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Bach: Goldberg Variations [CD]

Catrin Finch Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: £10.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Biography

Described as “The Queen of Harps”, Catrin has delighted audiences with her performances in the UK and worldwide. Inspired to learn the harp at the age of five, her rise to prominence started almost immediately, achieving the highest mark in the UK for her Grade VIII exam at the age of nine. She studied with Elinor Bennett for eight years before entering the Purcell School. Catrin ... Read more in Amazon's Catrin Finch Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Bach: Goldberg Variations + Blessing + Clychau Dibon
Price For All Three: £30.46

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Product details

  • Performer: Catrin Finch
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (26 Jan 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: DG
  • ASIN: B001LRRNTM
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,790 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Aria 3:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 1 a 1 Clav. 1:27£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 2 a 1 Clav. 1:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 3 Canone all'Unisono a 1 Clav. 1:26£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 4 a 1 Clav. 1:17£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.0:48£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 6 Canone alla Seconda a 1 Clav. 1:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. 2:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 8 a 2 Clav.0:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 9 Canone alla Terza a 1 Clav. 1:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 10 Fughetta a 1 Clav. 1:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 11 a 2 Clav.0:57£0.39  Buy MP3 
Listen13. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 12 Canone alla Quarta 2:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 13 a 2 Clav. 2:47£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen15. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 14 a 2 Clav. 1:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen16. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 15 Canone alla Quinta in moto contrario 3:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen17. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 16 Ouverture a 1 Clav. 3:37£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen18. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 17 a 2 Clav. 1:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen19. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 18 Canone alla Sesta a 1 Clav. 1:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen20. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 19 a 1 Clav. 1:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen21. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 20 a 2 Clav. 1:19£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen22. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 21 Canone alla Settima 2:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen23. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 22 Alla breve a 1 Clav. 1:30£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen24. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 23 a 2 Clav. 1:13£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen25. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 24 Canone all'Ottava a 1 Clav. 3:11£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen26. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 25 a 2 Clav. 7:12£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen27. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 26 a 2 Clav. 1:23£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen28. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 27 Canone alla Nona 1:53£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen29. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 28 a 2 Clav. 1:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen30. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. 1:09£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen31. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Var. 30 Quodlibet a 1 Clav. 2:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen32. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Arranged for Harp by Catrin Finch - Aria 2:53£0.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

BBC Review

Catrin Finch's debut on the venerable Yellow Label offers an accomplished performance of her own transcription for harp of Bach's timeless Goldberg Variations.

First published in 1741 as an aria with 30 variations and originally composed for a two-manual harpsichord, the ever-amenable Goldbergs have been much and often treated (and occasionally mistreated) to a dizzying array of arrangements for everything, it seems, from jazz trio to woodwind ensemble, from accordion to chamber orchestra and, of course, modern piano forte.

Finch's arrangement is the first to transcribe all 32 sections for the concert harp, although the framing Aria has had at least one previous incarnation for the instrument, courtesy of Andrew Lawrence-King in 1998.

Using Canadian maverick Glenn Gould's recordings of the work as an initial point of reference - a controversial choice in itself - Finch approaches the work with an appreciable sensitivity for its cut-crystal brittleness and deceptively delicate simplicity.

Dividing the work into three sections - the first culminating with the first minor key variation, No. 15; the third beginning with the bright two-part toccata of No. 26 - Finch offers a moderately paced account that comes in at just under 64 minutes.

She adroitly side-steps what would seem to be the harp's principal shortcomings compared to a keyboard - the absence of a sustaining pedal and the lack of a damping device - with a nimbleness that quietly cossets and coaxes with its straightforward hand-for-hand transcription.

The work's several hurdles are cleared with clean, crisply articulated playing that eschews showy effect and strives for colour and tone. Which may be where some are inclined to step away from this performance. If the harp is an acquired taste for you, there is much here that might entice and encourage you to stay, but the relatively limited tonal palette will not be one of them.

Finch proves a dexterous negotiator of the fifth variation's hand-crossing gymnastics (partly by choosing to measurably slow down its rapid pace) and, most conspicuously, the teemingly chromatic, darkly lustrous texture of the Black Pearl variation (No. 25). The two renditions of the Aria are sublimely pristine and intimate affairs. --Michael Quinn

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CD Description

Catrin Finch, former Harpist to the Prince of Wales, has become one of her instrument’s foremost exponents. In bringing the harp to new audiences through performances and TV appearances, her energy and enthusiasm (as well as virtuosity and dedication to her instrument) has been endless. An appearance on BBC4, where she presented a definitive history of the instrument, confirmed her status as a star personality, as well as a star performer. On Bach, J.S.: Goldberg Variations, Catrin tackles brand new arrangements of Bach's work for solo harp. The clear sound of the harp brings this intricate and beautiful music to life in a delicate and unique fashion.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's egg 1 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The scholarship and technique involved in this performance are astounding. The music is beautiful, haunting and challenging by turns.

But I am very disappointed with the final product. The better the system that you play this through the worse it sounds. It's full and dense over the internet sampling download, but oppressive and distorted when purchased and played through a set of £1000+ B&W speakers!

DG have attempted to provide a luminous and full bodied sound to Catrin's harp, but they appear to have over-saturated the recording at a number of points and the mike placements / processing have ended up with a two dimensional sound, when artful recording techniques can provide an illusion of depth. For exemplary stringed instrument recording I would refer the reader to Julian Bream's wonderful early '80s recordings for RCA of spanish classics by Albeniz and Granados.

Bach would be fascinated and fully supportive of the musical endeavour here and would be bowled over to hear the music in a room with no sign of a musical instrument.

