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The Music Room => Great Recordings and Reviews => Topic started by: Mystery on December 03, 2007, 11:56:08 AM

Title: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mystery on December 03, 2007, 11:56:08 AM
Hello all,

Which is your favourite Goldberg variation and why? Would you listen to this work in its entirety as a work or rather leave it as background, falling asleep music, as was originally intended? Do you view this as 'Good Bach'? Is it typical? Just interested in all general reactions really...!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mark on December 03, 2007, 12:02:50 PM
Don has more than 100 versions. He'll be along shortly, I'm sure. ;D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mystery on December 03, 2007, 12:06:45 PM
WHAT?  :o
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mark on December 03, 2007, 12:07:30 PM
WHAT?  :o

I kid you not. Don loves Bach. The Goldberg Variations especially. 0:)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: orbital on December 03, 2007, 12:11:17 PM
Hello all,

Which is your favourite Goldberg variation and why?

You mean favorite recordings, or within the work itself? If the latter, I don't think it makes much sense to listen to seperate variations, but I'm rather fond of the slow variation near the end (no25, 26  ::)  ???)

I guess it is considered to be one of BAch's crowning achivements. But I find the work a bit too pedantic, and generally do not have the patience to listen to t from start to finish.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 03, 2007, 12:23:16 PM
And Don never sleeps to the Goldbergs  $:)

You misspeak a bit. This is not 'music intended to induce sleep';  this is music to listen to if you find that you cannot sleep.  There is a difference  8)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Norbeone on December 03, 2007, 12:37:47 PM
Hello all,

Which is your favourite Goldberg variation and why? Would you listen to this work in its entirety as a work or rather leave it as background, falling asleep music, as was originally intended? Do you view this as 'Good Bach'? Is it typical? Just interested in all general reactions really...!

I don't have a favourite variation, i'm afraid (or not afraid?). I usually listen to it in its entirety or at least in fairly large sections because it is much more satisfying this way.

Is it good Bach? It is utterly mesmerizing Bach, and one of my all time favourites, especially Gould's '81 recording, which further neccesitates a complete listening because of his treatment of the work as a whole.

I could go on for ages about the work, but I won't..... ;)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mystery on December 03, 2007, 12:42:17 PM
I did mean favourite variation (to play as well as listen?). I tend to like the canons, but maybe I just like that style of composition in general. However, favourite recordings would also be interesting and appreciated :-)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 12:42:49 PM
Hello all,

Which is your favourite Goldberg variation and why? Would you listen to this work in its entirety as a work or rather leave it as background, falling asleep music, as was originally intended? Do you view this as 'Good Bach'? Is it typical? Just interested in all general reactions really...!

I've responded so many times to the first question above that I'll leave it be for now.  I always listen to the entire work with 100% concentration; it's much too good to hear as background music.  Besides, it was only intended as "falling asleep music" for a particular insomniac, and it's quite possible that the music's purpose was to entertain the insomniac.  Of course, it's now the 21st century, and intentions back in the 18th century are not very relevant in present time.  Also, these variations veer so far from the original theme/aria that I can't imagine anyone getting much insight from the music without concentrated listening.

"Good Bach"?  About the best of Bach along with many other Bach works such as the WTC, Liepzig Chorales, Cello Suites, Mass in B minor, St. Matthew Passion, etc.  Really, the list of superlative Bach pieces is very, very, long.

I find the Goldbergs highly typical of Bach: wonderful melodies, expert construction and wide-ranging emotional content from the underbelly of the human condition to the highest levels of spirituality.

Now I return to the matter of excellent recordings.  As has been noted, I have over 100 versions and the list keeps growing.  I either greatly admire or love each of them.  However, most folks just want a few (at most) recordings.  Here's my top picks:

Glenn Gould(piano):  Sony "55", Sony "59" and Sony "81".  If forced to choose, I'd take the Sony "81".  Gould's greatness in this work comes from his ability to elevate the significance of lower voices without depreciating the soprano voice.

Rosalyn Tureck (piano):  She has two or three versions on VAI Audio and one on the Philips Great Pianists of the Century series.  Although each is a winner, my preference is for her most recent account on DG.  What makes Tureck a fantastic Bach pianist is her diving into the architecture of each piece while also fully conveying emotional content.

Andras Schiff (piano):  His ECM version is about the most positive and exuberant one I know - very uplifting.  Avoid the Decca/Penguin release; this one is his earliest effort and not very rewarding.

Tatiana Nikolayeva (piano): Her Classico version; it's prime quality is "insistent".  Forget her Hyperion effort that is rather choppy.  I'm currently getting into her version on BBC Legends, but not enjoying it as much as the Classico.

Simone Dinnerstein (piano):  The most interesting I've heard over the past few years: trance-like interpretations mixed with a virtuosity second to none.  You never know what she'll do next.

Fingers are getting tired so I'll just list the harpsichord versions I favor:

Gilbert/Harmonia Mundi
Hantai/Naive (optimistic) and Mirare (searching)
Leonhardt/various versions, each captivating.
Frisch/Alpha Productions
Vartolo/Tactus
Dantone/Decca
Rousset/Decca
Ross/Virgin Veritas
Richter/Teldec
Verlet/Astree

If super-budget is your thing:

James Friskin (piano) on Vanguard.  Skip the Jando on Naxos.


Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 12:50:05 PM
I did mean favourite variation (to play as well as listen?).

Sorry, I had no idea that you were talking about particular variations of the work.  Personally, I find the aria and each of the variations top-rate Bach; that's why I collect so many versions.  Also, which variation I prefer at any point in time is dictated by the performance I'm listening to.  As an example, there's one variation that Schiff does in his earlier Decca version (can't remember the one) that I consider the best of any on record.  That's why I keep this relatively lesser recording.

Anyways, here's a number: Variation 30 - it's majesty and joyous nature has no peers.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 01:09:48 PM
Mystery:

What's your preference concerning observing repeats in the Goldbergs.  All of them? None? Some? Only first section repeats?  Only second section repeats?

Also, how do you like performers to vary the repeats?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: jochanaan on December 03, 2007, 01:37:50 PM
Fingers are getting tired so I'll just list the harpsichord versions I favor:

Gilbert/Harmonia Mundi
Hantai/Naive (optimistic) and Mirare (searching)
Leonhardt/various versions, each captivating.
Frisch/Alpha Productions
Vartolo/Tactus
Dantone/Decca
Rousset/Decca
Ross/Virgin Veritas
Richter/Teldec
Verlet/Astree
What about the classic Wanda Landowska recording, originally on RCA?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 03, 2007, 01:38:01 PM
Glenn Gould(piano):  Sony "55", Sony "59" and Sony "81".  If forced to choose, I'd take the Sony "81".  

Now there is also Sony "06". I borrowed this "re-performance" and it is mind-blowing! I am going to buy it myself.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mark on December 03, 2007, 01:45:27 PM
Skip the Jando on Naxos.

Couldn't agree more. It's truly awful.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Norbeone on December 03, 2007, 01:53:03 PM
Mystery:

What's your preference concerning observing repeats in the Goldbergs.  All of them? None? Some? Only first section repeats?  Only second section repeats?

Also, how do you like performers to vary the repeats?

I'll answer this, if I may.

I generally like Gould's approach in his '81 - his repeating of most of the first sections. The fact that he never repeats the second doesn't bother me.

If the performer chooses to repeat a section, I see no good reason that they should not do something different, though most do, thankfully.

I generally love Gould's way of choosing to highlight a different voice in the repeat, and his occassional ornaments are delightful bonuses. Though, his repeat of the first section of variation 10, the fughetta, doesn't do much different, which is one of the VERY few faults I can think of.

The way he detatches the left hand notes (and some of the upper matieral) in the first slow movement (I forget which one) is quite beautiful.

All in all, Gould's '81 recording of the Golberg's in in my top.....1 CDs. Close to absolute perfection, and one of the few performances that comes close to the quality of the work itself, if I dare say so.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mark on December 03, 2007, 01:57:32 PM
All in all, Gould's '81 recording of the Golberg's in in my top.....1 CDs. Close to absolute perfection, and one of the few performances that comes close to the quality of the work itself, if I dare say so.

 :)

Damn you and your advocacy of this recording. Now I'm gonna have to play it. >:( ;D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Lethevich on December 03, 2007, 02:22:07 PM
Can anyone recommend two recordings - one using a (relatively) high amount of repeats, and the other using a low amount? I am not familiar enough with the piece to be aware of any real differences.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Drasko on December 03, 2007, 02:25:17 PM
Any opinions on differences between Scott Ross (Erato) & Scott Ross (EMI/Virgin).

I'm thinking getting one of them, but which?

thanks
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 02:45:09 PM
What about the classic Wanda Landowska recording, originally on RCA?

I've never been particularly fond of that one, although I do realize that it is considered a classic.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 02:51:25 PM
Now there is also Sony "06". I borrowed this "re-performance" and it is mind-blowing! I am going to buy it myself.

Yes, Sony "06" as long as folks know that's it's simply the Gould "55" all gussied up to not sound like an historical recording.  Personally, I think it's only part Gould.  Let's face it - this tinkering around with the sound takes some of the fizz out of the performance.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 02:54:14 PM
Can anyone recommend two recordings - one using a (relatively) high amount of repeats, and the other using a low amount? I am not familiar enough with the piece to be aware of any real differences.

High amount - Tureck.

Low amount - Leonhardt.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 02:56:26 PM
Any opinions on differences between Scott Ross (Erato) & Scott Ross (EMI/Virgin).

I'm thinking getting one of them, but which?

thanks

Sorry, but I never heard the Erato version.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Lethevich on December 03, 2007, 03:03:56 PM
High amount - Tureck.

Low amount - Leonhardt.

Thank you :) Only one to buy - I have and enjoy the Leonhardt on Vanguard.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on December 03, 2007, 03:11:53 PM
Thank you :) Only one to buy - I have and enjoy the Leonhardt on Vanguard.

 ;D

Yes, the Leonhardt Vanguard Historic recording is superb.  The State of Wonder set by Gould is a fine one to have, I prefer his 1981 version with the repeats over the '55.  The set also includes a 1 hour + conversation which is essential if you are getting to know the works.  I am not a total GG supporter but there's no complaints in his Goldberg's or Bach in general IMO.

Haven't heard the 1959 version or seen it available over here (not looked too hard to find it) but in general surfing I haven't come across it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Drasko on December 03, 2007, 03:15:40 PM

Haven't heard the 1959 version or seen it available over here (not looked too hard to find it) but in general surfing I haven't come across it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glenn-Gould-Jan-Pieterszoon-Sweelinck/dp/B000025DK4 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glenn-Gould-Jan-Pieterszoon-Sweelinck/dp/B000025DK4)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 03:17:43 PM
;D

Yes, the Leonhardt Vanguard Historic recording is superb.  The State of Wonder set by Gould is a fine one to have, I prefer his 1981 version with the repeats over the '55.  The set also includes a 1 hour + conversation which is essential if you are getting to know the works.  I am not a total GG supporter but there's no complaints in his Goldberg's or Bach in general IMO.

Haven't heard the 1959 version or seen it available over here (not looked too hard to find it) but in general surfing I haven't come across it.

You're in England, right?  Well, Amazon UK has it readily available.

Sorry, I didn't notice the Drasko link.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on December 03, 2007, 03:18:23 PM
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glenn-Gould-Jan-Pieterszoon-Sweelinck/dp/B000025DK4 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Glenn-Gould-Jan-Pieterszoon-Sweelinck/dp/B000025DK4)

Thanks for this, First time I have seen this cd available  :D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mark on December 03, 2007, 03:21:03 PM
Haven't heard the 1959 version or seen it available over here (not looked too hard to find it) but in general surfing I haven't come across it.

I got this (albeit in a different issue to the one Drasko has linked to) for about £1.20.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: AnthonyAthletic on December 03, 2007, 03:22:09 PM
You're in England, right?  Well, Amazon UK has it readily available.

Got it, thanks to Drasko's link.  Caiman USA (who have always delivered) are about to do so again  ;)

Now we need to dig out the WTC topic, sadly I didn't take to the GG recording of these masterpieces but am quite content with Tureck (mono) DG & Richter's RCA set, which does sound distant and slightly muffled in the recording.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 03:59:50 PM
Got it, thanks to Drasko's link.  Caiman USA (who have always delivered) are about to do so again  ;)

Now we need to dig out the WTC topic, sadly I didn't take to the GG recording of these masterpieces but am quite content with Tureck (mono) DG & Richter's RCA set, which does sound distant and slightly muffled in the recording.

Yes, that Tureck/DG mono set is totally compelling and my favorite complete WTC on piano.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Lady Chatterley on December 03, 2007, 04:46:31 PM
I kid you not. Don loves Bach. The Goldberg Variations especially. 0:)

 Hey Mark,do you think Don might enjoy Handel's Chaconne in G Major HWV 435?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mark on December 03, 2007, 04:49:26 PM
Hey Mark,do you think Don might enjoy Handel's Chaconne in G Major HWV 435?

Lord alone knows, Muriel. Don't think I've heard that. :-\
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Lady Chatterley on December 03, 2007, 04:51:24 PM
They are a splendid set of variations,you can find it played by Murray Perahia.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 05:17:51 PM
Hey Mark,do you think Don might enjoy Handel's Chaconne in G Major HWV 435?

Don does enjoy the Chaconne but not as much as the Goldbergs. :D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 12tone. on December 03, 2007, 05:54:53 PM
And Don never sleeps to the Goldbergs  $:)

You misspeak a bit. This is not 'music intended to induce sleep';  this is music to listen to if you find that you cannot sleep.  There is a difference  8)

Except that when one listens to a piece, whilst being 'not able to sleep', to actually get to sleep!

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on December 03, 2007, 06:54:48 PM
Sorry, but I never heard the Erato version.

So, I have a Goldbergs recording you don't have.... :o

Amazing! :)

Q


P.S. Sorry Drasko, don't know the Scott Ross on EMI/Virgin.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 03, 2007, 09:34:35 PM
So, I have a Goldbergs recording you don't have.... :o

Amazing! :)

Q


It's very easy to accumulate dozens of Goldbergs without making any attempt to collect them all.  There is one brand new recording I definitely will get - Burkard Schliessmann on Bayer.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2007, 05:13:17 AM
Except that when one listens to a piece, whilst being 'not able to sleep', to actually get to sleep!

Well, in my experience, it doesn't work;  there is either relaxing into sleep, or there is engaged listening.  So perhaps there is some better way to put it than "listening to a piece in order to fall asleep" . . . ?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 06:38:07 AM
Yes, Sony "06" as long as folks know that's it's simply the Gould "55" all gussied up to not sound like an historical recording.  Personally, I think it's only part Gould.  Let's face it - this tinkering around with the sound takes some of the fizz out of the performance.

Yes, it's Gould "55" but with sound quality of today. It's as if Gould was born 50 years later and recorded the work last year. All recordings are tinkering, this is just high-tech tinkering. Nothing relavant is taken away, only irrelevant noise.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 06:50:58 AM
Yes, it's Gould "55" but with sound quality of today. It's as if Gould was born 50 years later and recorded the work last year. All recordings are tinkering, this is just high-tech tinkering. Nothing relavant is taken away, only irrelevant noise.

Since the "intervention" results in more rounded and rich phrasing, I definitely prefer the original mono version.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 07:03:48 AM
Since the "intervention" results in more rounded and rich phrasing, I definitely prefer the original mono version.

Prefer whatever you want. The world is full of people like you stuck in history and unable to see forward into the future. Gould laughs at you in his grave. ;D

I definitely prefer the 5.0 SACD track.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: marvinbrown on December 04, 2007, 07:14:01 AM
I've responded so many times to the first question above that I'll leave it be for now.  I always listen to the entire work with 100% concentration; it's much too good to hear as background music.  Besides, it was only intended as "falling asleep music" for a particular insomniac, and it's quite possible that the music's purpose was to entertain the insomniac.  Of course, it's now the 21st century, and intentions back in the 18th century are not very relevant in present time.  Also, these variations veer so far from the original theme/aria that I can't imagine anyone getting much insight from the music without concentrated listening.

"Good Bach"?  About the best of Bach along with many other Bach works such as the WTC, Liepzig Chorales, Cello Suites, Mass in B minor, St. Matthew Passion, etc.  Really, the list of superlative Bach pieces is very, very, long.

I find the Goldbergs highly typical of Bach: wonderful melodies, expert construction and wide-ranging emotional content from the underbelly of the human condition to the highest levels of spirituality.

Now I return to the matter of excellent recordings.  As has been noted, I have over 100 versions and the list keeps growing.  I either greatly admire or love each of them.  However, most folks just want a few (at most) recordings.  Here's my top picks:

Glenn Gould(piano):  Sony "55", Sony "59" and Sony "81".  If forced to choose, I'd take the Sony "81".  Gould's greatness in this work comes from his ability to elevate the significance of lower voices without depreciating the soprano voice.

Rosalyn Tureck (piano):  She has two or three versions on VAI Audio and one on the Philips Great Pianists of the Century series.  Although each is a winner, my preference is for her most recent account on DG.  What makes Tureck a fantastic Bach pianist is her diving into the architecture of each piece while also fully conveying emotional content.

Andras Schiff (piano):  His ECM version is about the most positive and exuberant one I know - very uplifting.  Avoid the Decca/Penguin release; this one is his earliest effort and not very rewarding.

Tatiana Nikolayeva (piano): Her Classico version; it's prime quality is "insistent".  Forget her Hyperion effort that is rather choppy.  I'm currently getting into her version on BBC Legends, but not enjoying it as much as the Classico.

Simone Dinnerstein (piano):  The most interesting I've heard over the past few years: trance-like interpretations mixed with a virtuosity second to none.  You never know what she'll do next.

Fingers are getting tired so I'll just list the harpsichord versions I favor:

Gilbert/Harmonia Mundi
Hantai/Naive (optimistic) and Mirare (searching)
Leonhardt/various versions, each captivating.
Frisch/Alpha Productions
Vartolo/Tactus
Dantone/Decca
Rousset/Decca
Ross/Virgin Veritas
Richter/Teldec
Verlet/Astree

If super-budget is your thing:

James Friskin (piano) on Vanguard.  Skip the Jando on Naxos.




  Don I was wondering what you thought of the Trevor Pinnock Goldberg Variations set on harpsichord? Are you familiar with that set?  I remember reading on previous threads that Larry Rinkel had issues with Pinnock's take on Bach's Goldbergs (something along the lines of them sounding like a sewing machine) if memory serves me correctly.

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 07:44:05 AM
Prefer whatever you want. The world is full of people like you stuck in history and unable to see forward into the future.

