone alla Sexta", Bruno Degazio, Sheridan College, Music Performances, "OnClassical: Classical music | Bach, J.S. It makes this release very enjoyable to listen to along an opened score perhaps, rather than sit down and enjoy it to the fullest as a passive listener. These three versions blend the best of what the Goldberg Variations can offer on the Harpsichord, and are a good gate for listeners to enter and continue exploring old and new versions, some mentioned above. I am very excited to hav e been invited by Convivium records to make a new recording of J.S. Don's Conclusions: The new Hantaï release of the Goldberg Variations is among the best harpsichord versions on the market. Bach’s most significant variation sets for harpsichord in this, the second release in the Retrospect series. This is a partial list of commercial or professional recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach's … al tempo di Giga", "Variatio 18 a 1 Clav. Lang Lang, a certified classical music "superstar" much loved by audiences for his performances of the romantic repertoire and detested by the cognoscenti and critics for being overly dramatic and self-indulgent, waited until age 38 to release a fully realized recording of Bach's mathematically certified "Goldberg Variations"—a piece definitely at odds with his romantic "sweet … Listen to our recommended recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, performed by Lang Lang, on Apple Music and Spotify and scroll down to explore our masterpiece guide to the monumental work. The Goldberg Variations is a work that that continues to fascinate and astound performers and listeners alike. Egarr provides an assured performance, full of beauty and wisdom from start to finish. Things can be too interesting, though. Much of this material by Bruno Degazio is in the public domain. If those many recordings weren’t enough for you, new ones by a young generation of harpsichordists keep coming our way. Take for example the two variations 20-21; How little Egarr seems to be doing, but how he manages to separate the mood and weight of the two. His performance certainly has a Good temperament, but is also a bit dull in ornamentation and phrasing, and the dry instrument and acoustics don’t help make this a memorable recording. 9, “L’Addio” – Antonini, Editor’s Choice: The Best New Classical Music Albums, February 2021, Bach Goldberg Variations – The Best Recordings – Part I, Bach – Goldberg Variations – The Best Recordings – Part 3 – Piano Versions, Gramophone Magazine Announces Award Winners, Review: Bach – “Soli Deo Gloria” – Cantatas 21,76 – Collegium Vocale Gent, Ricercar Consort, Pierlot, Review: Trio Zeliha plays Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Arensky, Review: Behzod Abduraimov Plays Debussy, Chopin Mussorgsky, Review: Charles Ives – Complete Symphonies – LAPO, Dudamel, Review: “labyrinth” – David Greilsammer, Piano, Review: Hammerschmidt – “Ach Jesus Stirbt” – Vox Luminis, Meunier, Read of the latest news in classical music, Looking for the best version of a classical music piece? “It’s plucked, so along with the lute and the guitar, it is a … Learn about this topic in these articles: recording by Gould. Bach’s Goldberg Variations have long been regarded as “a musical Everest”. Like his much-praised momentous Cantatas cycle, his playing is immaculate, well planned to the last note and ornament, but lacks a sense of wonderment and spontaneity. In 1955, at age 22, Canadian pianist Glenn Gould signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and recorded the Goldberg Variations. One is also acutely aware of the usage of the two keyboards, either simultaneously or separately. Bach Goldberg Variations – The Best Recordings – Part I Part 2 – The Harpsichord Landowska was recorded on a beast of an instrument by Playel, built for her to have a mechanics of a harpsichord but the size and force to carry the sound in larger halls. Hyperion Records CDA66589. Ignacio Prego is a Spanish harpsichordist, and his version of the Goldbergs on the “Glossa” label is a joy from start to finish. I was just about to close the book on my recommendations for the best Goldberg Variations recordings when I came across the “sleeper” version I mentioned in part 1 – A version that if not completely ignored, had certainly not have its time in the sun to make an impression, with no big label or performer name supporting it. An interesting and much enjoyable version, nonetheless. Then came Pierre Hantai, with a fresh, charming, emotionally charged and technically superb recording (1993). His left hand tends to sound too dominant, so when the common practice of advancing the bass is executed, it also gets tiring after few bars. The Goldberg Variations has been admired by pianists and harpsichordists throughout history and has been recorded by artists including Glenn … In quodlibet. From the two, I prefer Leonhardt, who sounds to my ears more concerned to be in-tuned with the emotional aspects of the Goldbergs than with wanting to “get it just right”, as Kirkpatrick sometimes is. I decided to transcribe Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations — for harp. The added pieces in this 2 CD album is a nice bonus as well. Perhaps the most historically important recording of the Goldberg Variations was made in Paris in November 1933 by the great Wanda Landowska - on the harpsichord, of course. 