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Goldberg Variations

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Product Details

  • Composer: Bach J.S.
  • Audio CD (Jan. 18 2005)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ncl
  • ASIN: B0006M4STQ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #205,943 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Aria
2. Variation 1
3. Variation 2
4. Variation 3
5. Variation 5
6. Variation 5
7. Variation 6
8. Variation 7
9. Variation 8
10. Variation 9
11. Variation 10
12. Variation 11
13. Variation 12
14. Variation 13
15. Variation 14
16. Variation 15
17. Variation 16
18. Variation 17
19. Variation 18
20. Variation 19
See all 32 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Right up there with some of the best Jan. 19 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Jenö Jandó has been the house pianist for Naxos records for longer than I can remember. He has recorded Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, both books, as well as all the piano sonatas of Beethoven and Mozart, among many others. He seemingly came out of nowhere and soon became a household name, at least in classical-music buying households. More important, in spite of being Naxos's dogsbody pianist the level of his playing has never been less than acceptable, and in many instances it has been absolutely topnotch. That is the case here with his recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations. I consider myself to be something of a Goldbergs fanatic. I have upwards of thirty recordings stretching back to Landowska's 1933 set. I love them all--well, mostly all--and if asked what one work I would take to a desert island the Variations would be my pick. That gives you some background for this new recording by Jandó. In a word, it is good enough to nestle in the top rank with those by Gould, Perahia, Tureck, Schiff, Hewitt, Yudina, Koroliov, and Schepkin. This is a fairly straightforward reading. All repeats are taken; discreet ornamentation is used, nothing startling; tempi are well-judged, if a little on the fast side as compared to some.

I tend to quickly assess Goldberg recordings by listening to a number of the sections in fairly short order: Aria, Variation I, III (canon at the unison), VIII (for two manuals), X (fughetta), XVIII (canon at the sixth), XXV (the 'black pearl'), XXVI, the Quodlibet and the final Aria. Jandó passes this quick test on all counts. His 'black pearl' may be a little faster than some but he does convey the despair of this variation. His touch throughout is light, slightly détaché when called for (but much less than Gould's). He can use a seamless legato when necessary (XXV), there is ample dynamic contrast, and an overall sense of the set's architecture (although nobody quite does that as well as Perahia). The recording is in clear sound, the piano sounds to be nicely regulated and it has a lightish, but not shallow, tone.

In short, this is a creditable 'Goldbergs' suitable to sit on the shelf with some of the great ones. And, of course, it is at Naxos's budget price.



Scott Morrison
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Enriching July 21 2008
By David Saemann - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I am very fond of Jeno Jando's recordings, especially his Schubert and his 4 CDs of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier. The latter is among the best in my experience. His Goldbergs are not on quite such an exalted level, but they are still very valuable. The one thing Jando does here in which he is not surpassed by any other player is in laying out all the notes with clarity and an appropriate style. There is never an interpretive gesture that interferes with the clear articulation of the piece. This is very fine in its way, and makes Jando's performance important just for studying the work. But there is more to the Goldbergs than that. Sometimes you feel that a variation here and there just does not contribute to a flowing, continuous feel for the structure and meaning of the work. Andras Schiff's first version may not make as many of the notes as audible, but I think it offers a more coherent view of the entire piece. Nevertheless, by the time you reach Jando's moving and subtle recapitulation of the Aria, you may feel that the whole journey was worth your attention. I still feel that Jando here offers a valid approach to the Goldbergs, certainly better than either of Glenn Gould's (Heresy!), and it will return to my player with some frequency.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Four star for Bach July 28 2011
By Donn Rutkoff - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another nice job by Jeno Jando for Naxos on Bach Goldberg on the piano. I wish I knew the correct pronunciaton of his name.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Not a great recording, but competent and insightful Feb. 21 2005
By Vlanes - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is probably not a revelation like those of Tureck or Gould, but it is competently played, with spirit and some imagination, sound is of a good quality. A pleasure to listen to. I don't think that one is likely to be stirred and shaken by Jando's genius, but such things are rare, anyway. I would not probably pay a full price for this CD. However, given its budget price, it is certainly a worthwhile addition to a Bach collection. Modestly recommended.