This is what I would expect from you - ridiculous insults instead of musical insight.  Take a deep breath and try to come back later with something to say of significance.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: orbital on December 04, 2007, 07:53:58 AM

I definitely prefer the 5.0 SACD track.
I almost got that one. Meaning, I ordered it, but never got it, and cancelled the order. From what I heard from the website samples, I think it is a commandable effort.
However, Gould 55 is not too bad anyway. When and if they go ahead with older recordings (de Pachmann, Cortot, Friedman...) I will definitely give them a try. The process does make a lot of sense. I don't really care about who (or what) is beyond the piano as long as it can reproduce the same exact playing. To think otherwise would be to put too much importance on who is playing and not enough on what is being played.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 08:05:14 AM
 Don I was wondering what you thought of the Trevor Pinnock Goldberg Variations set on harpsichord? Are you familiar with that set?  I remember reading on previous threads that Larry Rinkel had issues with Pinnock's take on Bach's Goldbergs (something along the lines of them sounding like a sewing machine) if memory serves me correctly.

  marvin

Larry Rinkel?  Isn't he the guy who berates Harry about his conspicuous consumption patterns?

Seriously, I don't agree with Larry on this one.  If Pinnock's version sounds like a sewing machine, it's a top-of-the-line model.  I find Pinnock among the better harpsichord versions.  However, those who insist on their Bach with highly flexible phrasing would not care for it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 08:07:03 AM
I almost got that one. Meaning, I ordered it, but never got it, and cancelled the order. From what I heard from the website samples, I think it is a commandable effort.
However, Gould 55 is not too bad anyway. When and if they go ahead with older recordings (de Pachmann, Cortot, Friedman...) I will definitely give them a try. The process does make a lot of sense. I don't really care about who (or what) is beyond the piano as long as it can reproduce the same exact playing.

But it can't.  Every single "piano-roll" recording I've heard takes the edge out the performance with rounded contours and softer attacks.  When the original recording is in wretched sound, the "rolls" can be an advantage.  However, Gould "55" does not have wretched sound.  This latest reproduction doesn't even retain Gould's humming ways.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2007, 08:18:25 AM
The world is full of people like you stuck in history and unable to see forward into the future.

You were told to stop drinking out of the toilet, Poju.  But it seems your head is stuck there in the cold porcelain.

Oh, and "Gould laughs at you in his grave" is your idea of "seeing forward into the future"? You're a funny one.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2007, 08:20:42 AM
Every single "piano-roll" recording I've heard takes the edge out the performance with rounded contours and softer attacks.

Not sure if the scare-quotes may render this remark of mine widely off-course . . . but one error is in thinking of a piano-roll as somehow 'documenting a performance'.  A piano-roll is not a document of a performance;  it is the result of a performer working to produce a piano-roll.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: orbital on December 04, 2007, 08:39:35 AM
But it can't.  Every single "piano-roll" recording I've heard takes the edge out the performance with rounded contours and softer attacks.  When the original recording is in wretched sound, the "rolls" can be an advantage.  However, Gould "55" does not have wretched sound.  This latest reproduction doesn't even retain Gould's humming ways.
If you mean to say that those extracurricular noise (and hummings) are part of the charm, I agree. But when it comes to musical performance itself, stripped of all those extra tags, Zenph studios made something that is very remarkable IMO.

Those historical performances are always remastered anyhow. Most of us have not even heard the actual recordings, but versions of them which have been digitally enhanced to improve audibility. Between an original slice-tape recording and a digitally remastered versions most of us already go for the latter. When you think about it, the timbre in the remastered CDs does not reflect the actual frequency range anyway. What we have here is just taking it a bit (ok, a bit more than a bit) further.
AFAIK, all musical information in the Zenph recordings including the attack, delay, sustain &release are left untouched. We are talking about microscopic note-for-note information, down to milliseconds and hundreds of levels of dynamics.
What it all comes down to is the piano tone. Now, Cortot's pianos are not produced anymore so we don't have much of a choice there. They probably go for a tone that is closest to the original (or perhaps even sample the old piano sounds to arrive at someting that is very similar).

In the end, when I sit down to listen to these two performances, I find them equally great.
[mp3=200,20,0,center]http://zenph.com/audio/Cortot-Chopin-Gmajor-1926.mp3[/mp3]

[mp3=200,20,0,center]http://zenph.com/audio/Zenph-Chopin-Gmajor-2005.mp3[/mp3]
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 10:01:45 AM
Another Goldbergs I think highly of but haven't yet mentioned comes from pianist Daniel Propper on the Skarbo label.  It's a no-frills account with few repeats but played expertly.  Can't imagine anyone not liking it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 11:38:21 AM
Every single "piano-roll" recording I've heard takes the edge out the performance with rounded contours and softer attacks.

Yes, but Gould "06" re-performance has nothing to do with piano rolls. It's newest cutting-edge technology. As an acoustic engineer I can say what Zenph does is extremely sophisticated. Forget about piano rolls. This is revolution. 

You were told to stop drinking out of the toilet, Poju.  But it seems your head is stuck there in the cold porcelain.

If you think I am drinking out of toilet that's your problem.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2007, 11:40:19 AM
It ain't me what has the problem here, Poju.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 11:45:38 AM
It ain't me what has the problem here, Poju.

You don't show much talent understanding free-thinkers.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: BachQ on December 04, 2007, 11:53:11 AM
You don't show much talent understanding free-thinkers.

It's very decent and noble of you to tolerate non-freethinkers like us .........
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 12:00:16 PM
It's very decent and noble of you to tolerate non-freethinkers like us .........

Depends on what non-freethinkers say. I tolerate tolerable things.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2007, 12:05:57 PM
You don't show much talent understanding free-thinkers.

What makes you think you can judge talent?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 12:21:36 PM
Yes, but Gould "06" re-performance has nothing to do with piano rolls. It's newest cutting-edge technology. As an acoustic engineer I can say what Zenph does is extremely sophisticated. Forget about piano rolls. This is revolution. 


Only in your mind, and the re-performance you talk about is basically a modern slant on piano rolls.

I remember a Fanfare review of this recording that referred to it as "electronic ventriloquism.  As a non-employed acoustic engineer, how do you respond to this comment?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 12:27:59 PM
You don't show much talent understanding free-thinkers.

You've been dumping this free-thinker and vibrational-field nonsense on us for what seems like forever.  When will you admit that everyone on this board thinks just as expansively as you do?  Put another way, nothing you write alters my basic view that you're not of the brightest bulbs on the block.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 12:32:38 PM
Quote
Only in your mind, and the re-performance you talk about is basically a modern slant on piano rolls.
Well, piano roll could be called a hunch of this technology. Piano Roll was used first time in 1883, over 100 years before Zenph's method.

Quote
I remember a Fanfare review of this recording that referred to it as "electronic ventriloquism.  As a non-employed acoustic engineer, how do you respond to this comment?

Very stupid comment. People tend to have stupid opinions about new techology.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: BachQ on December 04, 2007, 12:41:33 PM
People tend to have stupid opinions about new techology.

Not if they are freethinkers .......
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 12:49:49 PM

Very stupid comment. People tend to have stupid opinions about new techology.

Thanks for your astute and thorough response. ::)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: orbital on December 04, 2007, 12:54:23 PM

Very stupid comment. People tend to have stupid opinions about new techology.
71db, I am all for technology just like yourself. But one of the biggest advantages of technology is that it gives people more options to choose from. IT is great that you and I can enjoy Gould's performance in a modern, digital sound. But that does not have to be the only way to enjoy Gould from now on.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 01:05:03 PM
Thanks for your astute and thorough response. ::)

Well, I am tired now. I am going soon to bed. It's typical people with limited technological knowledge use "colourful" language of new technology before it becomes familiar, normal and accepted. 10 years and nobody calls Gould "06" electronic ventriloquism (verbaly innovative expression but sadly reveals only lack of techonogical understanding - it's all prejudice.)

The performance is acoustic, not electronic. It's played on acoustic piano. We have Gould's performance because he recorded it in 1955. We just had to develop an extremely sophisticated method to "read" it from the original recording.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 01:08:32 PM
Well, I am tired now. I am going soon to bed. It's typical people with limited technological knowledge use "colourful" language of new technology before it becomes familiar, normal and accepted. 10 years and nobody calls Gould "06" electronic ventriloquism (verbaly innovative expression but sadly reveals only lack of techonogical understanding - it's all prejudice.)

The performance is acoustic, not electronic. It's played on acoustic piano. We have Gould's performance because he recorded it in 1955. We just had to develop an extremely sophisticated method to "read" it from the original recording.

I've defended you in the past when others berated you for weeks on end.  That's all over now.  From this point on, you don't exist.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2007, 01:09:44 PM
Don, do I remember you not liking the Schepkin as well as others?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 01:14:16 PM
71db, I am all for technology just like yourself. But one of the biggest advantages of technology is that it gives people more options to choose from. IT is great that you and I can enjoy Gould's performance in a modern, digital sound. But that does not have to be the only way to enjoy Gould from now on.

I agree with this.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 04, 2007, 01:28:54 PM
Don, do I remember you not liking the Schepkin as well as others?

You have a good memory.  I haven't listened to the Schepkin the past few years, but my recollection is of a very fussy and ridiculously ornamented account.  But for all I know, I could hear it today and think it wonderful.  However, I can't do that because I disposed of the disc.  Funny thing is that I have very warm feelings about his complete WTC that was my introduction to his pianism.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 01:42:28 PM
Gilbert/Harmonia Mundi

A friend I borrow CDs from/to has this one and praised it to me today.  :D I'll borrow it someday!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: BachQ on December 04, 2007, 01:51:37 PM
A friend I borrow CDs from/to has this one and praised it to me today.  :D I'll borrow it someday!

And this information is useful to us how? ....... how, exactly?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: 71 dB on December 04, 2007, 01:59:46 PM
And this information is useful to us how? ....... how, exactly?

Expect my opinion about it in the future.  ;)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: BachQ on December 04, 2007, 02:20:38 PM
Expect my opinion about it in the future.  ;)

Perhaps you should start a new thread called 71dB's Review Room ......... That would be a fun place to hang out .........
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on December 04, 2007, 04:41:15 PM
All the coolest freethinkers would hang there, Jack!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: marvinbrown on December 05, 2007, 02:58:27 AM
Larry Rinkel?  Isn't he the guy who berates Harry about his conspicuous consumption patterns?

  Yes I believe that's the Larry we are talking about!  I'm not really sure what happened but all of a sudden I saw him as a guest on GMG, he must have left us.  A real shame though, he was one of the most knowledgable members I have come across at GMG. I sensed that he had studied a lot of music theory that went well beyond the basics (which is where my knowledge ends)- it was often difficult for me to respond or comment on many of his posts as I felt he surpassed me on many accounts.  I hope one day he would change his mind and return.


   marvin

     
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: BachQ on December 05, 2007, 03:27:37 AM
All the coolest freethinkers would hang there, Jack!

Freethinkers need a special warm place where they can discuss multidimensional vibrational fields .........

I propose that 71dB's Review Room incorporate a vibrational field (VF) rating system (from VF1 to VF10), where each recording is assigned a VF rating.  This VF rating will then be correlated with a multidimensional orthogonality rating (MO rating) ....... Elgar newbies can then quickly look to see which Elgar releases boast of the highest VF/MO ratings .........

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 05, 2007, 08:13:11 AM
  Yes I believe that's the Larry we are talking about!  I'm not really sure what happened but all of a sudden I saw him as a guest on GMG, he must have left us.  A real shame though, he was one of the most knowledgable members I have come across at GMG. I sensed that he had studied a lot of music theory that went well beyond the basics (which is where my knowledge ends)- it was often difficult for me to respond or comment on many of his posts as I felt he surpassed me on many accounts.  I hope one day he would change his mind and return.


   marvin

     

It's fine with me if he returns - fine if he doesn't.  I do think he will come back once he cools off.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: ragman1970 on December 05, 2007, 12:53:32 PM
Schepkin is great with the BGV. (as well his other Bach recordings, esp. the WTK I and II)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: gmstudio on December 17, 2007, 09:03:09 PM
Tonight I picked up Gould (81), Hewiit, Dinnerstein, and Gilbert.  Hewitt's up first, playing right now.

My only point of reference prior to this is the Gould '55.  Tonight should be interesting...
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Norbeone on December 19, 2007, 02:18:00 PM
My only point of reference prior to this is the Gould '55.  Tonight should be interesting...

You're in for a treat then, because the '81 blows it out of the water, IMO.   :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: gmstudio on December 19, 2007, 08:16:54 PM
You're in for a treat then, because the '81 blows it out of the water, IMO.   :)

Indeed. I enjoyed the Hewitt and Dinnerstein, but LOVED the 81 Gould.  Haven't even gotten around to the Gilbert yet. (And I picked up Arrau and Landowska tonight as well...)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bassio on December 21, 2007, 12:41:50 PM
Am I the only one who prefers '51 and the live in Salzburg to his later effort.  ???
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Norbeone on December 21, 2007, 02:08:04 PM
Am I the only one who prefers '51 and the live in Salzburg to his later effort.  ???

No you're definitely not the only one. In fact, I think most people prefer the '55 version the most, which I can both understand and not understand simultaneously. I think each version gets better, in other words that the '59 Live version is better than the '55 and the '81 is (much) better than both. Only my personal preference, of course. (I use 'better' as a synonym for preferable, I suppose).
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bassio on December 21, 2007, 06:11:58 PM
No you're definitely not the only one. In fact, I think most people prefer the '55 version the most, which I can both understand and not understand simultaneously. I think each version gets better, in other words that the '59 Live version is better than the '55 and the '81 is (much) better than both. Only my personal preference, of course. (I use 'better' as a synonym for preferable, I suppose).

I like the three versions .. but the problem with me and the '81 is the second half starting from variation 16 where the staccato and the choppiness becomes too excessive for my taste

I also have to say that I am not a big fan of Tureck's efforts (the later one).

[Please do not kill me .. I am new here, believe me]
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Norbeone on December 22, 2007, 08:17:54 AM
I like the three versions .. but the problem with me and the '81 is the second half starting from variation 16 where the staccato and the choppiness becomes too excessive for my taste

I also have to say that I am not a big fan of Tureck's efforts (the later one).

[Please do not kill me .. I am new here, believe me]

That's fair enough, but it's one of the things I like about it :)

And I agree with your view on Tureck's recording. Very plain and essentially boring, IMO.    :o
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 22, 2007, 12:21:30 PM

And I agree with your view on Tureck's recording. Very plain and essentially boring, IMO.    :o

That hurts!  Tureck's DG Goldbergs is one of my favorites; I find it totally captivating.  I do realize that many folks consider it stodgy, but I don't hear any of that.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Norbeone on December 23, 2007, 10:02:15 AM
That hurts!  Tureck's DG Goldbergs is one of my favorites; I find it totally captivating.  I do realize that many folks consider it stodgy, but I don't hear any of that.

Actually I take it back, because I haven't heard it! I'm thinking of her recording of the WTC. Apologies for the hurt, Don.

I must listen to her Tureck, in that case.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bassio on December 23, 2007, 05:26:38 PM
Actually I take it back, because I haven't heard it! I'm thinking of her recording of the WTC. Apologies for the hurt, Don.

Ouch. Now you hurt me Norbeone  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Norbeone on December 25, 2007, 12:29:58 PM
Ouch. Now you hurt me Norbeone  ;D

 ;D apologies
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Imperfect Pitch on December 29, 2007, 07:56:26 AM

Sorry to be late to the party ... just joined the forum ... but here's another vote for Gould '81 followed by Gould '55.  I also like Gould's live 1959 Salzburg performance, which has a certain warmth to it.  It's closer to the '55 traversal interpretation-wise (not surprising given the chronological proximity), but foreshadows some aspects of '81 like having certain variations run right into the next without any pause.  I found Gould's 1954 CBC recording to be a bit underwhelming in comparison to his other three.  I like Tureck for certain isolated variations (particularly the toccata-like ones, less so in the canons and slower variations).  A pianist named Zhu Xiao-Mei released an outstanding Goldberg in 1999 or so that went virtually unnoticed.  Now it's out of print but still available used, I think.  As for Simone Dinnerstein's recent CD, I didn't really find anything interesting about it - struck me as a bit pedestrian.  Ditto for Barenboim's live recording from Buenos Aires, which I heard years ago.
 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on December 29, 2007, 08:29:01 AM
A pianist named Zhu Xiao-Mei released an outstanding Goldberg in 1999 or so that went virtually unnoticed.  Now it's out of print but still available used, I think.  

A Goldbergs from Mei is now available on the Mirare label.  Does anyone know if it's a new recording or just the 1999 transferred to a different label?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on December 29, 2007, 08:37:00 AM
A Goldbergs from Mei is now available on the Mirare label.  Does anyone know if it's a new recording or just the 1999 transferred to a different label?

It's the old recording - from the Mirare site (http://www.mirare.fr/DisquesMirare/Mirare.html):

"Les éditions Laffont lui ont proposé de retracer son histoire dans une autobiographie qui sort en septembre 2007. Pour accompagner cette sortie, elle a demandé au label Mirare de rééditer son disque des « Variations Goldberg » qu’elle a enregistré il y a quinze ans, une œuvre qui lui tient tout particulièrement à cœur, comme elle le souligne dans son livre."

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Imperfect Pitch on December 29, 2007, 08:52:55 AM
Does anyone know if it's a new recording or just the 1999 transferred to a different label?

Hi Don - I agree with Que, I believe it's a reissue of the old recording.  The Mirare site currently has a clip of Var. 1, which sounds identical (to my ears) to the 1999 Mandala release that I have.  But thanks for pointing out the reissue - good to see this recording back in print.

(The clip of Var. 1 can be found at http://www.mirare.fr/DisquesMirare/Zhu-Goldberg.html). 

 
 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: LVB_opus.125 on February 20, 2008, 08:55:30 PM
What are the best recordings? This one has a nice price:
http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Goldberg-Variations-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B00005B6RH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1203569530&sr=1-1
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416D61YK8ML.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: PSmith08 on February 20, 2008, 09:03:52 PM
I'm partial to Pierre Hantaï's second recording (on Mirare), though his first record seems to be better-liked among some reviewers. If you can track down Scott Ross' recording on Erato (or Virgin Veritas), then that is a fine choice, too. If you can get Rousset's version on Decca, then you'd be pretty happy, too. Really, for my money: Hantaï, Ross, or Rousset - take your pick.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on February 20, 2008, 10:44:07 PM
My favourites (in random order): Céline Frisch (Alpha), Christophe Rousset (Decca/ L'Oiseau Lyre), Ottavio Dantone (Decca).

