Goldberg Vars Import
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|2. Variato 1. a 1 Clav.|
|3. Variato 2. a 1 Clav.|
|4. Variato 3. Canone all'Unisuono. a 1 Clav.|
|5. Variato 4. a 1 Clav.|
|6. Variato 5. a 1 o vero 2 Clav.|
|7. Variato 6. Canone alla Seconda. a 1 Clav.|
|8. Variato 7. a 1 o vero 2 Clav. al tempo di Giga|
|9. Variato 8. a 2 Clav.|
|10. Variato 9. Canone alla Terza. a 1 Clav.|
|11. Variato 10. Fughetta. a 1 Clav.|
|12. Variato 11. a 2 Clav.|
|13. Variato 12. Canone alla Quarta. a 1 Clav.|
|14. Variato 13. a 2 Clav.|
|15. Variato 14. a 2 Clav.|
|16. Variato 15. Canone alla Quinta. a 1 Clav. andante|
|17. Variato 16. Ouverture. a 1 Clav.|
|18. Variato 17. a 2 Clav.|
|19. Variato 18. Canone alla Sexta. a 1 Clav.|
|20. Variato 19. a 1 Clav.|
See all 32 tracks on this disc
One of the finest harpsichord players active today, Christophe Rousset made many excellent recordings for Harmonia Mundi before jumping ship and recording for Polygram. This will probably turn out to be a mistake on his part, as most of his Bach releases haven't even been issued in this country, whereas his Harmonia Mundi titles are still available and going strong. One of the few new recordings of Rousset's that we do have is this first-rate Goldberg Variations, a fine performance by any standard. This piece will always remain one of the ultimate intellectual and emotional challenges for pianists and harpsichordists alike, and Rousset is certainly up to the job. Grab it while you can. --David Hurwitz
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Cato! Cato !!! Pay attention! This is your employer speaking! I am cancelling the attack orders for tonight! You understand? I know that I told you to show no mercy and to attack and to pay no attention to what I say and even play some Karajan on the odd occasion! But tonight . . . but tonight, I am ordering you to pay attention! You will not attack, Cato!"
"Melchizedek," the High Priest of Period Practice hissed to himself, "I can guarantee you that at this very minute, his fiendish little brain is plotting some new ambush!"
Club in hand, the cleric progressively darted from one room to another, checking out Cato's usual hiding spots. As far as he could tell, the apartment was deserted. Nor was there any evidence of booby-traps. After breathing a sigh of relief, he made himself a hearty alfalfa in pita-bread feast and then settled down in front of his sound-system to refresh himself with some early Buxtehude. Much to his surprise, a copy of Rousset's Goldberg Variations was sitting on a nearby table.
"That's funny, I don't remember leaving that out. Nor have I listened to it for sometime."
Now there is much in the Rousset that would entice any listener - even those who prefer to hear this work on a modern-day piano. Above all, it is vibrantly alive and full of verve - for example Variations XXVIII & XXIX coruscate with life, humour and wit. Rousset has a keen ear to polyphony and magisterially balances the inner voices. He uses a 1751 harpsichord with plenty of bark and bite. He is also spectacularly recorded. If one were to criticise the performance, one would suggest that the Black Pearl Variation is a trifle - if not infinitesimally - too direct; furthermore, Variation XII is played at a breakneck speed, much to its own detriment and that of the Variation that follows; one could also say that Rousset fails to convey an `Alpha and Omega roundtrip' with the penultimate variation. Even so, these are sunspots. It is a fine if not outstanding performance. On his part, Father Melchizedek prefers the Leonhardt performance with its more ascetic `Valley of the Dry Bones' approach.
Ever so daintily, the cleric took the CD out of its case - in doing so, he failed to notice that some of its artwork was smudged. If he had bothered to turn the disc around to check its bottom side, he would have observed the blue tint of a pirate disc. Yes indeed, the CD in question had been burnt but one hour beforehand. It contained lengthy excerpts from Wendy Carlos' Switched-On Bach and The Well Tempered Synthesizer - and Cato himself was standing outside on the balcony with the remote control to the sound-system . . . . .
This harpsichord playing is indeed quite good. If I remember right, he used an authentic model and not merely an authentic-sounding instrument.
But I shouldn't compare this playing to Toscanini. The best compliment I can think of is that it sounds like Gould on a harpsichord.