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Goldberg Variation (Amati String Trio) [Import]

Johann Sebastian Bach , Various Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £19.99
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Product details

  • Conductor: Various
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (20 Oct 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Brilliant Classics
  • ASIN: B000076I28
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 563,060 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, intelligent and lovely. 11 July 2011
Format:Audio CD
I have various versions of the Goldberg Variations recordings: ranging from both Glenn Gould's recordings to real unknowns, piano, guitar, string trios, harpsichord. Like the reviewer before me, I don't know what the first reviewer was hoping for, and found it amusing to read "famous interpretations by Glenn Gould" and "played the right baroque way" jotted down on the same paragraph.

This recording is as enjoyable to listen to as Glenn Gould's back in the late 50's: their approach on "smoothing-out" ornaments and doting it with a regal fluidity and Neoclassical sensibility is indeed a break from the rigidity and anxiety often permeating most of the Goldberg Variations recordings. Schmid's edition thus read: "(...) Composed for connoisseurs, for the refreshment of their spirits (...)" This recording accomplishes this, in every track, but specially on Variations 13 and 16.

Ironically for a Baroque composition, this performance is balanced, and perhaps this lovely point gets lost on the purists. Gould certainly ruffled --and still does-- their feathers, and Amati String Trio's very Neoclassical (yet while adding some very Baroque counterweights in later tracks) approach to a Baroque jewel may not be an exception.

Their level of musicianship and performance skill makes for a very satisfying recording: it can be engaging on so many levels, as it's relaxing and flawless that the general public can appreciate it, yet permeated with lovely cross-stylistic knit-work which should be picked up by those not only knowledgeable of various recordings, but of actual hands-on performance. All of this would be lost on those comparing against the hard cold ink on a partition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought they were lovely 11 Feb 2011
By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Beautiful arrangement, beautifully played and beautifully recorded. I'm not sure what the other reviewer was hoping for in order to make these more imaginative. They are entirely baroque in feel. No deep meanings, no grand gestures, just music that unfolds in the mind and the heart, with marvellous regularity but ceaseless variety. Like so much of Bach's music, the Goldberg Variations are sufficiently absolute that they can be transcribed for other instruments and remain quintessentially the same, yet with a revelatory difference. These are the Goldberg Variations, plain and simple, except arranged for strings. The pleasure I get from them is the same as I get from Gould's piano version, but modified by the particular inflections and expressions made available by the string medium. In fact, it's quite a relief to have the option of not having to actively filter out the muffled howling of Gould's self accompaniment. One really can kick back and relax with these, maybe even get some sleep, as was their intended purpose.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better 2 July 2010
Format:Audio CD
Perhaps ten different versions of the Goldberg variations stroll on my shelves. Beginning with the famous interpretations by Glenn Gould in 1955 and 1982, via a 2 guitars remarkable adaptation by Kurt Rordamer, and more. I was keen on having a strings recording, and was expecting the same thrill that I feel when listening to the violin concertos, when they are played the right baroque way. I was a bit disappointed. Keeping the exact melodic and counterpoint schemes, they should have adopted a more cliff like style, more abrupt, to highlight the possibilities of their instruments when they express baroque vivacity. These 32 pieces are too listened to everywhere to simply be played following the partition. Some imagination, and creativity are compulsory. Next time?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious Golden Goldberg 5 Aug 2013
By relaxman - Published on Amazon.com
This a gorgeous version of this difficult and, in my opinion, normally elusive piece. Shemer makes the harpsichord sing, dance, laugh, cry and meditate. Having his instrument tuned to A=392 and recorded in a church certainly helps the contemplative aspect of this work, and the sound is rich and never metallic, as with many versions. If ever there was a case for throwing piano versions into the bin of history, Shemer is your best advocate. He manages to keep the music flowing, both within each variation and between variations, and he makes his musical points in a clear convincing way, unhampered by mannerisms and the awful swaying about that make some versions feel like they were recorded in a raft on the stormy seas; and yet it is subtle and fluid at the same time.
I hope we hear more from this incredible artist soon!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most thoughtful delicate playing 18 May 2013
By Norma Bar Moshe - Published on Amazon.com
Bach: Goldberg Variations

David Shemer's version of the Goldberg variations is a beautiful one. His playing is delicate, full of colors and nuances, yet powerful and impressive. He brings out a Bach of humor, of pain, of winks and thoughtfulness, and does this in an elegant touch with the most beautiful sound of the harpsichord. I heard his recording many times and never got tired of it, I keep finding in it more ideas and beautiful corners. I very much recommend this recording!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real homage to Bach 21 Mar 2013
By Samuel Heifetz - Published on Amazon.com
I have heard several different versions of "Goldberg Variations," including those by Glenn Gould (1955 &1981), Murray Perahia, Rosalyn Tureck, Keith Jarrett, even Jacques Loussier and Uri Caine. Mr. Shemer's recording does not shy in comparison (even to Gould's, and with full consideration of the difference between piano and harpsichord). I would say to achieve a real level of emotional depth on the harpsichord is much more challenging, and Mr. Shemer is up to that challenge. His interpretation is both esoteric and euphoric. Mr. Shemer creates something that is both entirely his own and a real homage to Bach. Bravo
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Masterwork ! 8 Dec 2012
By H.Permont - Published on Amazon.com
David Shemer's execution of the Goldberg Variations is, perhaps THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF THIS WORK that I know of. His deep understanding of the style, its texture, its voice leading, and above all - the affects - results in a brilliant execution, expressive and yet free of any mannerism that we very often hear in baroque performances. In addition, the CD is masterly recorded, with a clear, crisp sound. David Shemer is a great master of the harpsichord and baroque music in general.

Absolutely a masterpiece of performance and recording. Second to none ! It should be in every music lover's library !
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One more recording of the Goldberg's? Yes! 18 Nov 2013
By Schneider Michael - Published on Amazon.com
If you think, you know already everything about Bach's Goldberg-Variations, listen to this recording! It offers truly new insights. David Shemer plays technically impeccable , but with unusual phantasy, beautiful rubato and a warm sound. Marvellous instrument, too! Highly enjoyable!
Michael Schneider
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