Check this thread for more: Bach on the Harpsichord (lute-harpsichord, clavichord, etc.) (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,289.0.html)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: val on February 21, 2008, 12:22:47 AM
My favorite, and by far, Pierre Hantai.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Josquin des Prez on February 21, 2008, 09:12:36 AM
None... yet. Granted, i'm pretty hard to satisfy, as some of you may have gathered.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Don on February 21, 2008, 09:21:37 AM
Those mentioned so far are all wonderful.  I would also add Leonhardt; many love the Landowska as well.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bassio on February 22, 2008, 02:44:30 PM
Those mentioned so far are all wonderful.  I would also add Leonhardt; many love the Landowska as well.

I listened to the Landowska (can't remember which label but it was the earlier recording .. maybe EmI) like two years ago, I have to say I was disappointed. I loved her Well Tempered Klavier.

But beware: in these old days I had vigor .. Gould on my mind and I really was not the one to judge harpsichord recordings back then. I listen more to piano.

Anyway, I also heard Kirkpatrick, Pinnock. Both disappointed me too.

I listened to Ross and it is the best of these four versions I heard, but I feel this is not Ross's best playing. I will give it a relisten one day.

I still did not hear Hantai, Rousset or Leonhardt.

Can I finally agree with Josquin when he says .. ??!!
Quote
None... yet.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: marvinbrown on February 22, 2008, 03:36:14 PM

  I have the following recording of the Goldberg Variations and find them very enjoyable.  Whether they are the best on the market I would not know:

  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ZFYCCSETL.jpg)

  marvin
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Tyson on February 22, 2008, 03:39:10 PM
I prefer bach on the piano, but if I have to listen to it on harpsichord, Rousset and Hentai are the ones I'd choose.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: zamyrabyrd on January 22, 2009, 12:05:43 AM
Pierre Hantai on harpsichord, a relatively new recording, is excellent.

ZB
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: hornteacher on October 27, 2009, 05:46:45 PM
I'm looking for a good recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations performed on a harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: George on October 27, 2009, 06:43:51 PM
I'm looking for a good recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations performed on a harpsichord.

My first and only recording of these works on harpsichord was Gilbert on Harmonia Mundi. I later found out that his set is rated highly by reviewers. I think it's a great performance.

Samples Here (I think it's the same performance) (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Goldberg-Variations-Johann-Sebastian/dp/B00000IXU7/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1256697684&sr=1-3)

Buy here also (http://www.amazon.com/Bach-Goldberg-Variations-Kenneth-Gilbert/dp/B00000DUA2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1256697684&sr=1-1)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DarkAngel on October 27, 2009, 07:15:27 PM
I love the first Hantai/Opus 111, very natural and fluid technique and wonderful sounding instrument
There is a newer version by Hantai also, but I like his older version shown below:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519SNaKBU1L._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I would love to hear a new Goldberg by Christophe Rousset for Ambroisie label, his other recent Bach work there is just amazing
using a very rich toned Ruckers harpsicord
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on October 27, 2009, 08:56:19 PM
My recommendations:

Hantai/Naive and Mirare - The earlier one (Naive) is highly exuberant, the Mirare more thought provoking.
Gilbert/Harmonia Mundi
Pinnock/Archiv
Vartolo/Tactus - loaded with rhythmic hesitations
Rousset/Decca
Leonhardt/Teldec and DHM
Ross/Virgin Veritas
Verlet/Astree

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on October 27, 2009, 11:33:34 PM
My recommendations:

Hantai/Naive and Mirare - The earlier one (Naive) is highly exuberant, the Mirare more thought provoking.
Gilbert/Harmonia Mundi
Pinnock/Archiv
Vartolo/Tactus - loaded with rhythmic hesitations
Rousset/Decca
Leonhardt/Teldec and DHM
Ross/Virgin Veritas
Verlet/Astree



I notice that Ottavio Dantone (Decca) and Céline Frisch (Alpha) have dropped off your shortlist? :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: The new erato on October 28, 2009, 12:44:31 AM
I don't find that list especially short.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Drasko on October 28, 2009, 05:15:24 AM
I would love to hear a new Goldberg by Christophe Rousset for Ambroisie label,

Could you link to that, I can't find any reference to it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on October 28, 2009, 05:30:38 AM
I notice that Ottavio Dantone (Decca) and Céline Frisch (Alpha) have dropped off your shortlist? :)

Q

Just slightly behind my top recommendations.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DarkAngel on October 28, 2009, 05:47:35 AM
Could you link to that, I can't find any reference to it.

I was expressing a wish/request for new one to be released, does not exist currently........
his older Goldberg is available for Decca which I have, but his recent work for Ambroisie label is another level higher

Rousset has been very busy last few years with baroque opera performance......
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: SonicMan46 on October 28, 2009, 09:24:08 AM
On harpsichord, I just own Rousset in the 4-CD box below; but I also enjoy Toth on the gut-strung harpsichord, the lautenwerk - would not recommend the latter as a sole disc to represent these works, but a pleasant complement - Don had an excellent review of Toth's performance HERE (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Goldberg-Toth.htm) from 2003 - I could certainly pick up another disk on a 'regular' harpsichord -  :)


(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514WXFFDAQL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)  (http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51W-VHOM-jL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Opus106 on October 28, 2009, 12:32:44 PM
What are these "wet" and "dry" sounds? (That's a question asked in all seriousness.) Could you describe it to me?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 01, 2009, 06:35:43 AM
An edition for Moors and Christians.  ;D

I don't know this 3-CD set, but it seems sufficiently interesting to investigate a bit:

J.S. Bach - Goldberg Variations BWV 988
World Premiere Critical Edition - Organ-Piano-Harpsichord

Pascal Vigneron (Organ) [Curt Schwenkedel Great Organ]; Dimitri Vassilakis (Piano) [Fazioli Piano]; Christine Auger (Harpsichord) [Antony Saide Harpsichord]

Quantum, 2008

3-CD set

Recorded at Cathedral of Toul, Lorraine, France.

World premiere recording with the three instruments tuned to Werckmeister III temperament. Planned for release in Nov 2009.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on November 01, 2009, 07:29:26 AM
They seem to have made things like that before
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on November 01, 2009, 07:30:36 AM
And
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 01, 2009, 08:19:20 AM
A complete mystery:

LINK TO SOME SAMPLES (http://www.pascalvigneron.com/) [on "Discography & Criticals"]

P.S.: What a weird thing! This Pascal Vineron is a trumpetist and organist.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on November 01, 2009, 09:09:38 AM
A complete mystery:

LINK TO SOME SAMPLES (http://www.pascalvigneron.com/) [on "Discography & Criticals"]

P.S.: What a weird thing! This Pascal Vineron is a trumpetist and organist.

I may be wrong, but I have got the feeling, that these interpretations are very far from HIP.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Antoine Marchand on November 01, 2009, 09:15:19 AM
I may be wrong, but I have got the feeling, that these interpretations are very far from HIP.

Me too, my dear friend.  :-\
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DarkAngel on November 24, 2009, 07:27:17 PM
For some variation on harpsicord theme (plucked string - harp) I placed order for this CD................
Samples sound much lighter, airy, etherial comapred to harpsicord.......a clear boxless sound, anyone else try this?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511ZVbTMOAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on November 24, 2009, 10:50:46 PM
For some variation on harpsicord theme (plucked string - harp) I placed order for this CD................
Samples sound much lighter, airy, etherial comapred to harpsicord.......a clear boxless sound, anyone else try this?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/511ZVbTMOAL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

I also listened to the samples and am very impressed. 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DarkAngel on November 25, 2009, 05:24:04 AM
Bulldog
When you stop and think about it, playing the full size harp is like removing the string frame assembly from a harpsicord standing it upright and using your fingers to pluck the strings..........same family sound.

I see several accordion versions of Goldberg, but something about the image of that in my mind just seems  so wrong  :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: MN Dave on November 25, 2009, 05:25:09 AM
Tempting.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on January 06, 2010, 08:47:46 AM
A new kid on the block is Aapo Hakkinen on Alba - excellent performance in state-of-the-art sound.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Antoine Marchand on January 06, 2010, 09:27:31 AM
A new kid on the block is Aapo Hakkinen on Alba - excellent performance in state-of-the-art sound.

Interesting. He and Mikko Perkola recorded an excellent disc with the Gamba Sonatas - on Naxos - three years ago.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: karlhenning on January 06, 2010, 10:24:47 AM
Tempting.  :)

The spudster is right; that is a temptation.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 06, 2010, 10:37:30 AM
A new kid on the block is Aapo Hakkinen on Alba - excellent performance in state-of-the-art sound.

Just added that one to my 'wish list' - superb review in the Jan-Feb 2010 issue of Fanfare!  :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on January 06, 2010, 11:37:11 AM
A new kid on the block is Aapo Hakkinen on Alba - excellent performance in state-of-the-art sound.

One more Goldberg, - and you own more than 100 different recordings IIRC. :o :o :o
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DarkAngel on January 06, 2010, 12:06:10 PM
Just added that one to my 'wish list' - superb review in the Jan-Feb 2010 issue of Fanfare!  :)

The Fanfare reviewer also lists the slow motion 2CD Richard Egarr/HM as a "life altering" reference Goldberg...........hmmmm  :(

On the plus side Hakkinen studied under Pierre Hantai, a definite positive for me  :)
Regardless this will have to wait behind the Feb 2010 release of Goldberg by Andreas Staier for purchase consideration
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on January 06, 2010, 02:01:07 PM
The Fanfare reviewer also lists the slow motion 2CD Richard Egarr/HM as a "life altering" reference Goldberg...........hmmmm 

Yup, that's Mr. Jerry Dubins at the helm, and I found his Egarr review odd at best.  I wouldn't put much stock in his Bach reviews; then again, I don't put much stock in anyone's Bach reviews except for my own.  My opinion that this new Alba disc is mighty fine is nothing but my own.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: SonicMan46 on January 06, 2010, 04:59:02 PM
Yup, that's Mr. Jerry Dubins at the helm, and I found his Egarr review odd at best.  I wouldn't put much stock in his Bach reviews; then again, I don't put much stock in anyone's Bach reviews except for my own.  My opinion that this new Alba disc is mighty fine is nothing but my own.

Don - love the comments above & I really enjoy your recommendations (and have bought many CDs based on your thoughts!) - but, I just wonder that there must be a couple of discs that you've at least tried out based on some comments of our GMG members?  ;) ;D  Dave
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on January 07, 2010, 10:17:21 AM
Don - love the comments above & I really enjoy your recommendations (and have bought many CDs based on your thoughts!) - but, I just wonder that there must be a couple of discs that you've at least tried out based on some comments of our GMG members?  ;) ;D  Dave

I'm sure you're right about that, and I do remember that comments here about Paul Juon got me interested.  However, Bach's a different matter.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bunny on January 07, 2010, 08:15:22 PM
The Fanfare reviewer also lists the slow motion 2CD Richard Egarr/HM as a "life altering" reference Goldberg...........hmmmm  :(



I have that, and don't recommend it.  It plods where it should dance, but it does sound very good on a purely accoustic level.  I can't understand how anyone could describe it as life altering unless they are saying that it is the first time they have been bored by Bach.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 22, 2010, 02:52:48 PM
Well, just received a small box from BRO w/ the disc pictured below:

Fabio Bonizzoni on a harpsichord by Willem Kroesbergen after J. Couchet - just $8 - found a lengthy review by Giordano Bruno on Amazon HERE (http://www.amazon.com/review/R3CMGZHGYY61QJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0009VNCI2&nodeID=5174#wasThisHelpful) - I usually like his comments and he seems to know this music well; so, took a chance and am just starting my listening - excellent sound, like the instrument, and appreciate the performance - Bonizzoni does not seem to have been discussed in this thread yet, positive or negative - any thoughts?   :D



(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachJSBonizzoni/794745519_zwMfM-O.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 22, 2010, 05:58:21 PM
Well, just received a small box from BRO w/ the disc pictured below:

Fabio Bonizzoni on a harpsichord by Willem Kroesbergen after J. Couchet - just $8 - found a lengthy review by Giordano Bruno on Amazon HERE (http://www.amazon.com/review/R3CMGZHGYY61QJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0009VNCI2&nodeID=5174#wasThisHelpful) - I usually like his comments and he seems to know this music well; so, took a chance and am just starting my listening - excellent sound, like the instrument, and appreciate the performance - Bonizzoni does not seem to have been discussed in this thread yet, positive or negative - any thoughts?   :D



(http://giradman.smugmug.com/Other/Classical-Music/BachJSBonizzoni/794745519_zwMfM-O.jpg)

Positive.  I find the performances interesting, and Bonizzoni freely uses rhythmic hesitations and other agogic devices; they don't sound contrived to me. 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DarkAngel on February 22, 2010, 08:20:17 PM
Well, just received a small box from BRO w/ the disc pictured below:

Fabio Bonizzoni on a harpsichord by Willem Kroesbergen after J. Couchet - just $8 - found a lengthy review by Giordano Bruno on Amazon HERE (http://www.amazon.com/review/R3CMGZHGYY61QJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B0009VNCI2&nodeID=5174#wasThisHelpful) - I usually like his comments and he seems to know this music well; so, took a chance and am just starting my listening - excellent sound, like the instrument, and appreciate the performance - Bonizzoni does not seem to have been discussed in this thread yet, positive or negative - any thoughts? 

Sounds good to me from samples......
never heard of Fabio Bonizzoni before but I do have some of the Glossa label Handel cantatas which he is credited on. Nothing radical, just naturally flowing rythms that are alive and display imaginative touches, do I really need yet another very good Goldberg, hmmmm
 
That guy G. Bruno at Amazon is right about advantages of a 2 manual keyboard to do Goldbergs justice, was watching the DVD that comes with Staiers new Goldberg and there is plenty of hand crossovers occuring
 
Did you see that huge Hanssler label Bach 16CD boxset of solo keyboard works listed right above this CD at BRO for only $40......tempting
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DarkAngel on February 23, 2010, 12:37:35 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515AUraDyOL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
 
Andreas Staier
Goldberg Variations is out now, we have some sound samples available please check them out.
Very warm rich sounding harpsicord (almost like a pedal harpsicord) that is played is a somewhat wet reverberant sound similar to Rousset's recent Ambroise label work, Bulldog may not like this from his previous Rousset comments......
 
Staier does not shy away from using lute stop for tracks 16, 20, 21 hybrid, 25 to explore many possible options, overall more inward reflective serious minded performance than I usually hear from Staier, comes with DVD with Andre giving his thoughts on performance technique, history and playing a few pieces.
 
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3477014 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3477014)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 23, 2010, 02:59:35 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/515AUraDyOL._SL500_AA280_.jpg)
 
Andreas Staier
Goldberg Variations is out now, we have some sound samples available please check them out.
Very warm rich sounding harpsicord (almost like a pedal harpsicord) that is played is a somewhat wet reverberant sound similar to Rousset's recent Ambroise label work, Bulldog may not like this from his previous Rousset comments......
 
Staier does not shy away from using lute stop for tracks 16, 20, 21 hybrid, 25 to explore many possible options, overall more inward reflective serious minded performance than I usually hear from Staier, comes with DVD with Andre giving his thoughts on performance technique, history and playing a few pieces.
 
http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3477014 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3477014)

You have me pegged correctly.  The samples sound as if Staier is playing from the proverbial airport hangar; I do hate that type of sound.  On the other hand, the interpretations seem quite rewarding and invigorating.  I'll likely acquire the recording and use my trusty equalizer to "tame the hangar".
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: SonicMan46 on February 23, 2010, 03:23:08 PM

Sounds good to me from samples......
never heard of Fabio Bonizzoni before but I do have some of the Glossa label Handel cantatas which he is credited on. Nothing radical, just naturally flowing rythms that are alive and display imaginative touches, do I really need yet another very good Goldberg, hmmmm
 
Did you see that huge Hanssler label Bach 16CD boxset of solo keyboard works listed right above this CD at BRO for only $40......tempting

Don & DA - thanks for the comments on Bonizzoni - did not get to complete the disc but will soon!  I really liked what I heard - not sure that I understand all of Bruno's comments from his Amazon review but the dual manual harpsichord seems quite well done in this recording - Dave  :D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 23, 2010, 03:43:29 PM
Don & DA - thanks for the comments on Bonizzoni - did not get to complete the disc but will soon!  I really liked what I heard - not sure that I understand all of Bruno's comments from his Amazon review but the dual manual harpsichord seems quite well done in this recording - Dave  :D

Bruno's amazement with Bonizzoni tells me that he isn't very familiar with the Goldberg's discography.  There are many instances where he seems to say that only Bonizzoni plays a piece "that way", clearly inaccurate.  Also, he paints the harpsichordist as a musical bi-sexual. :D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on March 23, 2010, 09:15:19 AM
Another Goldbergs that has value comes from harpsichordist Jacqueline Ogeil on ABC Classics.  Released in 2005, it's a straightforward interpretation with a regimen of short rhythmic hesitations.  Although enjoyable, I feel that she could have employed greater nuance, particularly in the slower and more profound variations; her tempos in these pieces are on the quick side.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: sTisTi on August 05, 2010, 07:45:36 AM
Now on sale at jpc: Bonizzoni's Goldberg Variations on Glossa:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31ohIoo6OZL._SS400_.jpg)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3563935 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3563935)

Now for 4.99€  instead of 17.99€ (and only today even free shipping within Germany!)

Does anyone know whether it's any good, even at that price?
The samples sound good enough to me, so maybe I should risk it anyway  :-\
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on August 05, 2010, 07:57:01 AM
Now on sale at jpc: Bonizzoni's Goldberg Variations on Glossa:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31ohIoo6OZL._SS400_.jpg)

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3563935 (http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988/hnum/3563935)

Now for 4.99€  instead of 17.99€ (and only today even free shipping within Germany!)

Does anyone know whether it's any good, even at that price?
The samples sound good enough to me, so maybe I should risk it anyway  :-\

It's very good, you like the samples and the price is right.  Get it!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: sTisTi on August 08, 2010, 08:45:07 AM
It's very good, you like the samples and the price is right.  Get it!
Thank you, I've done so. A note for Bonizzoni fans: His disc with late Scarlatti Keyboard Sonatas (also on Glossa) is also available for just 4.99€ right now, I've already ordered it   :)
(http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Domenico-Scarlatti-Klaviersonaten/hnum/4781723)

I've noticed that the number of Goldberg versions I now have is 13. So I guess I'll need to add a 14th soon to avert bad luck ;D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: westknife on April 05, 2011, 12:28:05 PM
BUMP

I was browsing through my 2008 Penguin Guide when I came across something striking: they reward Gould's '55 Goldbergs only 2/4 stars (note that anything below 3/4 is quite rare throughout the book). The review is indeed quite scathing, particularly this part: "There is too much that is wilful and eccentric for this to be a straightforward recommendation, but it is a remarkable performance nevertheless."