14 Canons on the Ground from the Goldberg Variations, BWV 1087 • Richard Egarr (hpd) • HARMONIA MUNDI 907425/26 (2 CDs: 99:16) Bach’s Aria with 30 Variations for Two Manuals, fondly known as the Goldberg Variations, has enjoyed many distinguished recordings on harpsichord, going back to Wanda Landowska’s 1933 pioneering effort recorded Read … The next and final part, to be published in the next few weeks, will offer another 3 recommended recordings on the piano.Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know when the third and final part is published. There is less obsession with being “authentic”, and it’s clear (at least to my ears) that a new generation of artists who feel at home and at ease with the Harpsichord emerges – This is despite the fact that many of those artists were taught by some veteran experts in the field, some of which are mentioned as performers earlier. It covers new album reviews by knowledgeable and independent writers, as well as in-depth guides and news. Where Kipnis falls flat is with his vision of the greater whole of the piece, maybe having been occupied so much with the intricacies of each variation. Bach: The Goldberg Variations is the 1955 debut album of Canadian classical pianist Glenn Gould. The release turned what had previously been considered a lengthy piece for harpsichord, of … Listen to it on your streaming service if you can. Bach's wonderful Goldberg Variations.. Recording this Mount Everest of the harpsichord repertoire has been a personal ambition of mine for many years and this project is … Read the first part about the Goldberg Variations and the way this comparison was planned here: Landowska was recorded on a beast of an instrument by Playel, built for her to have a mechanics of a harpsichord but the size and force to carry the sound in larger halls. Leonhardt recorded the Goldberg Variations a few times, but his first recording (1953) is to me the best, while his later attempts lost some of the freshness of the first version. Another strong Goldberg version on the Harpsichord belongs to Celine Frisch (Alpha), who’s solid, temperamental and fast performance is very easy to enjoy. His ornaments can be a bit too much at times, but they sure keep you on the edge of your sit, wondering what he is going to do when the repeat comes around. When the ornaments do come, they sound over-thought and awkward. But there are some lovely moments, such as the flowing tempo and style in variation No.25, which she herself named “The black pearl”. Take var. two keyboards) of the instrument, and on others the performer can double the notes by activating this mechanism on a suitable instrument, playing on one keyboard but operating both keyboards on the same time. These recordings are interesting more as a history lesson, and tend to sound out of place in what we came to learn later from many other performances from the 20th and 21st centuries – Landowska doubles the base, do some additions to repeats and sometimes sounds just plain bombastic. He is perhaps to our day what Hantai was for the 1990’s listeners. What I didn’t particularly like are some of her detached phrasings, and there are some noticeable edits between the variations, not to mention a recording that can be hard on the ear. I hope to post a few notes later about it. As a result, a slew of new recordings on the harpsichord came along, with big names attached to them. As I mentioned, he takes his time compared to other versions (Or maybe they are the ones who rush? There are endless beauty, depth, skill and many small surprises in his repeats – Try the first variation as a whole for example and see if you can resist listening to some more. An interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), the work launched Gould's career as a renowned international pianist, and became one of the most well-known piano recordings. Any survey of the Goldbergs has to include Wanda Landowska's original 1933 account — the first full recording of the Goldberg Variations. His other Bach recordings exemplify much more persuasive attempts. 9 as an example. Another impressive version was standing in the shadow of the Hantai achievement; Blandine Verlet gives a freer, more flowing version, although some listeners might be put off by her little instances of rubato and tempo fluctuation. 19 ), or a much thinner sound (Var. This is the end of part 2 of the “best of” series about Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Pierre Hantaï’s first take on the Goldbergs stays as exciting and moving as it was when it came out, and should be listened to by any Bach or the Goldberg Variations enthusiast. Overall, I’ve found his version efficiently played, but a dryly recorded and with some odd tempo and phrasing choices. The first Landowska recording is available from Warner classics (Now an owner of the old HMV/EMI catalogs), and she re-recorded the piece again for RCA in 1945. Matthew Halls’ debut solo recording presents J.S. Andreas Staier, a big name and a huge talent in reviving performances on original instruments, has everything going for it in his version for Harmonia Mundi, but lacks some emotional intensity and playfulness. With his 1955 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, the young pianist made a compelling case for a work that, at the time, was considered an obscure keyboard composition by … His playing is rigid, stiff, and if you plan on hearing some out of the ordinary ornamentations, improvising-style, you are in for a disappointment. I own several different recorded versions, Gould, Schiff, Dinnerstein, Perahia, Ishizaka, and several more. "Goldberg Variations by Christiane Jaccottet at jsbach.org", "Variatio 7. