Pierre Hantai Goldberg Variations. When I listen to the Goldbergs I usually reach for one of three piano versions or listen to the harpsichord renderings by Leonhardt or Landowska. For the last two weeks I have had ears for Hantai only. It is like hearing the music as it first ran through Bach's creative mind. At one point I thought my head was inside the harpsichord. A wonderful experience I can assure you.
I still enjoy the piano renderings but what a treat to hear so many notes played by a young master. Hantai does not go in for the interpretation of a Murray Perahia, no attempt is made to charm the ear, no expressionism - just the notes. He lets Bach speak to us and what an experience that is! Hantai must add something, notes alone might sound mechanical, but what he adds is beyond me. At one point, so incredible are the structures built by Bach and realised through Hantai, I thought I was listening to organ music.
I have the greatest respect for Gould, Schiff, Perahia, Leonhardt and Landowska but Hantai is like hearing the Goldbergs for the first time. Wow! You must buy it.