For a guide that purports to be authoritative, I must say I find this a little, er, eccentric, considering that a lot of people consider this a great, classic piano recording. For what it's worth, their top recommendation is Rosalyn Tureck's (which I am not familiar with).
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: PaulSC on April 05, 2011, 04:46:35 PM
BUMP

I was browsing through my 2008 Penguin Guide when I came across something striking: they reward Gould's '55 Goldbergs only 2/4 stars (note that anything below 3/4 is quite rare throughout the book). The review is indeed quite scathing, particularly this part: "There is too much that is wilful and eccentric for this to be a straightforward recommendation, but it is a remarkable performance nevertheless."

For a guide that purports to be authoritative, I must say I find this a little, er, eccentric, considering that a lot of people consider this a great, classic piano recording. For what it's worth, their top recommendation is Rosalyn Tureck's (which I am not familiar with).
Both of those assessments (Gould and Tureck) seem right on the mark to me. (Well, depends on which Tureck they picked; the 1989[ish] DG studio recording is my favorite.)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: stingo on April 09, 2011, 06:27:49 PM
Pierre Hantai (Opus 111 and Mirage) and Celine Frisch (alpha) are my favorites so far. Both to me capture the excitement and fun of the Goldbergs and both play harpsichords.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Leon on February 06, 2012, 04:27:18 PM
I recently acquired this recording and like it quite a lot:



No, not for keyboard, but Fretwork does an admirable job with their arrangements.  I prefer this one to their take on the Art of Fugue.  But YMMV.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on February 06, 2012, 10:04:50 PM
Pierre Hantai (Opus 111 and Mirage) and Celine Frisch (alpha) are my favorites so far. Both to me capture the excitement and fun of the Goldbergs and both play harpsichords.

I've never heard Hantai's 2003 recording. I like the first record very much. Which one do you prefer? What are the main differences? (Basically I'm asking whether I should buy the second recording, given that I have the first.)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on February 07, 2012, 06:49:55 PM
I just bought Burkard Schliessmann's two disc SACD version--wonderful playing and sound. It has certainly stirred up utterly opposed opinions!

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/May08/Bach_Goldberg_br100326.htm

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/Apr08/Bach_Goldberg_br100326.htm
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Geo Dude on February 15, 2012, 09:56:16 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41nXSsAo5EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Thoughts on this recording?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 15, 2012, 02:30:42 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41nXSsAo5EL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Thoughts on this recording?

I haven't heard this one for a few years but remember it as being about in the middle of the pack.  I wouldn't recommend it for those on a tight budget.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 15, 2012, 02:34:46 PM
I've never heard Hantai's 2003 recording. I like the first record very much. Which one do you prefer? What are the main differences? (Basically I'm asking whether I should buy the second recording, given that I have the first.)

I find the major differences between Hantai's two versions to be mood-painting.  Hantai's first version is quite exuberant and upbeat.  The latter version is more introverted and thought provoking.  I prefer the latter version, but the first one is certainly superb as well.  The differences between the two versions is strong enough to warrant owning both.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Geo Dude on February 15, 2012, 02:43:55 PM
I haven't heard this one for a few years but remember it as being about in the middle of the pack.  I wouldn't recommend it for those on a tight budget.

Thank you.  His Bach Pedal Harpsichord works was excellent, but reviews of his other recordings indicate that they're middle-of-the-road.  I was afraid that this might also fall into that category, too.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 15, 2012, 04:02:36 PM
Thank you.  His Bach Pedal Harpsichord works was excellent, but reviews of his other recordings indicate that they're middle-of-the-road.  I was afraid that this might also fall into that category, too.

Yes, it's interesting how an okay artist can sound so much better when the pedal harpsichord is the instrument of choice.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Geo Dude on February 15, 2012, 04:15:37 PM
Yes, it's interesting how an okay artist can sound so much better when the pedal harpsichord is the instrument of choice.

Not to mention, he was interpreting organ repertoire rather than harpsichord repertoire on that disc.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on February 15, 2012, 11:42:44 PM
Is this Blandine Verlet's first record of the Goldberg's -- not on CD AFAIK?

http://www.youtube.com/v/X9bpkJd2rNI

SHe's a musician I'm exploring right now, I want to hear everything she recorded. She's like a force of nature -- in some ways she reminds me of musicians like Sofronitsky and Jon Vickers and Yudina.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Leo K. on February 16, 2012, 06:26:38 AM
I just received Zhu Xiao-Mei's account of the Goldberg, I've heard good things about it. I look forward to listening soon.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Coopmv on February 17, 2012, 08:48:46 PM
I have owned the following recording by Jill Crossland for some times and find the performance quite good ...

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51VH84bzbnL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on February 21, 2012, 09:56:00 AM
He's a review for the BBC's Building a Library by Nicholas Kenyon:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01bzp53#synopsis

He says at the start the the GVs is one of Bach’s most outgoing works. Later on he makes it clear the variety and exuberance is a main criterion of interpretation He discards introspective approaches like Leonhardt2 and every one by Tureck.

This made the conclusions of the  review of limited interest to me since my tastes are almost the polar opposite.

Shame that Leonhardt 3 isn’t discussed – this is a very distinctive and important one IMO. Also he was too dismissive of Hantai (it’s not even clear whether he was talking about Hantai 1 or Hantai 2)

Very good that he singles out Blandine Verlet for praise especially for the final quarter of the music. She is really special there IMO.

I also thought he was very fair in his comments on  McGregor and Egarr.
 
Also a shame that he didn’t review any Busoni transcriptions, since IMO these are some of the best records on piano.

Interesting that Schiff 1 is given a pivotal position (the recording which made Bach on the piano acceptable again)

The review made me really want to hear Koopman’s (despite the reviewer’s negative feelings about the ornamentation – but I want to judge for myself) Also the taste and description of Lars Ulri  Mortensen’s record makes me want to hear the whole thing. I love the good humoured style of the partitas and the review leads me to look forward to more of the same in the Goldbergs.

On piano, I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing Kempff’s with that strange unornamented aria sounds so quirky that I want to hear the whole thing.

But really the review on piano had some major lacunae, like Schliessmann and Buechner.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 21, 2012, 10:22:21 AM
He's a review for the BBC's Building a Library by Nicholas Kenyon:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01bzp53#synopsis

He says at the start the the GVs is one of Bach’s most outgoing works. Later on he makes it clear the variety and exuberance is a main criterion of interpretation He discards introspective approaches like Leonhardt2 and every one by Tureck.

This made the conclusions of the  review of limited interest to me since my tastes are almost the polar opposite.

The Goldbergs well handle both an exuberant and introspective approach.  Any reviewer who discards either of them isn't worth much.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Leon on February 22, 2012, 11:48:44 AM
I recently got Murray Perahia's Goldberg Variations and listened to it start to finish.

I like it.

 :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Leo K. on February 23, 2012, 06:48:16 AM
I recently got Murray Perahia's Goldberg Variations and listened to it start to finish.

I like it.

 :)

Me too :)


Recently I got Zhu Xiao Mei's account and will be listening soon.
:)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: kishnevi on February 23, 2012, 08:44:47 AM
My Presto order arrived yesterday when I was at work, so I sat down this morning and listened to this, as there had been at least one request for a debriefing
(http://i.prs.to/t_200/zigzagzzt111001.jpg)

Sonics--high quality--Performance--generally inclined to the lyrical mode, but not afraid of peppy passages.  Sometimes odd rubato, etc. was invoked, however.  The music of the GVs is not imprinted on my aural memory to the point that I could pick out what she was or was not doing in regards to ornamentation.  Overall first impression was favorable, but I don't expect this one to be my desert island choice.

(Harpsichord performance I'm comparing this against, in order of preference:  Rousset, Staier, Egarr.  Rannou probably falls at the same level or slightly below Staier.)

(also posting this to the general Bach harpsichord thread)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Leo K. on February 23, 2012, 09:25:24 AM
My Presto order arrived yesterday when I was at work, so I sat down this morning and listened to this, as there had been at least one request for a debriefing
(http://i.prs.to/t_200/zigzagzzt111001.jpg)

Sonics--high quality--Performance--generally inclined to the lyrical mode, but not afraid of peppy passages.  Sometimes odd rubato, etc. was invoked, however.  The music of the GVs is not imprinted on my aural memory to the point that I could pick out what she was or was not doing in regards to ornamentation.  Overall first impression was favorable, but I don't expect this one to be my desert island choice.

(Harpsichord performance I'm comparing this against, in order of preference:  Rousset, Staier, Egarr.  Rannou probably falls at the same level or slightly below Staier.)

(also posting this to the general Bach harpsichord thread)

Thanks for posting your thoughts on this disk.

 8)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 23, 2012, 09:34:02 AM
My Presto order arrived yesterday when I was at work, so I sat down this morning and listened to this, as there had been at least one request for a debriefing
(http://i.prs.to/t_200/zigzagzzt111001.jpg)

Sonics--high quality--Performance--generally inclined to the lyrical mode, but not afraid of peppy passages.  Sometimes odd rubato, etc. was invoked, however.  The music of the GVs is not imprinted on my aural memory to the point that I could pick out what she was or was not doing in regards to ornamentation.  Overall first impression was favorable, but I don't expect this one to be my desert island choice.

It wouldn't be one of mine either.  As you point out, the rubato is often "odd", although I look at it a little differently.  The use of rubato/hesitations/ornamentation/staggering of musical lines tends to have one of two effects.  On the very positive side, it can enhance the emotional richness of the performance such as with David Cates and Alan Curtis in their respective recordings of the French Suites; the negative is that these devices can attract attention to themselves and damage rhythmic flow.  At this point, I'd have to say that Rannou's usage has a negative impact.  However, I'm far from reaching a conclusion and will continue to hope that the "lightbulb" goes on in my head.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Clever Hans on February 23, 2012, 01:17:06 PM
I quite like her French Suites.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 23, 2012, 01:38:36 PM
I quite like her French Suites.

I do also.  It's a gorgeous set of performances and I especially love her exuberance in the fast movements and joy of life in the allemandes.
However, I think her depth of expression in the Sarabande movements is rather light.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Clever Hans on February 23, 2012, 02:00:49 PM
I do also.  It's a gorgeous set of performances and I especially love her exuberance in the fast movements and joy of life in the allemandes.
However, I think her depth of expression in the Sarabande movements is rather light.

Interesting assessment. I think I like it as much for the sound as for the performances.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Bulldog on February 23, 2012, 02:13:39 PM
Interesting assessment. I think I like it as much for the sound as for the performances.

Understood.  For me, Rannou's sound possesses a little too much reverberation that reduces the detail of musical lines and their interaction.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: kishnevi on February 23, 2012, 02:56:44 PM


One criticism I can see is that sometimes she's sometimes just too full of feeling. But maybe that's curmudgeonly.  I don't think the the singing lyrical beauty she often finds degrades the music -- it stands being played like that.

Her initial playing of the aria is possibly the most lyrical reading I've heard on harpsichord or piano (or string trio and viol consort, for that matter). 

On the same order, I got her set of English Suites, French Suites, and Toccatas, and I'll be interested in hearing what they sound like.  And though I may sound a little negative, I certainly don't regret making the purchase.  Perhaps repeat hearings will make her style more familiar and less eccentric seeming.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on February 23, 2012, 03:15:59 PM
Understood.  For me, Rannou's sound possesses a little too much reverberation that reduces the detail of musical lines and their interaction.

Late French baroque harpsichords and copies of these have often got too much reverberation for Bach´s music, I think.
If Rannou had chosen a Ruckers, things might look (or sound - of course) different.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: kishnevi on February 23, 2012, 08:37:49 PM
Late French baroque harpsichords and copies of these have often got too much reverberation for Bach´s music, I think.
If Rannou had chosen a Ruckers, things might look (or sound - of course) different.

She actually uses a reproduction of a Ruckers.

clavecin Anthony Sidey
copie d'un instrument Ruckers-Hemsch (1636-1763), fait a Paris en 1988 par Anthony Sidey et Frederic Bal

is how the booklet describes it for both the boxset and the GVs.

ETA:  The harpsichord used by Schornsheim in her WTC recording is a Ruckers modified in the 18th century by unknown (but according to the liner notes probably French) hands.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on February 23, 2012, 09:40:31 PM
I recently bought Burkhart Schliessmann's version on piano. I like it very much, though I wish he had omitted a repeat or two in order to fit it onto one disc! Superb sound, too.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MNDhSwnvL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on February 23, 2012, 10:03:39 PM
Late French baroque harpsichords and copies of these have often got too much reverberation for Bach´s music, I think.
If Rannou had chosen a Ruckers, things might look (or sound - of course) different.

When people say that she sounds French (I think you said this somewhere), what do they mean? Is it to do with the instrument or the style of play?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on February 24, 2012, 09:28:09 AM
When people say that she sounds French (I think you said this somewhere), what do they mean? Is it to do with the instrument or the style of play?

Both. The instrument as well as her style - especially her way of ornamentation.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on February 24, 2012, 09:37:03 AM
She actually uses a reproduction of a Ruckers.
clavecin Anthony Sidey
copie d'un instrument Ruckers-Hemsch (1636-1763), fait a Paris en 1988 par Anthony Sidey et Frederic Bal

is how the booklet describes it for both the boxset and the GVs.
I would not call this a genuine Ruckers judged from the sound. Too much Hemsch (and perhaps Sidey) and too little Ruckers. This is how it often goes, compare the so called J A Silbermann organ, St.-Pierre-le-Jeune, Strasbourg, which Walcha used for many of his stereo Bach recordings. Too much Alfred Kern and too little Silbermann.

Quote from: Jeffrey Smith
ETA:  The harpsichord used by Schornsheim in her WTC recording is a Ruckers modified in the 18th century by unknown (but according to the liner notes probably French) hands.
But the modifier did not make a French instrument of it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Leo K. on August 31, 2012, 03:37:13 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TwQh9gX9L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Tureck's 1998 DG Goldberg recording. Wow, at first I was put off by the performance, but upon a new listen it's like I'm hearing something else entirely. This time around the performance SINGS.


 8)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: xochitl on August 31, 2012, 04:44:16 PM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/416DCRFCTJL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

has anyone heard this?

it's a guitar transcription [obviously multitracked since a two-handed guitarist can't do the crazy contrapuntal stuff].  really fascinating recording.  kinda makes me imagine a harpsichord without the klang  ;D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DavidA on January 14, 2013, 10:18:20 AM
Glenn Gould's first Goldberg was revolutionary in that it showed just how brilliant Bach could sound on the piano. I think I have two more of Gould's early performances (both live) plus his 1981 remake. I don't think you could do without the first and the last but the others are really good too.

The best recent performance to me is Perahia - astounding playing.

Joanna MacGregor is never less than interesting.

One interesting point. When Serkin made his debut with Busch playing Bach Brandenberg 5 on the piano, he was encored. He apparently was overwhelmed and couldn't think of what to play so he played the first thing that came into his head which was the complete Golbergs!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on May 24, 2013, 10:36:49 PM
(http://pictures.cdconnection.com/covers/1489278.jpg)

I've been listening again to this. When I listen I'm conscious of the way one voice slips alongside another. Nevertheless, the result is very stable, the voices always fit with each  other to produce a sort of reliable secure framework.

Schliessmann's Bach  is Hofstadter's Bach, Bach the mathemtically minded engineer. I can't think of a better presentation of this Bach-image in music than Schliessmann's Goldbergs.


As such I suppose it's quite a valuable performance, though I was disappointed. I'd remembered that Schliessmann exposed the contraupuntal fault lines, but I had forgotten the way he avoids intense emotions. I was kind of hoping that the result would be less well balanced.  I was hoping for a greater feeling of danger, more of a feeling that the fault lines could slide apart. That, for me, would have been an even more valuable Bach-image.

But no.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Sean on May 30, 2013, 05:31:11 PM
I've also heard the Gould 55 and 81 many times; I agree with him that there was too much young man's passion and pianism in the first recording absolutely spectacular though it is, and the later is much more inwardly Bachian and ravishingly contained within the idiom. Pity about his nerdy mumblings over it but it's extremely accomplished playing. The whole video is also on Youtube last time I checked.

Glenn Gould's first Goldberg was revolutionary in that it showed just how brilliant Bach could sound on the piano. I think I have two more of Gould's early performances (both live) plus his 1981 remake. I don't think you could do without the first and the last but the others are really good too.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: San Antone on March 19, 2014, 10:40:14 AM
An interesting article by conductor and cellist Kenneth Woods on his generally excellent blog (http://kennethwoods.net/blog1/), as part of his "Explore the Score" series:

Explore the Score: Bach “Keyboard exercise, consisting of an ARIA with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals” (The Goldberg Variations)

Modern research has thrown into serious doubt the veracity of the popular story that Bach wrote the Variations to give comfort to a visiting nobleman suffering from insomnia. Unlike most of Bach’s music, the Variations were published in his lifetime, and there is no mention made in the score of a dedication to either Count Kaiserling, whose sleep difficulties were purported to have inspired the work, nor of his long-suffering keyboardist, the now-immortalized Mr. Goldberg.

Bach is known to have always maintained an interest in the evolution of new keyboard instruments throughout his life, and it seems inconceivable that he would not have been amazed and delighted by the possibilities of the modern Steinway. Nonetheless, Bach was also a composer who knew how to stretch the possibilities of the instruments he had available to him and, throughout the Variations, he makes particular use of the possibilities of the two-manual keyboard in writing parts that cross and even overlap. This means that performance of these works on a single-keyboard piano offers a number of possibilities to expand or refine the textural and coloristic possibilities of the work, but also creates some very specific and very awkward technical challenges which are not a factor when playing the work on an instrument with two keyboards. Karp is absolutely clear on which pianists he feels best handle both the possibilities and the challenges of playing Bach on the piano “The pianist whose playing of Bach I loved above all was Rosalyn Tureck, and I also loved William Kapell’s Bach”


RTRH (http://kennethwoods.net/blog1/2014/03/19/explore-the-score-bach-keyboard-exercise-consisting-of-an-aria-with-diverse-variations-for-harpsichord-with-two-manuals-the-goldberg-variations/)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on March 19, 2014, 10:59:23 AM
An interesting article by conductor and cellist Kenneth Woods on his generally excellent blog (http://kennethwoods.net/blog1/), as part of his "Explore the Score" series:

Explore the Score: Bach “Keyboard exercise, consisting of an ARIA with diverse variations for harpsichord with two manuals” (The Goldberg Variations)

Modern research has thrown into serious doubt the veracity of the popular story that Bach wrote the Variations to give comfort to a visiting nobleman suffering from insomnia. Unlike most of Bach’s music, the Variations were published in his lifetime, and there is no mention made in the score of a dedication to either Count Kaiserling, whose sleep difficulties were purported to have inspired the work, nor of his long-suffering keyboardist, the now-immortalized Mr. Goldberg.

