Author Topic: Bach Goldberg Variations  (Read 70706 times)

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Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #360 on: June 24, 2020, 03:23:08 AM »
As far as I know the strict mechanicality is because he doesn't actually play them on an instrument, just makes a MIDI file and runs it thru Vienna Symphonic Library or similar software. The only samples I've heard that sound like an actual live recording are the Beethoven 9th and presumably that was only because the Vienna Choral Library hadn't come out yet so there was no way to get convincing voice sounds. (Not that the instrumental sounds are very convincing either.)

One dead giveaway is that all his "harpsichord recordings" are pitched at A440 in equal temperament.
There's another "person" that does this for countless compositions. It's a scam then. 

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #361 on: June 24, 2020, 04:07:14 AM »
As far as I know the strict mechanicality is because he doesn't actually play them on an instrument, just makes a MIDI file and runs it thru Vienna Symphonic Library or similar software.

I saw no information about this in the sparse notes, but I wouldn't be surprised, if you are right.
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #362 on: August 29, 2020, 06:11:20 AM »
I’m listening to Blandine Rannou’s GBV tonight. I think this is a superb offering. It’s a terrific sounding instrument - a copy of a Ruckers. Rannou is inventive with rubato and ornamentation. I think the risks she took on this could have gotten her into trouble; it’d be a mistake and a trap to try to create fireworks without understanding or caring about the music deeply. Still, I wonder if some people here might think she doesn’t pull it off.

I’m hoping she records the WTC books as well as the partitas. It feels like we haven’t heard from her in a while.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #363 on: August 30, 2020, 05:06:58 AM »
Some questions mostly, I’ll leave it for others to propose answers, you’ll be able to guess what my answers are easily enough.


Everything in the Rannou turns on the ornamentation: what I mean is, the reason for her tempos is to give her the time to embellish the music.

She plays all the repetitions. Why? What point is she making in the repetitions? Does she give them a structural function? I mean does she make it sound as though each repetition is a valuable step forward towards the end of the set?  Or are they there to show off how she can ring the changes with all those embellishments?

Anyway, how creative is she with all those ornaments? Are too many of them banal?

If the latter then does the piece become a bit becalmed, a bit like hearing 33 independent virtuoso etudes?

On listening you’re very conscious of the rubato. Is the rubato there to make a structural point? Or is it there in order to draw attention away from the music and on to the performer?

 

« Last Edit: August 30, 2020, 05:25:54 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #364 on: August 30, 2020, 02:59:40 PM »
Some questions mostly, I’ll leave it for others to propose answers, you’ll be able to guess what my answers are easily enough.


Everything in the Rannou turns on the ornamentation: what I mean is, the reason for her tempos is to give her the time to embellish the music.

She plays all the repetitions. Why? What point is she making in the repetitions? Does she give them a structural function? I mean does she make it sound as though each repetition is a valuable step forward towards the end of the set?  Or are they there to show off how she can ring the changes with all those embellishments?

Anyway, how creative is she with all those ornaments? Are too many of them banal?

If the latter then does the piece become a bit becalmed, a bit like hearing 33 independent virtuoso etudes?

On listening you’re very conscious of the rubato. Is the rubato there to make a structural point? Or is it there in order to draw attention away from the music and on to the performer?
I see what you mean. It can be more evident on repeated listening. I hadn’t heard it in a very long time. Also, The GBV is the Bach piece that I’m most sick of. What would she do with the WTC? Interesting that she’s never tackled it. Or the AOF. What does Van Asperen do in AOF differently so as to make his performance of AOF more successful. You may be right and perhaps I should try Hantai or even Leonhardt for comparison.
I’m really sick of Goldbergs - which is sad because they’re so inventive - inventive beyond belief. What must people have thought hundreds of years ago if/when they heard them?
BTW, is there any record of early romantics see/hearing them?

ETA: yeah, Hantai is a million times more musical than Rannou. A second listen of Rannou makes her tacky by comparison.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #365 on: September 01, 2020, 03:18:19 PM »
Thoughts on Mahan Esfahani's recent recording?

Edit: Do the ornamentations on the Aria sound a bit mannered? Or am I just used to hearing them played differently on so many other recordings? I really love the sound of his instrument. Wow.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 03:39:13 PM by vers la flamme »

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #366 on: September 01, 2020, 04:19:08 PM »
Thoughts on Mahan Esfahani's recent recording?

Edit: Do the ornamentations on the Aria sound a bit mannered? Or am I just used to hearing them played differently on so many other recordings? I really love the sound of his instrument. Wow.
seems like a very buoyant and snappy performance on a pleasing instrument.

Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #367 on: September 01, 2020, 07:04:34 PM »
seems like a very buoyant and snappy performance on a pleasing instrument.

I'm having major difficulties with this one - I don't like the harpsichord sound on it (What should be a very beautiful German harpsichord made to sound bright like a Franco-flemish one) and while the playing is indeed elaborate and spirited, it comes off as mannered a lot of times.

For some reason, my tolerance of bright Ruckers-Taskin harpsichord sounds in Bach is getting lower and lower and I tend to gravitate to drier, tangier sounding Germans and also clavichords now.

Wolfgang Glüxam anyone? He recently passed away, a really great harpsichordist that is seldom discussed here.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 11:15:44 PM by bioluminescentsquid »

Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #368 on: September 01, 2020, 07:16:03 PM »
Another interesting one - Frédérick Haas, poetic, tons of interesting agogics, almost like Rübsam but not quite as annoying.