But DG have failed to use musical recording techniques. I wonder if Naxos might have done better with a simpler method.

Five stars for the music and 1 star for the production; that averages out at three stars - but doesn't tell the real story!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music of the Spheres 1 April 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I already had different versions of these variations on a single theme along with Bach's other keyboard works, mostly written as studies in counterpoint but now generally regarded as worthy of performance in their own right. So why would I buy another? Apart from the fact that Catrin Finch was brought up in the same village I used to live in, I was curious as to how this music would sound on the harp. Originally written with the harpsichord in mind, the keyboard pieces are generally performed today on piano, though The Art of the Fugue, with no instrument specified, also has a good modern representation for string quartet.

As well as being played straight, the pieces are often transcribed as with the renditions by Glenn Gould, hailed by some as brilliant and by others as eccentric. I have Gould's Goldberg as well as his recordings of other pieces, my favourite being the Two- and Three-part Inventions, in spite of the fact that you can hear him humming along and speaking to the piano as he plays! Finch follows Gould in transcribing the Goldberg Variations for her instrument, allowing her to adapt performance to suit its peculiarities. This works well for some variations and less well for others. (You can listen to the Aria on You-Tube)

So I'm glad to have added this to the range of Bach renditions in my collection. It remains to be seen how often it will return to my music player once I've adapted to the novelty of it. Those performances that do are the ones that, over time, seem to lead to greater depths of engagement with this very deep music. I listen to them for the way they unravel a complexity that never fully resolves itself.

That they reach real depths that are hard to explain is a view shared by those who have much more musical knowledge than I.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great transcription 20 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Catrin Finch is a fantastic harpist - first heard live with James Galway playing the Mozart Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra. (available on DG 00289 477 6233)I have always enjoyed Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations and was a little apprehensive as to whether they could be transcribed well for the harp. I think Catrin Finch has done an excellent job - in fact some variations sound better on the harp, bringing out the complexity of counterpoint with absolute clarity. The quality of both the playing and the sound reproduction is first class. Highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Modified rapture 20 Feb 2009
Format:Audio CD
Parts of this work wonderfully well and the parts that don't work so well (where the two hands are getting in each other's way at speed) are technically astonishing. Musically though I wish Catrin Finch hadn't decided to put in obvious rallentandos at the end of so many of the variations. For me it's an irritating interruption to what should have the arc of a single journey - the train slows down too often. I drove for an hour in not very auspicious weather to hear it live and it was worth it but I won't want to listen much to the CD except to remember that it can be done. But if the stop/start doesn't bother you give it a try - you do feel you've been somewhere and it does have a full sense of arrival when she gets to the final variation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle sounds 13 Oct 2011
Format:Audio CD
Catrin Finch undoubtedly is among the foremost hapinists of our time. Her realisation of Bach's Goldberg Variations is an invaluable addition to the 180 or so different interpreations of this unique piece of music available on CD. When listening to her playing, you tend to think that this piece has been written for the harp in the first place, although you certainly know that this is a "Clavieruebung" (piano exercise). Her playing is clear and subtle, with just the right balance between rationality and emotion. For us who are happy to own this recording, it is a listening exercise and a delight for mind and soil.

Max von Tilzer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome. A veritable masterpiece. 2 Mar 2009
Format:Audio CD
Awesome! I caught an interview with Ms Finch on Radio 3, almost by accident; after hearing just one variation I knew I HAD to have this recording in my collection. This is not just music written by one of the worlds greatest composers: the musicianship displayed in the performance is truly excellent, likewise the musical understanding displayed in the transcription to the harp from the original.

Like I said - AWESOME. Thoroughly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class harpist
Totally great !! If you love the harp and J.S. Bach you can't fail to love this CD. I heartily recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. M. R. L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just wonderful
Astonishingly virtuosic harp performance of Finch's own adaptation of the Variations. It's become one of my staple albums, and my massage therapist has bought a copy to play as... Read more
Published 4 months ago by wibble puppy
5.0 out of 5 stars marvellous transcription
the goldberg suits the harp -
recently saw catrin finch live and it's clear she has a deep affinity with bach
Published 4 months ago by H N Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading
Glenn Gould's disc of the Goldberg Variations was my introduction to what have become Bach stalwarts for me. Read more
Published 7 months ago by DR CLIVE E BOWMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars A great performance
The playing is reminiscent of Glenn Gould. It is clear, sharp, beautifully phrased, and entirely
without sentimentality. Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2011 by physics student
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Something a little bit different. If you enjoy Bach, then the arrangement that Catrin Finch has made of these variations for her harp will give you a new listening experience. Read more
Published on 7 Sep 2011 by Hugh Littlejohn
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach revisité
Une très bonne adaptation d'un oeuvre plus que classique et qui n'a rien perdu par rapport à l'original, mais au contraire, qui je pense a gagné plus de... Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2009 by Thierry Bodart
5.0 out of 5 stars Bach revisited
Impeccably played.
Great CD
If you know the Glenn Gould version this one will be a great surprise and a nice addition. Read more
Published on 16 Oct 2009 by David B. Groenendijk
5.0 out of 5 stars Catrin Finch: Bach Goldberg Variations
Lovely sensitive transcription beautifully played. The harp gives an intersting sound somewhere between piano and harpsichord, with neither the heaviness of piano nor the frailty... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2009 by Madge Pelling
5.0 out of 5 stars Catrin Finch,
I read a review in a newspaper about this CD and bought it on the recommendation. I'm glad I did, it's gorgeous. The sound of the harp is a delight and fits the music beautifully. Read more
Published on 5 April 2009 by M. E. Jenkins
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