Bach is known to have always maintained an interest in the evolution of new keyboard instruments throughout his life, and it seems inconceivable that he would not have been amazed and delighted by the possibilities of the modern Steinway. Nonetheless, Bach was also a composer who knew how to stretch the possibilities of the instruments he had available to him and, throughout the Variations, he makes particular use of the possibilities of the two-manual keyboard in writing parts that cross and even overlap. This means that performance of these works on a single-keyboard piano offers a number of possibilities to expand or refine the textural and coloristic possibilities of the work, but also creates some very specific and very awkward technical challenges which are not a factor when playing the work on an instrument with two keyboards. Karp is absolutely clear on which pianists he feels best handle both the possibilities and the challenges of playing Bach on the piano “The pianist whose playing of Bach I loved above all was Rosalyn Tureck, and I also loved William Kapell’s Bach”


RTRH (http://kennethwoods.net/blog1/2014/03/19/explore-the-score-bach-keyboard-exercise-consisting-of-an-aria-with-diverse-variations-for-harpsichord-with-two-manuals-the-goldberg-variations/)

Who is "legendary pianist Howard Karp"?

I've heard people praise Kapell's Bach before. Part of it is probably just the groupie phenomenon -- he was good looking and died young. Part of it is probably american pride -- a "great" american pianist, whoever heard of such a thing before?  Part of it is certainly that he was capable of some amazing pianism -- like in Chopin's second sonata. Part of it is probably that he played some excellent Bach live. But as far as I know he only recorded one Bach piece -- the fourth partita, a studio recording. It's a fine performance, marred in my opinion by a cautiousness which was often his achilles heal.



Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: San Antone on March 19, 2014, 11:04:51 AM
Who is "legendary pianist Howard Karp"?

I did not recognize the name either, but here's some biographical information (http://www.du.edu/ahss/schools/lamont/faculty/precollege/karp-howard.html) from his most recent academic position.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Sammy on March 19, 2014, 04:46:06 PM
Since Karp's favorite Bach pianist is Tureck, he must be a man of great knowledge and superior taste. :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: DavidA on March 22, 2014, 12:46:28 AM
I must confess I can't get on with Tureck. Seems a bit deliberate. I have about five versions of Gould playing this piece and also one outstanding by Perhaia.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on March 22, 2014, 10:24:10 AM
I must confess I can't get on with Tureck. Seems a bit deliberate. I have about five versions of Gould playing this piece and also one outstanding by Perhaia.

These five versions by Gould, can you give some details. I have three.

Tureck recorded it many times, and I think she did indeed become deliberate. But I very much like the her second recorded, on the Great Pianists edition. I haven't heard her first recording but would very much like to, I can't find it anywhere.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: G. String on March 23, 2014, 03:54:46 AM
These five versions by Gould, can you give some details. I have three.

Tureck recorded it many times, and I think she did indeed become deliberate. But I very much like the her second recorded, on the Great Pianists edition. I haven't heard her first recording but would very much like to, I can't find it anywhere.

There are four by Gould: 1954 (42:30), 1955 (38:40), 1959 (37:07) and 1981 (51:14)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Gurn Blanston on January 04, 2015, 06:21:28 PM
Someone posted this picture on my Twitter feed and I thought the Goldberg fans in the room might like it. Pity it isn't larger, but still, nice graphical design.

(http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa159/Gurn_Blanston/CD%20Covers/B6gy2pMIMAEwMcdjpglarge_zpsedc1e06e.jpg)

8)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Florestan on April 21, 2015, 03:07:31 AM
Question for connoisseurs: how many times did Rosalyn Tureck record GV, and in which years specifically?

Answers much appreciated. TIA.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on April 21, 2015, 06:23:38 AM
The Bach cantatas website lists 7 complete recordings, I once tried to get hold of the first with no success - I was interested because I generally like her earlier recordings more. People who claimed to have heard that 1947 LP said it was not very good, but I'd still like to form my own judgement.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Gordo on April 21, 2015, 09:30:20 AM
(on Tureck) ... I generally like her earlier recordings more. People who claimed to have heard that 1947 LP said it was not very good, but I'd still like to form my own judgement.
Apparently, the consensus tends towards her early recordings. However, I have found myself preferring, for instance, her WTC recorded in the 70s (BBC Legends).

It has a nimbleness and transparency that I really adore, especially in her interpretation of Bk. 2. Not to mention the superb sound quality.

That being said, unfortunately, I just know a late version of the Goldbergs.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: king ubu on April 21, 2015, 10:05:43 AM
When does "late" start with Tureck? I don't know her well yet, but I found this recording here mesmerizing:

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Gordo on April 21, 2015, 05:33:20 PM
When does "late" start with Tureck? I don't know her well yet, but I found this recording here mesmerizing:



She was born in 1914 and died in 2003, so she lived almost 90 years.

She recorded the Goldbergs for the first time in 1947 and I have the last of her recordings from March, 1998 (DG), so this, for instance, is very late. :)

Here you can find a not very clear, but informative discography: http://tureckbach.com/discography
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on April 21, 2015, 07:56:34 PM
When does "late" start with Tureck? I don't know her well yet, but I found this recording here mesmerizing:



That's 1957. It's her second recording of it, and the earliest I've heard. It's a favourite of mine too.

Other JSB recordings I like are the Partitas on her Great Pianists and (despite the sound) doremi and the DG WTC 2. There are one or two other things - on Music and Arts, and in her Great Pianists (like the duetti from CU3)

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: king ubu on April 21, 2015, 09:25:50 PM
Thanks guys! I knew she lived a long life. Got that small DG Bach set of hers as well, recently, but haven't really explored it yet (it was too cheap to pass, I'm afraid). The EMI one is indeed a favourite, although I've not played it often yet - need to be in the right mood.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Florestan on April 21, 2015, 11:19:57 PM
Thank you, guys!

The most informative and well organized discography is on the Bach Cantatas website: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/Tureck.htm#SoloKey (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/Tureck.htm#SoloKey) (special thanks to Jeffrey)

I have the 1957, 1988 and 1998 recordings but I have never listened to any of them. Shame on me, I think.  :D
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on April 22, 2015, 06:22:14 AM
I saw her play the Goldberg Variations in London in the early 1990s or late 1980s, I can't remember. I remember being very bored by the performance. When she came on she looked at the piano and wrinkled her nose, retrieved a kleenex from handbag, and started to wipe down the ivories. Half way through the performance she just got up and, without so much as a by your leave, she skidaddled off the stage. After she'd had her drink or pee or whatever, she returned and carried on playing.

A dire evening.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on September 15, 2015, 08:19:42 AM
Has anyone explored recordings of the Goldberg canons, BWV 1087?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on September 17, 2015, 09:34:29 AM
Has anyone explored recordings of the Goldberg canons, BWV 1087?

Not in depth. I have heard two or three recordings of these works, but they seem to me rather to be music for the performer than for the listener.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on September 17, 2015, 12:17:39 PM
Not in depth. I have heard two or three recordings of these works, but they seem to me rather to be music for the performer than for the listener.

You hear big claims made about it, for example Glen Wilson praises them to the skies in the essay on his website on the Goldbergs. The one I've enjoyed the most is with Michael Behringer on Haensler, on a CD with Opfer.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on October 03, 2016, 12:30:25 PM
(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/159/MI0001159221.jpg)

A very stylish modern piano recording from Burkard Schliessmann, hardly any dynamic variation, perfect clarity and equality of the voices, moderate tempos, unobtrusive rubato and ornaments.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: KevinP on December 19, 2016, 11:01:02 PM
Does any recording take every repeat?

I'm asking purely out of curiosity, not because it's a criterion I'm looking for.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Marc on December 19, 2016, 11:22:12 PM
Does any recording take every repeat?

I'm asking purely out of curiosity, not because it's a criterion I'm looking for.

Check this out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldberg_Variations_discography
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 20, 2016, 01:07:21 AM
Check this out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldberg_Variations_discography

Doesn't Egarr take all the repeats? I had always assumed he did, but not according to that list.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: GioCar on December 20, 2016, 02:30:57 AM
Check this out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldberg_Variations_discography

Doesn't Egarr take all the repeats? I had always assumed he did, but not according to that list.



I don't think that list should be trusted too much  :D
One of the best in recent years is not there...





Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Jo498 on December 20, 2016, 02:46:45 AM
I have about 10 recordings. Some seem fairly inconsistent wrt to repeats (e.g. Gould who in his late recording skips most but takes a few in the faster variations, I think). But many/most take most of the repeats, except for the aria dacapo and the two or three slowest variations (especially 25, sometimes also 15).
Recordings taking > 75 min. take most or all of the repeats, recordings taking less, skip at least some of them. Skipping all would yield a playing time around 40 min. (Goulds's fast and repeat-free early one lasts around 35.)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 20, 2016, 04:50:59 AM
I have about 10 recordings. Some seem fairly inconsistent wrt to repeats (e.g. Gould who in his late recording skips most but takes a few in the faster variations, I think). But many/most take most of the repeats, except for the aria dacapo and the two or three slowest variations (especially 25, sometimes also 15).
Recordings taking > 75 min. take most or all of the repeats, recordings taking less, skip at least some of them. Skipping all would yield a playing time around 40 min. (Goulds's fast and repeat-free early one lasts around 35.)

I've never understood why Bach put the repeats in there. Everyone knows that the structure of the whole is reflected in the structure of the parts. That's to say, there are 32 movements in the whole, and each movement contains 32 bars. Furthermore the whole is divided in two equal halves of 16 movements, and each variation is divided into two equal halves of 16 bars. But why is each half of each variation repeated?

You can see why Don Satz used to say that the question of repeats is an all or nothing matter, from the point of view of preserving the symmetries which Bach very carefully built in.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Jo498 on December 20, 2016, 05:18:55 AM
I think this is the case because in almost all dance movements and many others in the baroque each half is repeated (not all are symmetrical but almost all have double bar repeats). Usually the repeat was to be ornamented by the player. Of course usually the music is not as elaborate and there are not as many movements as in the GBV.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 20, 2016, 08:58:10 AM
I think this is the case because in almost all dance movements and many others in the baroque each half is repeated (not all are symmetrical but almost all have double bar repeats).

I want aware of that. Presumably Bach took inspiration from large sets of variations by Frescobaldi, Buxtehude and Handel for these though, I don't know if there's the same tradition of repeats there.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Jo498 on December 20, 2016, 09:59:52 AM
I am not sure about these other variations either. The closest "model" for the GBV is probably the Buxtehude set BuxWV 250.

But the GBV aria is a sarabande and if you look at (dance) suite movements in Bach's keyboard, cello and violin suites almost all of them will have this bipartite structure with standard double bar repeats for each part. Many of the WTC II preludes follow that structure as well although they are not clearly recognizable as dance movements. It is a convention.

When this stuff was actually danced to (probably not true for those Bach suites but for similar music) they were probably repeated even more often according to the way the actual dance was organized. It is a bit odd that Bach stuck to those conventional repeats in such a massive work but for some reason he did.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on December 24, 2016, 08:32:40 AM
(http://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/08/11/4260234831108_600.jpg)

I did not know there was a second Zhu Goldbergs. Anyone heard it? It good?

Also, currently taking suggestions for harpsichord versions.
Not so into: Staier (sound kills it), Esfahani, Walcha
Kinda positive on, but not 100% sold: Hantaï/Mirare, Rousset, Frisch
???????: Verlet
actually own: Watanabe
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on December 24, 2016, 09:21:09 AM

Kinda positive on, but not 100% sold: Hantaï/Mirare, Rousset, Frisch
???????: Verlet
actually own: Watanabe

I'm not into Hantaï  (any) but do like Rousset and Frisch....

Try to describe what you are missing?  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2016, 10:33:00 AM
(http://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/08/11/4260234831108_600.jpg)

I did not know there was a second Zhu Goldbergs. Anyone heard it? It good?

Also, currently taking suggestions for harpsichord versions.
Not so into: Staier (sound kills it), Esfahani, Walcha
Kinda positive on, but not 100% sold: Hantaï/Mirare, Rousset, Frisch
???????: Verlet
actually own: Watanabe

The new zhu is on spotty. I can't be bothered to listen to it. While you're on spotify I think you should check out Egarr. Merry Christmas.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Herman on December 24, 2016, 11:03:25 AM


When this stuff was actually danced to (probably not true for those Bach suites but for similar music) they were probably repeated even more often according to the way the actual dance was organized. It is a bit odd that Bach stuck to those conventional repeats in such a massive work but for some reason he did.

No one was dancing to Bach's keyboard pieces, or fiddle pieces, even though he stuck to the dance format.

That's tradition.

And that's the sublime beauty of the music.

They are dances of the mind.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on December 24, 2016, 01:49:37 PM
I'm not into Hantaï  (any) but do like Rousset and Frisch....

Try to describe what you are missing?  :)

Q
Not sure.

I like Rousset the most of those three and it's largely because of his phrasing and articulation, plus the rubato isn't too intrusive. His instrument is loud, though. And people are kind of salty about him on the internet ("this was an amazing recording of the Variations, for 1992!! but that was a looooooong time ago lol"). I like Hantaï for similar reasons, although obviously his approach is very different, much more rubato and generally slower. Not super into slow although I guess it can work. With Frisch I think I mostly like her instrument. Her playing is fine too, obviously <_< very straightforward, I'm not sure whether I'd like it more or less if I listened to the whole thing.

I guess it's mostly just subjective things: phrasing and articulation. Which no two people react to the same way. Oh well.

The new zhu is on spotty. I can't be bothered to listen to it. While you're on spotify I think you should check out Egarr. Merry Christmas.


I was going to listen to Egarr but he seems slow. (Same w the new Zhu when I looked at it.) Might someday though. Happy Chanukah
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2016, 02:09:22 PM
So you want

1. Speed
2. Hidden agogics
3. Non-pianistic phrasing
4. Nice sounding instrument

In that case forget Egarr. My prescription is clear: Bob van Asperen.

By the way, people who come to this from a piano background often want speed because of the influence of Glen Gould, who really bolted out of the stables in the first variation in 1955. There's no reason to play it like that.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on December 24, 2016, 04:09:32 PM
Nothing against slow in principle, but often when it is played slowly I get the feeling of wanting a more well-defined dance rhythm, at least. Some of the variations come across as a bit lumbering. I guess I'm talking less about speed and more about lightness.

I'll give Asperen a go. I definitely enjoy his WTC. Egarr's still on the list for when I have the 85 minutes to spare <_<
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: kishnevi on December 24, 2016, 04:36:22 PM
Nothing against slow in principle, but often when it is played slowly I get the feeling of wanting a more well-defined dance rhythm, at least. Some of the variations come across as a bit lumbering. I guess I'm talking less about speed and more about lightness.

I'll give Asperen a go. I definitely enjoy his WTC. Egarr's still on the list for when I have the 85 minutes to spare <_<

I have a serious problem with Egarr.

He seemed to want to prove that the GVs were really meant as a cure for insomnia.

BTW, he did include the canons, although they aren't part of the 85 minutes.

I don't have a recommendation myself to further confuse you.  All my favorites are on modern piano (Gould I, Perahia, Feltsman)

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 24, 2016, 11:47:59 PM
Nothing against slow in principle, but often when it is played slowly I get the feeling of wanting a more well-defined dance rhythm, at least.



I think you need to reframe. This isn't dance. It's just perverse to demand dancable rhythms.


 Egarr's still on the list for when I have the 85 minutes to spare <_<

What I appreciate about Egarr's is:

1 The sense of improvisation
2 The variety, each variation has its own personality
3 The general style which seems to almost hark back to the 15th 16th century
4 The harpsichord sound, and the tuning
5 The originality, the challenge of the new ideas

Nothing against slow in principle,

I think Gould 1 had a major influence on expectations of speed, an influence on harpsichordist as much as pianists. The way he bolts out the first variation for example has become a sort of established performance practice since.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on December 25, 2016, 11:53:37 AM
Nothing against slow in principle, but often when it is played slowly I get the feeling of wanting a more well-defined dance rhythm, at least. Some of the variations come across as a bit lumbering. I guess I'm talking less about speed and more about lightness.

I'll give Asperen a go. I definitely enjoy his WTC. Egarr's still on the list for when I have the 85 minutes to spare <_<

I might have a few suggestions to confuse you..... :D

Ottavio Dantone  (Italian Decca) and wild(card) Fabio Bonizzoni (Glossa).

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on December 25, 2016, 12:25:57 PM
This isn't dance. It's just perverse to demand dancable rhythms.

Amen.

Quote from: Mandryka
What I appreciate about Egarr's is:

1 The sense of improvisation
2 The variety, each variation has its own personality
3 The general style which seems to almost hark back to the 15th century
4 The harpsichord sound, and the tuning
5 The originality, the challenge of the new ideas

I have resisted Egarr's Goldbergs until now, but it seems as if I need to get them. :)

I think Gould 1 had a major influence on expectations of speed, an influence on harpsichordist as much as pianists. The way he bolts out the first variation for example has become a sort of established performance practice since.

I doubt that Gould has been the benchmark for that many harpsichorsdists who have chosen a fast pace for the Goldbergs or anything else by Bach.  Already Walcha played some of the variations very fast, and he was maybe even more his own than Gould.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on December 25, 2016, 09:29:59 PM
By the way, people who come to this from a piano background often want speed because of the influence of Glen Gould, who really bolted out of the stables in the first variation in 1955. There's no reason to play it like that.
I've heard Gould but didn't get along with it much. Possibly for the same reasons I didn't enjoy Walcha, actually. I'm from a piano background, but András Schiff (2001).

Listened to about half of Asperen and it does seem more or less like what I was looking for. Egarr's next tho. Can't trial Dantone without committing an act of immoral and reprehensible piracy (who am I kidding, I just don't feel like waiting for an active seeder <_<) but also taken under consideration.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 25, 2016, 10:18:34 PM

What I appreciate about Egarr's is:

1 The sense of improvisation
2 The variety, each variation has its own personality
3 The general style which seems to almost hark back to the 15th century
4 The harpsichord sound, and the tuning
5 The originality, the challenge of the new ideas


Should have 16th century, or maybe 17th!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: stingo on December 26, 2016, 09:25:08 AM
I don't know if Kimiko Ishizaka's rendition (http://music.kimiko-piano.com/album/j-s-bach-open-goldberg-variations-bwv-988-piano) was mentioned but I like it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on December 26, 2016, 09:47:52 AM
While I prefer it on the piano, this version is quite good. Excellent sound, too.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71y7Qs2B5kL._SX522_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Marc on December 27, 2016, 09:07:56 AM
What do the connaisseurs think of Virginia Black's recording on the former Collins label?
I always feel refreshed after listening to this one.