Love the cover, by the way.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fAIGwlvxEI&list=PLr0MsaDpKsY8-MqiixH_slzoP3qEtEGhj&index=1

(After saying I don't like French harpsichords in Bach, I immediately contradict myself by bringing up 2 recordings on French harpsichords! But both are interesting instruments, Glüxam a Kroesbergen and Haas his famous 1751 Hemsch that is just unimpeachable in sound - besides, both sound leaner than the average modern Grand ravalement Ruckers copy)

BTW, Rannou I don't mind all the ornaments and twiddling and it sounds interesting, at least on the first few listens. The harpsichord used (the famous Anthony Sidey that Leonhardt used in his last concert, if I'm not mistaken) is too bright for me to listen for extended periods though.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2020, 07:35:31 PM by bioluminescentsquid »

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #369 on: September 01, 2020, 10:18:37 PM »
Another interesting one - Frédérick Haas, poetic, tons of interesting agogics, almost like Rübsam but not quite as annoying.

Love the cover, by the way.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fAIGwlvxEI&list=PLr0MsaDpKsY8-MqiixH_slzoP3qEtEGhj&index=1

(After saying I don't like French harpsichords in Bach, I immediately contradict myself by bringing up 2 recordings on French harpsichords! But both are interesting instruments, Glüxam a Kroesbergen and Haas his famous 1751 Hemsch that is just unimpeachable in sound - besides, both sound leaner than the average modern Grand ravalement Ruckers copy)

BTW, Rannou I don't mind all the ornaments and twiddling and it sounds interesting, at least on the first few listens. The harpsichord used (the famous Anthony Sidey that Leonhardt used in his last concert, if I'm not mistaken) is too bright for me to listen for extended periods though.
how do you feel about Vartolo? I’m going through all these Goldbergs I used to know. Vartolo is really entertaining and he plays a German keyboard. In a way, Vartolo gives the best of many worlds. He projects an improvisatory feeling yet he’s musical and very baroque as far as I can tell.
Re: Haas. I think I’m going to give his WTC II a listen. I see this streaming but not Bk1. Did he only record Bk2?

Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #370 on: September 01, 2020, 11:14:34 PM »
how do you feel about Vartolo? I’m going through all these Goldbergs I used to know. Vartolo is really entertaining and he plays a German keyboard. In a way, Vartolo gives the best of many worlds. He projects an improvisatory feeling yet he’s musical and very baroque as far as I can tell.
Re: Haas. I think I’m going to give his WTC II a listen. I see this streaming but not Bk1. Did he only record Bk2?

I was not familiar with Vartolo, thanks for the recommendation. I like the gentle harpsichord sound but his agogics are a little extreme for my taste. Haas is as far as I can go. Sometimes you can be too entertaining.
I'm sure that my taste will change though.

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #371 on: September 02, 2020, 02:15:47 AM »
I was not familiar with Vartolo, thanks for the recommendation. I like the gentle harpsichord sound but his agogics are a little extreme for my taste. Haas is as far as I can go. Sometimes you can be too entertaining.
I'm sure that my taste will change though.
Now that I focus, Vartolo seems more natural to me than Rannou. Much more.

Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #372 on: September 02, 2020, 01:52:55 PM »
I fail to keep my word again here - another good Goldberg on a Franco-Flemish harpsichord. In this case, it's Andrés Alberto Gómez on a Couchet-Taskin built by Joop Klinkhamer.


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_mqUBNOEAEGeamQR8Mbg7wpVNEFGvqUD8w

Stern, beautiful, middle-of-the-road playing.

Offline bioluminescentsquid

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #373 on: September 02, 2020, 01:54:25 PM »
Now that I focus, Vartolo seems more natural to me than Rannou. Much more.

Might be because of the speed - it's much harder to get timings right and project a sense of intention at some of the speeds Rannou uses. But I personally think that she's very successful at it, I don't have a sense of things falling apart.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 02:00:30 PM by bioluminescentsquid »

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #374 on: September 02, 2020, 02:42:30 PM »
Might be because of the speed - it's much harder to get timings right and project a sense of intention at some of the speeds Rannou uses. But I personally think that she's very successful at it, I don't have a sense of things falling apart.
Something about Rannou strikes me as unserious. I sort of feel bad to say it.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #375 on: September 02, 2020, 03:41:18 PM »
Thoughts on Leonhardt's Goldberg Variations? I have the later one for Das Alte Werk:



I like it. Pretty straightforward, serious reading on a solid instrument.

I see two others;



Are either of these worth checking out if I have the one? I greatly admire Leonhardt's playing. Traverso put me onto him sometime last year and I've been hooked, he was one of the artists who got me over my hesitations w/r/t harpsichord music.

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #376 on: September 02, 2020, 04:39:42 PM »
Thoughts on Leonhardt's Goldberg Variations?

I have the DHM and I think it's great. Haven't heard the others. There's a discussion of Leonhardt's Goldbergs somewhere in this thread (early 2018 I think).
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #377 on: September 02, 2020, 06:40:35 PM »
Hantai.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 06:45:47 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #378 on: September 02, 2020, 07:38:32 PM »
Hantai.

Which Hantai? I (admittedly with zero expertise on harpsichord recordings) like his old recording on Opus 111 (reissued on Naive), haven't heard the more recent (though not new) Mirare.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 07:41:30 PM by T. D. »

Offline milk

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Re: Bach Goldberg Variations
« Reply #379 on: September 02, 2020, 10:50:28 PM »
Which Hantai? I (admittedly with zero expertise on harpsichord recordings) like his old recording on Opus 111 (reissued on Naive), haven't heard the more recent (though not new) Mirare.
I think it’s his second one that’s got the acclaim?