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav. He also constantly emphasizes the bar lines, which cuts off the singing line of some of the variations. Be that as it may, his playing of the piece is flowing, decorated in good taste and never tries being too showy, while keeping a constant interest and energy. She is, however, let down by a recording which is too close, with what sounds like an artificially added bass to the recording balance. Kenneth Gilbert’s 1986 Harmonia Mundi recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations (using a Hubert Bédard harpsichord) continues to retain its place in the catalog, and now at mid-price makes an excellent bargain. And for the “Sleeper” version, Ignacio Prego is a version bursting with talent that is hard to resist, even for veterans of Goldberg listeners such as this writer. From the rushed, hectic performances of the 1980’s and 1990’s, we arrived at a more “sane”, even “humane” Bach, where the musical ideas can be communicate clearly and naturally. It needs some getting used to, but after a few listenings, Egarr’s approach just makes sense. There is a lot of poetry and interest in this release, along with some oddities such as the way-too-fast tempo of the Aria and some of the variations (The “black pearl” variation, for instance, sounds almost comically rushed). My favorite at the moment is Ragna Schirmer’s. To sum up this long (but satisfying) comparison on the Harpsichord and choosing my top 3 best recordings of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the Harpsichord, I arrive at three lasting versions. Getting into the 1990’s, things seem to settle a bit. Nonetheless, a very strong version. Mr. Shemer's deep, thoughtful and moving interpretation of this immensely demanding piece brings out its richness, monumental scope of diversity and spirituality. It would perhaps be exaggerated to say that I experienced an illumination, but it is to Matthias Kramer’s harpsichord, which can be heard in this recording as well, that I owe a new perspective on, and understanding of, the cycle, as well as a chance to revise my ways of thinking of and interpreting the Goldberg Variations. The same “dryness” of sound and interpretation can be said for Keneth Gilbert’s recording, which besides wise tempo choices has little to inspire. Fray Luis De Leon, Guadarrama (Madrid), arranged for string trio by Yuval Gotlibovich, Endler Hall, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, arrangement for two pianos by Rheinberger/Reger, The Chapel of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Unfortunately, Kipnis Wonderfull recording can currently be heard in streaming only, as the physical disc is no longer manufacture. When asked what a harp is capable of bringing to the Goldberg Variations that a harpsichord or piano cannot, Ramsay said that the harp is the best “in-between instrument” of the two. Billed as the premier audiophile recording of the Variations, recorded with handmade microphones and independent circuitry for simultaneous digital and analog recordings. All rights reserved. Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, transcribed by Benedetto Montebello for 2 guitars, modified by the performers, Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln, Germany, Église de Notre-Dame de l'Assomption, Basse-Bodeux, Christuskirche, Firlstraße, Berlin-Oberschöneweide, Aix en Provence - conservatoire Darius Milhaud, Dalton Center Recital Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, Warner Classics - Parlophone 0190295880187, Re-composition for choir & baroque ensemble by Gustavo Trujillo, This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 06:49. Without recording date - To be inserted in the list, Pi-hsien's recording was released as one of many performances falsely attributed to, These recordings are in the public domain, and are available via the article about the. Goldberg Variations, Ragna Schirmer A Bach work I’m definitely obsessed with is the Goldberg Variations. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for harpsichord (published 1741). When we arrive at the 1980’s, we find the emergence of the so-called “Authentic movement”, along with the emergence of the digital recording and CDs as the new technology. Carl Richter, another great Bach prophet of the 50’s, sounds more like an organist playing the harpsichord (which he was), and his recording is for dedicated fans only of this mighty Bach figure. Compared to other versions sounding mechanical of planned the 80 ’ s performance! In-Depth guides and news to include Wanda Landowska 's original 1933 account — the first few Variations part... 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