(And, for those interested: I'm quite sure she takes every repeat.)

(http://117.imagebam.com/download/ozGK0Dyu9ohKkpjsyAbpXA/52302/523018663/jsb-988-vb.jpg)

https://www.amazon.com/J-s-Bach-Goldberg-Variations-Virginia/dp/B000088NUC/?tag=goodmusicguideco
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on December 27, 2016, 03:17:14 PM
Egarr today

+
Instrument
Tuning
very introspective, playing as though for himself alone
good use of ornaments
high quality rubato, A+
variation 25 is an infinite abyss in the guise of an opera seria cavatina

-
it doesn't sound like he is having any fun—not as heavy as I thought, but extremely serious, like the fate of the world depends on the Quodlibet
feels like there is very little contrast between the variations
sense of improvisation maybe goes too far, in that i don't feel like he sets out a large-scale trajectory from aria to da capo

It's perfectly good but I can't exactly put it in the top tier of Goldbergs. To be fair this applies for me with most everything Egarr has recorded. :/

subjective ofc.

A kind individual who will remain unnamed for legal reasons has supplied a copy of the Dantone recording so that's up next on the agenda.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on December 27, 2016, 11:20:01 PM
Egarr today


-
it doesn't sound like he is having any fun—not as heavy as I thought, but extremely serious, like the fate of the world depends on the Quodlibet
feels like there is very little contrast between the variations
sense of improvisation maybe goes too far, in that i don't feel like he sets out a large-scale trajectory from aria to da capo



I don't agree about the thought that there's little contrast, I agree that he plays it like a sequence of etudes.

By the way the sound on spotify is not anywhere near as good as the sound on the CD.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on December 28, 2016, 03:48:29 AM
Not even etudes, he plays it like it's the Sonatas and Interludes. Or Musica Callada. I guess that's what I mean by lack of contrast.

The music was streamed through my computer speakers, which are the great equalizer in terms of sound quality, but I'm guessing it's good. Harmonia Mundi after all.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 19, 2017, 10:01:22 PM
Found this in a record shop, and since it was cheap (4 dollars),  and I generally like Rousset, I decided to see how this sounded.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0000/978/MI0000978466.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

Not very impressed, I must say. Bland and without much features, and a bit superficial (some movements, like the Arias, 21, or the "black pearl" are just too fast for my taste. Hopefully it opens up with a few more listens, but this is my 5th spin, and it hasn't worked much magic yet.

It seems like Rousset was aiming for "lyrical," but it, unlike e.g. Rannou, misses the mark.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Toccata&Fugue on February 25, 2017, 10:39:11 AM
This one played on the piano is wonderful, too.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/715N69kB6AL._SL438_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on February 27, 2017, 02:20:37 PM
Found this in a record shop, and since it was cheap (4 dollars),  and I generally like Rousset, I decided to see how this sounded.

(http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0000/978/MI0000978466.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

Not very impressed, I must say. Bland and without much features, and a bit superficial (some movements, like the Arias, 21, or the "black pearl" are just too fast for my taste. Hopefully it opens up with a few more listens, but this is my 5th spin, and it hasn't worked much magic yet.

It seems like Rousset was aiming for "lyrical," but it, unlike e.g. Rannou, misses the mark.

I like it! :) A "young man's" Golbergs for sure - love to hear his 2nd take any time soon...I hope...

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on February 27, 2017, 03:33:41 PM
I like it! :) A "young man's" Golbergs for sure - love to hear his 2nd take any time soon...I hope...

Q
Tell me why you like it. I'm still trying to get myself to like it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on February 28, 2017, 11:15:04 PM
Tell me why you like it. I'm still trying to get myself to like it.

I wouldn't dare or want to try to talk you into it!   :D If it doesn't click, it doesn't click...

Rousset is a speeder, always has been. Though he seems to mellow/slow down now he is getter older...
The most obvious case in point are his recordings of the French and English Suites on Ambroisie, which made fellow harpsichordist Peter Watchorn remark (approx.): "Thank you, Mr. Rousset. For demonstrating how fast these pieces can be played."
I guess for Rousset' genius musical brain which has thoroughly absorbed the music, the speed feels completely natural.
For us ordinary mortal souls,  keeping up with the complexity of the music is a challenge at such speeds. Being familiar with the music certainly helps, though it always takes me a few minutes adapt.

But being able to keep up doesn’t account for taste and doesn't mean you like it. :)
For me the rewards are the liveliness, the virtuosity and elegance, the way he builds tension, thh brillisnt ornamentations. And it is not all blazing virtuosity that catches the eye: Rousset is a great analyser and offers profundity as well. Though not often the "meditative" kind, some tend to associate with Bach.
Rousset shows Bach the virtuosic musical genius, which in my mind he was  - particularly behind the keyboard.

A more moderated approach in the same mould would be Céline Frisch (Alpha), for instance  (my knowledge of what is out there is getting outdated...)
Pretty recording...

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on February 28, 2017, 11:20:23 PM
Anyway...I just spottted this...

Presumably a reissue from the Bach Edition? Any good? :)


Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Marc on March 01, 2017, 12:48:49 AM
Anyway...I just spottted this...

Presumably a reissue from the Bach Edition? Any good? :)


Q

This one is recorded in 2015, so it's a new release.
It's his 3rd recording of BWV 988, after Erasmus 1991 and Brilliant 1999 (for the Bach Edition).
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bioluminescentsquid on March 01, 2017, 04:04:43 AM
I wouldn't dare or want to try to talk you into it!   :D If it doesn't click, it doesn't click...

Rousset is a speeder, always has been. Though he seems to mellow/slow down now he is getter older...
The most obvious case in point are his recordings of the French and English Suites on Ambroisie, which made fellow harpsichordist Peter Watchorn remark (approx.): "Thank you, Mr. Rousset. For demonstrating how fast these pieces can be played."
I guess for Rousset' genius musical brain which has thoroughly absorbed the music, the speed feels completely natural.
For us ordinary mortal souls,  keeping up with the complexity of the music is a challenge at such speeds. Being familiar with the music certainly helps, though it always takes me a few minutes adapt.

But being able to keep up doesn’t account for taste and doesn't mean you like it. :)
For me the rewards are the liveliness, the virtuosity and elegance, the way he builds tension, thh brillisnt ornamentations. And it is not all blazing virtuosity that catches the eye: Rousset is a great analyser and offers profundity as well. Though not often the "meditative" kind, some tend to associate with Bach.
Rousset shows Bach the virtuosic musical genius, which in my mind he was  - particularly behind the keyboard.

A more moderated approach in the same mould would be Céline Frisch (Alpha), for instance  (my knowledge of what is out there is getting outdated...)
Pretty recording...

Q

This is my 7th spin, and I think I'm starting to get it....?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on March 01, 2017, 02:58:43 PM
I wouldn't dare or want to try to talk you into it!   :D If it doesn't click, it doesn't click...

Rousset is a speeder, always has been. Though he seems to mellow/slow down now he is getter older...
The most obvious case in point are his recordings of the French and English Suites on Ambroisie, which made fellow harpsichordist Peter Watchorn remark (approx.): "Thank you, Mr. Rousset. For demonstrating how fast these pieces can be played."
I guess for Rousset' genius musical brain which has thoroughly absorbed the music, the speed feels completely natural.
For us ordinary mortal souls,  keeping up with the complexity of the music is a challenge at such speeds. Being familiar with the music certainly helps, though it always takes me a few minutes adapt.

But being able to keep up doesn’t account for taste and doesn't mean you like it. :)
For me the rewards are the liveliness, the virtuosity and elegance, the way he builds tension, thh brillisnt ornamentations. And it is not all blazing virtuosity that catches the eye: Rousset is a great analyser and offers profundity as well. Though not often the "meditative" kind, some tend to associate with Bach.
Rousset shows Bach the virtuosic musical genius, which in my mind he was  - particularly behind the keyboard.

A more moderated approach in the same mould would be Céline Frisch (Alpha), for instance  (my knowledge of what is out there is getting outdated...)
Pretty recording...

Q

Great post, Que.  :)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on May 30, 2017, 01:55:23 AM
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e1/4e/c4/e14ec497e5154449e43e37fe06579902.jpg)

Richard Lester plays the Goldberg Variations, with gentility, sobriety and care. He takes every repeat identically. Long singing phrasing. My feeling is that he is at pains to bring out the large scale structure of the set. And my impression is that what he's doing is extremely beautiful in a galant way. Sweet small (8') German style harpsichord (Colin Booth after Johann Christoph Fleischer in Berlin.) This may well be a recording which will repay repeated listening.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on May 30, 2017, 07:47:12 AM


 Any good? :)


Q

Very good harpsichord (Flemish) , and recorded sound.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Parsifal on May 30, 2017, 09:02:57 AM
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e1/4e/c4/e14ec497e5154449e43e37fe06579902.jpg)

Richard Lester plays the Goldberg Variations, with gentility, sobriety and care. He takes every repeat identically. Long singing phrasing. My feeling is that he is at pains to bring out the large scale structure of the set. And my impression is that what he's doing is extremely beautiful in a galant way. Sweet small (8') German style harpsichord (Colin Booth after Johann Christoph Fleischer in Berlin.) This may well be a recording which will repay repeated listening.

This seems like an absurd thing to do. If the music is repeated, why not take advantage by varying ornaments or other performance details?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on May 30, 2017, 10:14:32 AM
This seems like an absurd thing to do. If the music is repeated, why not take advantage by varying ornaments or other performance details?

I agree this is a good question, and I bet Richard Lester has thought about it a lot. He must think that you lose something by introducing additional variation, and my guess was that he wanted to highlight structure, the structure of the goldbergs is very very very symmetrical, reflective, both globally and within each variation.

But listen to it, I've only heard it once and he could be introducing nuances which I missed.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Parsifal on May 30, 2017, 12:14:55 PM
Probably a lot of recordings do the same, and may even used tape editing to splice in the repeats, but it seems like a lost opportunity. One of the things I really liked about Andras Schiff's Bach recordings made for Decca is that he would often vary ornamentation in repeats, particularly in the dance movements from the Suite and Partitas, which share the same structure as the variations in the Goldberg's.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on May 30, 2017, 08:53:50 PM
In var 25 Lester does something magic. He puts just one of the keyboards on a lute stop, and uses it for one of the voices of most of the music - but at the end he cuts out the lute. Very nice sounding lute stop too. It's astonishing. .

I may well have been wrong to say he introduces no variation in the repeats all of the time, I can notice a little ornament here and there, for example.

I do not think I was wrong to suggest that this is a performance which will repay repeated listening. At least if people are not wedded to the idea that the music should be dazzlingly virtuosic and exciting.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on December 12, 2017, 04:54:17 AM
(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0004/177/MI0004177557.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)
I think all the praise this is receiving is deserved.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: San Antone on December 12, 2017, 05:42:26 AM
A minute ago I began listening to this

(http://mp3red.cc/cover/2063075-460x460/bach-goldberg-variations.jpg)

The Aria is played very nicely to my ears.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Vinbrulé on March 02, 2018, 08:47:32 AM
It seems that Blandine Verlet registered two times the Goldberg Variations.  I found , and enormously liked , this version on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9bpkJd2rNI&list=RDx4RzJpP_1IU&index=2      but I can't understand which is the CD containing this version: both CDs are from Naive/Astree. May you help me to understand ?   Thanks.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on March 02, 2018, 09:02:58 AM
It seems that Blandine Verlet registered two times the Goldberg Variations.  I found , and enormously liked , this version on YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9bpkJd2rNI&list=RDx4RzJpP_1IU&index=2      but I can't understand which is the CD containing this version: both CDs are from Naive/Astree. May you help me to understand ?   Thanks.

The you tube is her first recording. I wasn't aware that it has been released apart from on vinyl. Her second recording is available on CD and for download.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: André on March 02, 2018, 02:37:15 PM
It’s odd that a serious label like Alba would issue this:

(https://media2.jpc.de/image/w600/front/0/6417513101911.jpg)

Sample clips on the JPC web site:

https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988-f%FCr-Akkordeon/hnum/3580455 (https://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detail/-/art/Johann-Sebastian-Bach-1685-1750-Goldberg-Variationen-BWV-988-f%FCr-Akkordeon/hnum/3580455)

Beurk... >:(
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Vinbrulé on March 03, 2018, 12:53:55 AM
The you tube is her first recording. I wasn't aware that it has been released apart from on vinyl. Her second recording is available on CD and for download.
I must correct my previous statement : the Goldberg first recording that Blandine Verlet performed was released by Philips on vinyl .  I don't think they have put this on CD .  The version found on YouTube is probably this one  (about 72' instead of the 79' of the Astree version) 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 09, 2018, 04:25:59 PM
Could someone please do a brief compare/contrast of the three (3) versions by Leonhardt? Which one do you favor and why?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on March 09, 2018, 11:43:28 PM
First recording (Vanguard). Pulse is steady.  Ammer harpsichord.

Second recording (Teldec). Very similar to the first in conception but on an better harpsichord, an authentic one, and a bit more independent and characterful voicing.

Third recording (DHM). Not dissimilar to the second in conception but a bit more independent and expressive voicing and on a more beautiful  harpsichord, better recorded and I think more inspired playing, with more interesting articulation and "textures" This is the best one.

No repeats in any of them.

Control, poise, expression. These are Apollonian performances, not Bach "in flesh and blood" but rather Bach in "mind and spirit" . But the sense of abandon in the third, the sense of Leonhardt abondoning his controlling self in order to let the music take flight to eternity, is present.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 10, 2018, 10:35:41 AM
Thanks. From what I've read, the Vanguard is more different from the subsequent 2 recordings, than those recordings are from each other.

Some criticisms about the harpsichord sound on that first recording, which is a point for me, as Leonhardt was the guy who convinced me I could love the sound of a harpsichord in the first place.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on March 10, 2018, 11:11:22 AM
Thanks. From what I've read, the Vanguard is more different from the subsequent 2 recordings, than those recordings are from each other.

I'd quite like to see the argument for that if it's online somewhere you have a link.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 10, 2018, 01:02:06 PM
I'd quite like to see the argument for that if it's online somewhere you have a link.

No link unfortunately, I've just been reading around here and there. Also, there are some complaints about the instrument he uses (apparently it's not a "proper" harpsichord, as if I could tell the difference).

Basically, I lack a harpsichord recording of this. I tried Scott Ross and didn't like it much. I think Leonhardt might do it for me, based on past performance (Froberger, Byrd).

Bigger question: what is the "harpsichordiest" harpsichord recording? That is, which Goldbergs most completely exploits the resources of the 2-manual harpsichord this piece was written for? 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: North Star on March 10, 2018, 01:21:11 PM
I'm rather fond of Bonizzoni, and he's quite harpsichordy.
https://www.youtube.com/v/Cddehw_WI8E
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on March 10, 2018, 02:21:57 PM
That is, which Goldbergs most completely exploits the resources of the 2-manual harpsichord this piece was written for? 
Probably Staier, but to the point of sacrificing musicality for special effects, in the opinion of a number of people on this forum....
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Forever Electoral College on March 12, 2018, 06:56:55 PM
I'm rather fond of Bonizzoni, and he's quite harpsichordy.
https://www.youtube.com/v/Cddehw_WI8E
Sorry, I am not crazy about it. Reminds me of declined, old jazz singers.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Que on March 12, 2018, 10:28:13 PM
I'm rather fond of Bonizzoni, and he's quite harpsichordy.


Same here.  :)

Q
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 13, 2018, 07:09:55 AM

Third recording (DHM). Not dissimilar to the second in conception but a bit more independent and expressive voicing and on a more beautiful  harpsichord, better recorded and I think more inspired playing, with more interesting articulation and "textures" This is the best one.

I've been doing some back-&-forth comparative YouTube-ing of Leonhardt III vs. Pinnock. I chose Pinnock as a comparison because his seems to be a well-regarded standard version. While Pinnock is good and solid, I have to say I find Leonhardt III a lot more interesting - there just seems to be "more going on" in the individual variations.

I've seen this Leonhardt described as eccentric by some, or even "perverse." I guess that's what I like about it!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on March 13, 2018, 08:24:26 AM

I've seen this Leonhardt described as eccentric by some, or even "perverse." I guess that's what I like about it!

I'd be interested to know what the perverse elements are - perverse means persistent in error. Maybe his attitude to repeats was perverse.

Eccentric is also a bit puzzling, If you look at the recordings prior to it, there just is no stylistic centre to deviate from. We had recordings by Landowska, Gould, Verlet, Martins, Kempff, Tureck, Landowska  . . .  this was a time of great freedom and experimentation, more so than today. I think if anything Leonhardt's final recording was instrumental in creating a mainstream of opinion about how to read the score.

I think that Leonhardt plays this music better than Pinnock.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on March 13, 2018, 08:29:47 AM
I think that Leonhardt plays this music better than Pinnock.

I (might) agree. Pinnock seems a bit blunt, Leonhardt more free and subtle in phrasing. I also prefer the sound of Leonhardt's harpsichord, tho' it's difficult to judge off YouTube.

As for "perverse," that's just one guy's opinion, out there on the Internet. I wouldn't read too much into it.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on June 09, 2018, 03:36:30 PM
How do people feel about Steven Devine and Pieter Dirksen here?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on June 10, 2018, 03:25:16 AM
I'd be interested to know what the perverse elements are - perverse means persistent in error. Maybe his attitude to repeats was perverse.


Many keyboard players leave out some of the repeats in the GV to make the work fit into one CD. Leonhardt is at least consequent - ooh wait -  as far as I recall, he does one of the repeats in one of the short variations, maybe thinking it would be too short otherwise.

I am convinced, that Leonhardt left out the repeats in the GV and in the EMI English suites and partitas, because he felt a pressure to do variations in the repeats and didn't want to do variations, which might risk to achieve authoritary status, given his central role in the HIP movement.


Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mr. Minnow on June 17, 2018, 04:07:57 PM
Any thoughts on this?

(https://i.scdn.co/image/9207df608d5a4493c0fed15df6ecf99643359013)

There's a very negative review here:

http://culturecatch.com/music/june-2012-classical-review-roundup (http://culturecatch.com/music/june-2012-classical-review-roundup)

On the other hand, a couple of customer reviews on Amazon France are much more positive. I haven't found much else about this one; it seems to have largely flown under the radar.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on June 20, 2018, 01:00:30 PM
Diego Ares is a student of Richard Egarr. He seems to be a bit of a Solar specialist, . Here he plays Bach on a harpsichord by Joel Katzman (2002)  “after” Pascal Taskin, 1769.




Imaginative repeats, lyrical, a well balanced instrument with a good bass, and great sound.

At the level of affects, he does cheerful and he does tender and he does severe. He likes telling stories, in a way which makes me think of Hans Davidsson’s Buxtehude, or better, Richard Egarr on the English Suites:

Quote
The Variations can suggest diverse situations and scenes to us: from the fluttering of butterflies (Variation 14) to the crossing of the river Lethe (Var.15); from the most fervent choir (Var.4) to a peal of bells (Var.28); from Arion’s disconsolate song (Var.25) to his flight on the back of a dolphin (Var.26). And what to say of Variation 23? Its opening is reminiscent of Rameau’s La Joyeuse, its ingeniously achieved thirds suggest a resonant viola da gamba, and its insinuating repeated notes . . . Well, to be honest, they remind us of the Road runner mocking while E. Coyote!

Most of all for me, I get the impression of real virtuosity in the service of entertainment: the colours of the harpsichord, the clarity of the music, the infectious rhythms and tunes. And a general feelgood factor - there ain’t much darkness in these Goldbergs

Quote
I have dared to present the Variations to you without any other pretension than to entertain you with this inexhaustible ‘source of originality’.

He’s succeeded IMO, this sounds fresh and original. I think it’s is a valuable contribution for both the conception and the execution.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on June 20, 2018, 01:15:50 PM
Remember that Naxos will release Rübsam's Goldbergs in August.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Gordo on June 20, 2018, 02:16:20 PM
Diego Ares is a student of Richard Egarr. He seems to be a bit of a Solar specialist, . Here he plays Bach on a harpsichord by Joel Katzman (2002)  “after” Pascal Taskin, 1769.




Imaginative repeats, lyrical, a well balanced instrument with a good bass, and great sound.

At the level of affects, he does cheerful and he does tender and he does severe. He likes telling stories, in a way which makes me think of Hans Davidsson’s Buxtehude, or better, Richard Egarr on the English Suites:

Most of all for me, I get the impression of real virtuosity in the service of entertainment: the colours of the harpsichord, the clarity of the music, the infectious rhythms and tunes. And a general feelgood factor - there ain’t much darkness in these Goldbergs

He’s succeeded IMO, this sounds fresh and original. I think it’s is a valuable contribution for both the conception and the execution.

I thought very much the same. He’s young, but this version seems to reveal a great familiarity with the music. Perfect articulation, imaginative repetitions. Stupendous instrument, built by a friend of him. Intelligent and charming brief notes; written as following the Gracián's advice: "Good things, when short, are twice as good." I loved the Adagio in G Major BWN 968, used a sort of prelude.

BTW, his Soler (Sol de mi fortuna) is that good as his Goldbergs; with a handful of recently discovered (in 2011 or 2012, I think) sonatas from the Morgan Library.  :) 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: San Antone on June 20, 2018, 02:17:47 PM
Remember that Naxos will release Rübsam's Goldbergs in August.

Are they going to be played on the lute harpsichord, like the WTC?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on June 20, 2018, 09:06:30 PM
Are they going to be played on the lute harpsichord, like the WTC?

Yes.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 09, 2018, 02:39:01 PM
Yes.
I’ve preordered this. I’m counting down the minutes here. Can’t wait.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 09, 2018, 09:36:39 PM
I’ve preordered this. I’m counting down the minutes here. Can’t wait.

It is meditative. No repeats. Well recorded.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 09, 2018, 09:39:15 PM
It is meditative. No repeats. Well recorded.
I had a hard time with the first listen. I will try again. There isn't any momentum, is there?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 09, 2018, 09:52:33 PM
I had a hard time with the first listen. I will try again. There isn't any momentum, is there?

It's about making the details of the complex music become more evident. It's not an exciting non stop ride through the whole thing. Maybe it's best to dip in and listen to the odd one or two of the variations at a time.

Has Rubsam written anything in the booklet? I was hoping he'd write an anti-Gould essay, since he is very anti-Gould! And indeed the performance is the polar opposite of anything Gould ever did.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 09, 2018, 10:10:31 PM
It's about making the details of the complex music become more evident. It's not an exciting non stop ride through the whole thing. Maybe it's best to dip in and listen to the odd one or two of the variations at a time.

Has Rubsam written anything in the booklet? I was hoping he'd write an anti-Gould essay, since he is very anti-Gould! And indeed the performance is the polar opposite of anything Gould ever did.
I will take a look at the booklet soon. If there is something by him I can find a way to get you the Pdf.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 09, 2018, 10:13:51 PM
Did Watchorn ever record s Goldberg??
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Marc on August 09, 2018, 10:27:12 PM
Did Watchorn ever record s Goldberg??

Apparently not (though the site is not a 100% garantee...).

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/Watchorn.htm
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 09, 2018, 10:42:22 PM
This essay by Colin Booth may have some ideas which help understand Rubsam's interpretation.

Quote from: Colin Booth
This work is one of the best-known masterpieces of pre-Classical keyboard music. One reason for its attractiveness may be that even when the differences between performances are substantially due to personality, all performances will indeed be very different. The nature of the work, and its distance from us in time, allow some radically varied treatments to emerge. Nevertheless, this CD will confront the listener with things which do not happen in most other recordings. These go beyond the personal element, and demand an explanation.

Central to the quest of the Early Music movement to re-discover a sound world lost for several centuries, has been a growing understanding of how the relatively spare notation used in the 18th century depended heavily upon performance conventions. Without an understanding of these conventions it is easy for today's players, almost all of whom have, at some stage, been trained to "read the notes" and approach a score with a literal regard for accuracy, to either partially or incorrectly grasp the musical message. Bach was more thorough in his use of notation than most others, but a literal approach to his scores can sometimes be ill-judged. He too made use of numerous conventions. In addition, certain subtle and advanced forms of musical expression have always been hard, sometimes impossible, for composers satisfactorily to convey on the page. In the Goldberg Variations Bach was forced to stretch the 18th century language of musical notation to its limits — and beyond.

For my part, one result of two decades of study of these matters was a handbook of some 350 pages entitled Did Bach Really Mean That? Deceptive Notation in Baroque Keyboard Music. The Goldberg Variations feature heavily. Some of the suggestions therein for what may have been in Bach's mind might seem disturbing, since almost standardised, but questionable interpretations of many of the most memorable passages had become established as normal for many decades. To challenge these, albeit supported by scholarly argument and with the underlying aim of increased musicality, would sound heretical. Nevertheless, the aim of the book was to liberate players from the straitjacket which would sometimes be caused by a literal reading of the notes, and offer a greater understanding of what the composer might have expected those notes to sound like.


The power of tradition


A book like Did Bach Really Mean That? might be stimulating for players, but what about listeners? It began to seem important to offer a recording of the Goldberg Variations, to demonstrate the book's suggestions (and others which found no space in its pages), so as to allow listeners to judge the results with their ears, and to do so on more than one hearing. For those who had come to love the work performed in what had become a traditional manner, it was only by repeated exposure to fresh approaches to some of the variations, that it would be possible to assess the validity (or otherwise) of different ways of playing the same passage.

 
Why does this matter? Since we live 250 years after Bach's death, and in an entirely new context, there is no "right" or "wrong" way to play his music. There is no claim here (as the great harpsichordist Wanda Landowska was prone to make) of the discovery of some "hotline" to Bach. But this CD presents a sincere attempt to offer some fresh suggestions for what Bach — or at least, a player within his circle - might have expected the music to sound like — for those who think this a matter of interest or importance. Apart from this, the musical merits of the performance are, of course, up to the listener.


Returning to the work's notation — to the way in which Bach actually wrote it down — this is not the first time highly contrasted approaches to its realisation have been considered. Take, for example, the opening Aria.

"The Aria is written in a style exceptional with Bach — that of an air a la mode, with a profusion of galant ornaments, which must be treated after the manner of contemporary French chansons and German Lieder, or like the embellishments in the slow movements of Quantz..."

This assessment is from Dannreuther's survey of ornamentation, written towards the end of the 19th century. At that time there was no widespread tradition of playing Bach at all, so the author could approach this movement and the work as a whole, without any preconceptions.

However, performances today are far more likely to be influenced — directly or indirectly — by the recommendations of the eminent scholar-performer and pioneer of the revival of "historical" harpsichord performance Ralph Kirkpatrick, given in his edition of 1935. This is how Kirkpatrick describes the same piece:

"The Aria seems to foreshadow the spirit of the whole work through the tenderness and calm with which the solemnity of the fundamental bass is clothed at its initial appearance."

Here, then, is a paradox: a 19th century scholar, writing at the peak of the Romantic period in music, could view the opening of the Goldberg Variations (upon which so much of the character of the following performance might rest) as an elegant but slight piece, deliberately modern (galant) and without any undue gavity.

The 20th century mind, on the other hand, had a new-found reverence for Bach — and for every note written by him. For Kirkpatrick, the monumental nature of the work had to reflect, from the very first bar, the unassailable stature of the composer himself. His approach was, if not romantic, a spiritual and increasingly serious one.

As you may have guessed, this performance is more in tune with Dannreuther's analysis than Kirkpatrick's. Many modern performers have side-stepped the solemnity which the latter's view might encourage, by treating the work as a virtuosic tour de force, and playing much of it just extremely fast. This player's reverence and affection for Bach are as strong as anybody's. But, alongside some passages of grandeur and others of emotional intensity, I find the Goldberg Variations to suggest a mood of intelligent playfulness and wit, which extreme speed can actually disguise.

The Legend — and the music

The story contributed by Bach's biographer Forkel in 1802 concerning the origin of the Goldberg Variations, is well-known, albeit now generally distrusted. The name itself is a modern tradition, not Bach's own title. Forkel relates that the work was presented to one of Bach's aristocratic friends in Dresden, Count von Kayserlinck, to be played for him by an extremely talented young pupil of Bach's — named Goldberg — as some sort of cure for, or distraction from insomnia. Let us, for simplicity accept the story. The nature of the work is indeed one which will bear almost endlessly repeated hearings or performances without exhausting its possibilities. But it is more likely to stimulate the mind, than to lull it into sleep. As Bach's subtitle puts it, this is music "composed for music-lovers, to refresh their spirits".

These are Variations in the German Baroque manner. Rather than varied treatments of a melodic line, they concentrate on the harmonic pattern supplied by the bass, which allows a greater degree of excursion. Bach had not written variations since his early years at Weimar, so we can view this return to a long-neglected form as another instance of his desire to offer the world something exceptional in all the forms available to him, while his powers were still intact.

The Aria, already discussed above, might not be by Bach at all. But its appearance in his second wife's compendium of pieces (many of which are by her husband) as early as 1725, in an almost identical form, right down to details of ornamentation, suggests that it probably is by him. It would be uncharacteristic of Bach to "borrow" a theme for a work which he clearly regarded as extremely important. Bach had earlier called it a Sarabande: the change of title might suggest that the composer now had a lighter treatment in mind. In any case, it is the bass from this little Aria which provides the skeleton upon which the variations are constructed: the melody falls away into formulaic banality towards its end. Perhaps the rather trivial conclusion was a deliberate ploy by Bach, to tease the performer — or listener — as to what was to come.

The moods within the work are hugely varied. After the Aria, the best-known is Var.25 (track 26), which Landowska called her "Black Pearl" — an adagio of great emotional intensity. Most of the variations, however, are much more light-hearted. All the major dance-forms are either featured or hinted at. In addition we have a mock-grand overture (Var.16) (track 17); a feast of virtuosic writing involving crossed hands, some of which requires the two keyboards of a large harpsichord (Var.1, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, and 29), and the downbeat climax (Quodlibet, Var.30, track 31)) is a jokey contrapuntal amalgam of earthy song-tunes. Every third variation, however, is a Canon. Bach's love of canons (a strict and taxing form of two-part counterpoint, mostly here provided with a "built-in" accompaniment) is rather like a love of cryptic crosswords or sudoku. So it is not surprising to find that the canons, far from being coolly academic, are varied in mood, and sometimes decidedly witty. In this performance, the subject of the canon is sometimes brought into relief when repeated, by the addition of a few ornaments.

Structure, and performance

Many scholars have investigated the structure of the work, and it is astonishing (to us) for its mathematical precision and variety. But it was probably less so to cultivated 18th century minds, and particularly to those who were familiar with Bach. It "simply" takes the idea of a formal and intricate arrangement of pieces to a new level, and probably gave the composer satisfaction for this aspect alone. In our own time, numerological and even cosmological interpretations of the work have been attempted.

If the arrangement of the pieces was a very self-conscious one, what does this tell us about the way in which they were originally performed or listened to? The sequence, with its calculated contrasts from piece to piece, is undoubtedly satisfying in itself. Many recorded performances aim to convey the nature of a "through" performance, with little pause for breath between pieces.

Today, for the non-player, recordings offer the possibility of "dipping-in", in a way that until our own time only performers or those in command of them could do. A continuous performance of this work as a concert-piece is unlikely to have been how Bach and his contemporaries would usually have approached it, even though their understanding of, and ear for the counterpoint upon which so much of the music is based, was infinitely greater than our own. This is very complicated music, and if one variation follows quickly upon another, it is hard for the brain to fully take in what has just been heard. The result may be dramatic and impressive, but also bewildering. So this is one recording where the listener is positively encouraged to dwell on particular variations on their own, and even make use of the "repeat play" button.
 
Of course, some performances also make a virtue of extreme tempi. This can be thrilling, but will not allow for much appreciation of form or detail. We don't know how fast Bach would have played, but his time-signatures — and the note-values used within them - offer a partial guide, as was normal practice in an age before metronomes had been invented. It would generally be perverse, for example, to play a piece written in 2/4 or 3/4 very slowly. But for Var.15 (track 16), written in 2/4, Bach added the direction andante, and for Var.25 (track 26) in 3/4, adagio — in both cases to slow the player down from the tempo which an 18th century performer might instinctively have tried, and which might well be used for other variations in those time-signatures, for example nos. 2 and 13 (tracks 3 and 14).

Ornaments

Kirkpatrick's treatment of the ornamentation (for which he provided a specific and detailed realisation), has had a profound influence upon several generations of players. Mathematically precise, and based wherever possible on proportionate division, it contributed to a tone of spiritual purity. It also suited perfectly the scientific age in which Kirkpatrick was working, and the re-discovery of Baroque Music (and Bach's in particular) as offering a kind of music poles apart from the "heart-on-sleeve" nature of much Romantic music: something profound and cerebral, but cleanly metrical in rhythm, even to the smallest detail.

18th century ornamentation was essentially a spontaneous decoration of a line — or it ought to sound so. The 20th century tradition, exemplified by the authoritative Kirkpatrick's work as editor, but followed by many other editors of baroque music, is opposed to this.

One element which may strike the listener from the start, is the single-note ornament (sometimes called grace note, or appoggiatura, or passing appoggiatura or nachschlag —depending on its exact nature and purpose). The manner of performance of this ornament (possibly the most frequently used of all ornaments in Bach's time) deeply affects the character of the very first line of the Aria. Since Kirkpatrick's provision of a complete realisation printed above Bach's score, the tradition has been that almost all such ornaments should be appoggiaturas, and must be played on the beat. They should also, where possible, be based on a mathematically proportionate division of note-values. This view was countered by Dannreuther and Dolmetsch decades before Kirkpatrick's edition appeared, and by Walter Emery in his book "Bach's Ornaments" of 1953. It is at last being accepted by most Early Music specialists as often inappropriate, but still holds sway among most pianists and even some harpsichordists — such being the power of an established tradition.

Moreover, although Bach was more prescriptive in his indication of ornaments than most of his contemporaries (and was taken to task for this habit even in his own day!) even he followed the practice of expecting players to add ornaments themselves. The Goldberg Variations are in fact an unusually rich source of specified single-note ornaments, which were normally left by German composers — and even usually by Bach — to be added at the whim of the performer. But, like his contemporaries, Bach left no clear indication of how those which do appear in the score were to be played. An unbiased examination of Bach's indications forces us to accept for such ornaments a subtle variety of purpose based on musical criteria, even when they look identical on the page — and even within a single piece. The composer annotated his own copy of the first edition, adding more of these ornaments than he had earlier specified — but by no means in every place where they were appropriate, and still omitting them in some instances where they were clearly required. So, the listener will hear more ornaments (and single-note ornaments in particular) in this performance, than in most others. Also, it would have seemed odd to the 18th century ear, to hear repeated sections presented with exactly the same ornamentation as when heard the first time. This is a practice which this performance tries to avoid.


Rhythm


Another area where Bach strum ed to present his complicated ideas intelligibly, was that of rhythm. In Variation 26, for example (track 27), he wrote the right hand part in a time signature which conflicted with that of the left hand. As in several movements of his final keyboard Partita, this was not intended to convey a subtle rhythmic clash, but was simply a conveniently simple way of notating the music, which was meant to be played in a naturally synchronised manner. The 18th century player had received a musical education which made this easier to take on board than many modern performers find. Variations 16 (Overture) (track 17), and 20, 23, and 28 (tracks 21,24, and 29), may also contain examples of simplified notation disguising a non-literal rhythmic message.

In more general terms, for decades it was accepted that the 18th century practice of playing music written in equal note values, in a lilted or swung rhythm, applied in France but not elsewhere. We now know that this was a much more universal performance practice, and that the rather restrictive advice for its subtle and tasteful application given in some
French treatises may sometimes be inappropriate when playing, say, English or German music. I heard Kenneth Gilbert remark long ago that it would have been rare for a performer of Bach's time to perform a succession of notes of apparently equal value so that they actually sounded equal. A telling passage from Bach's friend and contemporary Joachim Quantz, supports a rhythmically different, but stylishly baroque treatment of some of Bach's own music:

"Here I must make a necessary observation concerning the length of time to which each note must be held. You must know how to distinguish, in performance, between the principal notes (normally called the accented - or in Italian terminology, good notes), and passing notes, which some foreigners call bad notes. Where possible, the principal notes should always be stressed more than the passing notes. As a result of this rule, the quickest notes in every piece of moderate tempo, or even in an adagio, although they seem to have the same value (on the page), must be played a little unequally, so that the stressed notes of each group, that is the first, third, fifth, and seventh, are held slightly longer than the passing notes - namely the second, fourth, sixth, and eighth, although this lengthening must not be as much as if the notes were dotted."


Quantz here makes no reference to any national tradition. The effect of such rhythmic treatment is to add elegance, vitality, and interest to a succession of apparently equal notes — one could say, to make them dance. Bach, we must remember, did actually dance, and in the course of his life numbered several dancing-masters among his close friends. We should never dismiss the feeling of dance from our minds when playing Bach's music.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 09, 2018, 10:48:35 PM
I will take a look at the booklet soon. If there is something by him I can find a way to get you the Pdf.

I'm sure they'll put anything he's written online eventually.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: San Antone on August 09, 2018, 11:34:54 PM
So, Rubsam's recent GV is put out by Naxos instead of the private label for his WTC.  Nice.  Listening now.

He's also released transcriptions of the solo violin sonatas/partitas and the cello suites.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on August 10, 2018, 12:52:02 AM
Apparently not (though the site is not a 100% garantee...).

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/Watchorn.htm

I suppose Watchorn's website (Musica Omnia) is more reliable:

http://www.musicaomnia.org/artist/peter-watchorn/

He has announced some years ago, that he plans a complete Bach harpsichord traversal (incl. AoF).
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on August 10, 2018, 12:55:57 AM
It is meditative. No repeats. Well recorded.

Well, some repeats. The most reflective interpretation I ever heard.

I think it [Rübsam GV] is outstanding and individual without being idiosyncratic.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: aukhawk on August 10, 2018, 01:27:17 AM
So, Rubsam's recent GV is put out by Naxos instead of the private label for his WTC.  Nice.  Listening now.
He's also released transcriptions of the solo violin sonatas/partitas and the cello suites.

I found the cello transcriptions an uninteresting listen.  Because this is after all as Lipkind has it, "single voice polyphony",  and so expanding it on a fully polyphonic instrument kinda fights against the whole point of the music, IMHO.  I want those unheard missing notes to be generated inside my brain, not have them pumped in through my eardrums.  It's like stating the obvious.

The violin transcriptions seem to work a lot better, for similar reasons, much of it is more genuinely polyphonic music in the first place. 
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on August 10, 2018, 02:00:23 AM
Well, some repeats. The most reflective interpretation I ever heard.

I think it [Rübsam GV] is outstanding and individual without being idiosyncratic.
I listened from the beginning through variation 7ish and realised that as a listener, I don't really like the rubato created by staggering the voices, but when I'm playing the piano I do that all the time for expression and stuff. It was somewhat enlightening and I guess it's a good thing I don't have to listen to my own playing lol
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 10, 2018, 04:03:49 AM
I'm sure they'll put anything he's written online eventually.
Looks like there are no notes from Rubsam although he’s been writing short descriptions on his FB page. My first reaction to the GBV was that the WTC stuff worked better. But I’m listening again now and it’s growing on me a bit. I think Vartolo compares favorably to Rubsam because the approach may be similar but seems to hang together more easily. Let’s see. Take Vs 7 and 8 for examples. Don’t they seem reliant on rhythmic moves that Rubsam is bent on subverting? Let me give it more time though. So far it’s sometimes awkward whereas WTC came off as immediately more natural.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 10, 2018, 05:07:58 AM
Imagine there are two lute players, and ask yourself, is it an interactive, responsive duet? In Var7 I’d say yes.

My own feeling is that he makes the music sound ancient and improvised, and that you sense he’s digging deep as it were. This is all a good stuff,  stimulating to me but I can well imagine that some people will be thoroughly pissed off by it and will die of boredom. This is why I suggest it’s good to take it in small doses.

I bet the harpsichord is equally tuned. Shame, because the harmonies would have been better with something like Lehman tuning.

The big question, at the risk of causing offence I’ll say it, is whether it’s self indulgent. I mean poetic and beautifully executed, but Rubsam’s vision more than Bach’s. At some point it would be interesting to explore that.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: San Antone on August 10, 2018, 07:16:24 AM
The big question, at the risk of causing offence I’ll say it, is whether it’s self indulgent. I mean poetic and beautifully executed, but Rubsam’s vision more than Bach’s. At some point it would be interesting to explore that.

I made the point in the HIP thread that his performances on lute harpsichord are more radical than any I've heard on piano.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on August 10, 2018, 09:13:30 AM
I bet the harpsichord is equally tuned. Shame, because the harmonies would have been better with something like Lehman tuning.

I bet it is Kirnberger III like his recording of the WTC,
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 10, 2018, 09:56:21 AM
Just left the post below in the 'Listening Thread' which will disappear quickly -  ;D

So, for those interested in the use of a clavichord, Tuma & Tsalka seem to be the main choices at the moment - favor Tuma myself but not by much of a margin - Dave :)

Quote
Bach, JS - Goldberg Variations on clavichords:  Jaroslav Tuma vs. Michael Tsalka - both keyboardists play two different clavichords, which are modern reproductions as described in the quotes below - reviews of the Tsalka recording attached; could not find a Tuma review - I liked both performances which are well recorded; Tuma was somewhat smoother and less aggressive in his playing; Tsalka's instruments are more 'up front' in the recording - try to listen to snippets and/or check on Spotify before buying, if interested; plus, the Tuma recording is 2 discs w/ the Goldbergs also played on harpsichord.  Dave :)

Quote
Tuma's Clavichords: All three instruments used in the recording were built by Martin Kather in Hamburg - a large instrument built in 2002 and based on an original of 1761 by the organ-maker David Tannenberg, (whose parents came from Moravia) living at the end of the 18th century in Pennsylvania, was used for the recording of the Goldberg Variations as the first manual. It is what is known as the unbound type of clavichord with a range of six octaves CC – c4.  On top of it stood a small instrument with a range of 4? octaves AA-e3, which is a copy of a clavichord of 1787 built by Christian Gottlob Hubert of Ansbach. This copy, completed in  2004, is from the private collection of Diez Eichler.

Quote
Tsalka's Clavichords:For this recording, I chose two instruments built by Sebastian Niebler: a clavichord with a lyrical timbre, based on a 1796 instrument by Johann Christoph Georg Schiedmayer (now housed at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts) and a more robust instrument based on South German and Swedish models from the late 18th century (ie clavichords by Christian Gottlob Hubert, Jacob Specken and Johann Christoph Georg Schiedmayer). Some listeners might wonder if I had a system of assigning specific variations to each instrument. This was not the case; quite a few decisions were taken in the spur of the moment, an intuitive response to the technical and expressive requirements found in each variation.
.
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51T4jqyZaHL.jpg)  (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/816Alm0kLyL._SL1417_.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 10, 2018, 10:17:09 AM
Just left the post below in the 'Listening Thread' which will disappear quickly -  ;D

So, for those interested in the use of a clavichord, Tuma & Tsalka seem to be the main choices at the moment - favor Tuma myself but not by much of a margin - Dave :)
.


There's another one, Benjamin Joseph Steens. Tuma, by the way, has made another clavichord recording which I like, of the Inventions. And his recording with Pachelbel and  Froberger on Supraphon is also rather good I think.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: SonicMan46 on August 10, 2018, 11:15:13 AM
There's another one, Benjamin Joseph Steens. Tuma, by the way, has made another clavichord recording which I like, of the Inventions. And his recording with Pachelbel and  Froberger on Supraphon is also rather good I think.

Thanks - CD cover below - the Steens recording is on Spotify, so currently listening on my den stereo - a rather robust clavichord - some description below and a second pic which is Steens w/ the Potvilieghe instrument, I believe (LINK (http://users.skynet.be/benjamin-joseph.steens/103/)); enjoying this performance, too.  Dave :)

Quote
Benjamin-Joseph Steen has played the clavichord which is heard on this recording since his youth. It is a copy by Joris Potvlieghe of the great 18th century models and Steens wanted to record the Goldberg Variations on this instrument. The work was written for a two manual harpsichord but the clavichord is thought to have been the preferred instrument of the Bach family.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51qXr7e3NPL._SL1400_.jpg)  (http://users.skynet.be/benjamin-joseph.steens/103/66780.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 10, 2018, 09:14:41 PM
Wolfgang Rubsam writes of his Goldberg Variations

Quote
The first commercial recording on a LAUTENWERK.
The instrument has GUT STRINGS and no DAMPERS.
JSB had two of these Lute-Like Keyboard instruments, conforming with
his desire of CANTABILE KEYBOARD PLAYING.

This recording is likely without any comparison and will contribute to a new understanding of this music, and beyond !!!
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: amw on August 10, 2018, 09:40:47 PM
There's at least one other commercial recording on lautenwerk, by Gwendolyn Toth (Zefiro ZR103).
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 10, 2018, 11:21:32 PM
There's at least one other commercial recording on lautenwerk, by Gwendolyn Toth (Zefiro ZR103).
Here

https://www.youtube.com/v/M-1yfmci-P0



WR's email suggests that there's a connection between Lautenwerk and cantabile. Can anyone spell it out for me?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 10, 2018, 11:22:29 PM
Wolfgang Rubsam writes of his Goldberg Variations

Quote
The first commercial recording on a LAUTENWERK.
The instrument has GUT STRINGS and no DAMPERS.
JSB had two of these Lute-Like Keyboard instruments, conforming with
his desire of CANTABILE KEYBOARD PLAYING.

This recording is likely without any comparison and will contribute to a new understanding of this music, and beyond !!!

WR's email suggests that there's a connection between Lautenwerk and cantabile. Can anyone spell it out for me?
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: (: premont :) on August 11, 2018, 12:32:17 AM
Here

https://www.youtube.com/v/M-1yfmci-P0



WR's email suggests that there's a connection between Lautenwerk and cantabile. Can anyone spell it out for me?

The Lautenwerk can be played very non-cantabile, as Toth displays in this recording, which I even disliked so much, that I culled it.. It is all about the touch and the articulation.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 11, 2018, 02:40:53 AM


WR's email suggests that there's a connection between Lautenwerk and cantabile. Can anyone spell it out for me?
Lautenwerk sound has quick decay, right? So the voices are the clearest and most distinct possible, no? I can see why this would have been appealing even in Bach's time. I would bet the Art of the Fugue would be a good next project for Rubsam. The Goldberg's are growing on me a bit but they're still not as interesting as the WTC, in themselves or in Rubsam's Lautenwerk. I'm sensing Rubsam's GV has some really great moments and like you said, especially in parts (rather than as taken as a whole?).
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: San Antone on August 11, 2018, 02:58:11 AM
Rubsam has already released the Art of Fugue in 2017

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xsBYIejBL._SS500.jpg)
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 11, 2018, 03:10:41 AM
Rubsam has already released the Art of Fugue in 2017

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51xsBYIejBL._SS500.jpg)
What?? How did I miss this. I will take this over to the other thread but I’m very eager to read reactions to this one.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 11, 2018, 05:36:26 AM
Well, some repeats. The most reflective interpretation I ever heard.

I think it [Rübsam GV] is outstanding and individual without being idiosyncratic.

Yes some repeats. Reflective and melancholic I’d say.

As regards individuality/idiosyncrasy, I was impressed by how organic all the expressive inflections sound. It is astonishingly individual.

Interesting to compare the opening and closing arias.

I’m not sure that there’s any consolation in his vision of the emotional meaning of the music. The ending, the last note, brings no consolation, no resolution of the tension.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on August 14, 2018, 07:28:33 PM
Listening to Rubsam’s GBV on headphones totally changed my view of it. It’s actually very natural and musical sounding. Very emotional too. Part of the genius is wringing a different emotional tone from the work.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Gordo on August 19, 2018, 03:20:20 AM
Well, some repeats. The most reflective interpretation I ever heard.

I think it [Rübsam GV] is outstanding and individual without being idiosyncratic.

On the contrary, I found it idiosyncratic to the point of the exasperation, from the Aria itself, where the left hand plays as if it were playing a mechanical piano. Full of voluntarism, IMO this disk brings the old Rübsam again (that of Naxos on the organ).  :(
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
Post by: Mandryka on August 19, 2018, 12:07:56 PM
voluntarism,

Can you say what you mean by this? It’s not a word I know and when I look it up I find lots of alternatives, I’m not sure what you’re driving at exactly. Maybe you think his interpretation is unreasonable in some way. If so I’m keen to explore that.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
Post by: (: premont :) on August 19, 2018, 12:27:36 PM
Can you say what you mean by this? It’s not a word I know and when I look it up I find lots of alternatives, I’m not sure what you’re driving at exactly. Maybe you think his interpretation is unreasonable in some way. If so I’m keen to explore that.


I think he means arbitrary mannerisms. But then he has not been aware of the improvisatory character of the playing.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 19, 2018, 08:41:00 PM
From the booklet essay by the organist Christian von Blohn

Quote
The pieces Gould sometimes played prestissimo seem diametrically opposed to Bach’s conception of ‘cantabile playing’, as does the fact that digesting this complex and extremely dense music requires a correspondingly gen- erous amount of time, as prominent musicians from Albert Schweitzer to Sergiu Celibidache repeatedly cautioned when discussing performances reflecting the spirit of the age in seemingly attempting to break the speed record.

Wolfgang Rübsam’s account should not, therefore, be regarded as just one more among many. Rather, in many respects, it does something fundamentally new. His is an almost pioneering attempt to make this complex music more transparent and easy to understand, while constantly surprising the listener with arpeggiated, ‘lute-like’ playing. Rübsam varies the repeats in accordance with contempo- rary practice. His use of the lute-harpsichord built to period specifications by Keith Hill is a special highlight. Its gut strings produce a soft but resonant tone which greatly assists the cantabile delivery mentioned earlier. The fact that Bach himself is documented as having owned at least two of these instruments (which unfortunately have not survived) gives the whole enterprise added legitimacy




Is the way he plays it - tempo, voicing, ornamentation (but especially voicing) - necessary, an option or a deformation?


Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
Post by: Gordo on August 20, 2018, 12:28:49 AM
Can you say what you mean by this? It’s not a word I know and when I look it up I find lots of alternatives, I’m not sure what you’re driving at exactly. Maybe you think his interpretation is unreasonable in some way. If so I’m keen to explore that.

Yes, I mean mannerist, affected, deliberate. The will (Rübsam's will), over any other consideration, as superior principle to organizing the musical material.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
Post by: Mandryka on August 20, 2018, 01:42:21 AM
Yes, I mean mannerist, affected, deliberate. The will (Rübsam's will), over any other consideration, as superior principle to organizing the musical material.

I understand. In fact I don't feel confident enough to comment on the "musical material"

As far as organisation goes, it helped me to imagine a duet between two independent minded but responsive creative lutenists. Or a keyboard analogue of a Gombert or de Rore motet, but more rhythmically free. Each variation is a motet for keyboard ...

Another thing Rubsam’s style makes me think of is Grete Sultan, playing Cage Etudes. So paradoxically he makes the music sound more modern too.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
Post by: (: premont :) on August 20, 2018, 02:00:32 AM
Quote from: Mandryka
Is the way he plays it - tempo, voicing, ornamentation (but especially voicing) - necessary, an option or a deformation?

Yes, I mean mannerist, affected, deliberate. The will (Rübsam's will), over any other consideration, as superior principle to organizing the musical material.


An option I think, because he keeps within the border of informed style. But, yes, there is a lot of Rübsam, and in the end it is a matter of taste, how much freedom one is willing to accept. But I on my part much prefer Rübsam's expressivity to Gwendolyn Toth's mechanical and inexpressive GVs also on lute-harpsichord.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
Post by: Mandryka on August 20, 2018, 03:43:17 AM

An option I think, because he keeps within the border of informed style.


Yes well this is the key question. I shall have to check to see whether Colin Booth can cast any light on this.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 21, 2018, 02:04:07 AM
IMO this disk brings the old Rübsam again

Well, I don’t see what you’re getting at there, unless it’s just that you don’t like or don’t follow Rübsam (Naxos) and this Goldberg Variations.

the Aria itself,

Great independence of LH and RH there, there’s hardly a chord in the whole thing, and if I were drunk I could convince myself that it’s two people playing lute - possibly in different rooms. Interesting to compare the two arias too,
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variation
Post by: (: premont :) on August 21, 2018, 03:00:02 AM
Yes well this is the key question. I shall have to check to see whether Colin Booth can cast any light on this.

He does not discuss de-synchronized part playing in the book, probably because the book was finished, before Rübsam began to use this technique consequently. But Rübsam does not use techniques which Bach would have been unable to use, and the lute-harpsichord apparently invites a bit to that kind of playing, because of a close association to French luthenists and Style brisé. In a way the desynchonized part playing can be understood as a special variant of Style brisé practice.


Colin Booth drew my attention to some more articles on his home page. Now I have read the book, i shall read these articles. And he will probably be willing to discuss the topic online afterwards.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 21, 2018, 03:24:30 AM
Yes, sure. I copy for information a discussion of style brisé which I found particularly helpful. It occurred to me to write to Colin Booth to see what he thinks.


Quote from: Manfred F Bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era
The quickly fading sound of the lute did not lend itself to polyphonic voice leading and called for specific techniques that compensated for the limitations of the instrument. The "broken style" of lute music, a most ingenious and consistent application of such a technique, may be called a glorification of the simplest lute figure: the arpeggio, That broken style is characterised by rapidly alternating notes in different registers that supply, in turn, melody and harmony. Seemingly distributed in arbitrary fashion in different registers, the notes produced, in their composite rhythm, a continuous strand of sound. The lute composer was able to articulate the even flow by means of double and triple stops which suggested the rhythmic patterns, essential to the dance. The texture of lute music was necessarily free voiced since no voice could be carried through and since notes that hinted at one voice at the beginning of the measure dropped out as soon as they had appeared.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Gordo on August 22, 2018, 08:11:15 AM
Well, I don’t see what you’re getting at there, unless it’s just that you don’t like or don’t follow Rübsam (Naxos) and this Goldberg Variations.

As you can see, I was talking about Rübsam as organist. I consider his Bach interpretations on Naxos (his integral on Philips is different), as totally distorted in matter of tempo.  I don't have anything against slowness itself, excepting when it distorts the music, as Rübsam does there.

Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: Mandryka on August 22, 2018, 08:38:39 AM
You may be right, I’m not confident enough myself to comment on whether the music’s distorted. I listened to Rubsam’s Naxos Trio Sonatas last week or maybe a fortnight ago. What he does seemed not uninteresting to me.

In the booklet essay Christian Von Blohm says something about tempo, my guess is that his essay has Rubsam’s approval

Quote
The pieces Gould sometimes played prestissimo seem diametrically opposed to Bach’s conception of ‘cantabile playing’, as does the fact that digesting this complex and extremely dense music requires a correspondingly generous amount of time . . . .
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: milk on September 29, 2018, 04:01:22 PM
Rubsam’s Goldbergs has got to be the most momentous release of the last few years. Who else and how else can someone create a work of art so at once novel and natural? It’s almost shockingly unique and inventive for Bach recordings. At the same time, it really speaks without being forced. It’s such a beautiful version I think everyone should give it a try.
Title: Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
Post by: bwv 1080 on September 29, 2018, 04:15:47 PM
I really like Dmitri Sitkovetsky‘s string arrangement, probably listen to it as much as I do keyboard recording