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Goldberg Variations


Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Qoolist and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
I used to have a half dozen versions of this work... 22 July 2000
By MG Nagy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I got a promotional copy of this disc when it came out in 1992. It was all I listened to for a week, providing a nice soundtrack to my giving away all my other recordings of the Goldberg. Glad to see that I'm not the only one who thinks the Gould and Tureck recordings are overrated.

This recording works on so many levels, as others have pointed out, with what seems to me to be the correct tempo, amount of dexterity applied, and virtuosity displayed. That is to say, Rosen lets the work breathe, seemingly on its own terms. Yes there are some bum notes, but this is the warmest, most organic performance of this work I've yet to hear.

While this is a reference disc, with respect to performance, the recording quality is a little lacking. There is a weird ambiance to the recording (mic placement?), maybe a little compressed. In general, definition is a little soft. Hopefully, Sony will get around to an SACD or Blu-ray release.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Between Gould & Tureck Is Joy 6 Jan. 2000
By "kek5" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
An excellent set of Goldberg Variations from Charles Rosen. At 75 minutes it falls nicely between Gould (38) and Tureck (90) in terms of time and overall tempo. Very straightforward and well played...an artist who is thoughtful but unobtrusive. I take this one over either Gould or Tureck (I know-heresy!).
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A fabulous and well-informed interpretation 9 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I agree with the previous reviewer -- this is a wonderful recording, and with a good price too! All the repeats are taken (thank god!), and Rosen, who is known mainly as a musicologist, proves himself a stylish pianist. He does none of Gould's brilliant and well-meaning but ultimately unstylistic gestures and articulation, and perhaps he doesn't shade as voluptuously as Schiff. But I certainly don't care. Bach comes through loud and clear in this recording. Everything is said simply yet beautifully, yet with no lack of the passions -- which is what Bach is all about (IMHO). I've heard that Perahia is coming out with a recording, so that's certainly worth anticipating. But if you want a Goldberg now, do get this recording. Who says musicologists know nothing about music? Charles Rosen is a wonderful musician, and that comes through in his playing, even if he is no superstar virtuoso of the likes of Kissin (vastly overrated IMHO). Rosen and his fingers serve the music, not himself. The result is, as I've said, pure beauty.
35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Methodical and sweet 8 Aug. 2000
By Mark Grindell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have heard this version, and the Glenn Gould version. It's interesting that Glenn himself was not too sure about his specific performance on that day, and it's a short recording (albeit very enjoyable). Rosen is a different kettle of fish, playing each piece very carefully, rather than charging through (which Glennn probably does a wee bit).
I first heard this in quite dramatic circumstances, so rather than doing a Leonard Bernstein type of phrase by phrase analysis, I'll tell you how I first encountered the piece.
Way back, in fact in 1992, my wife and I and our three kids were driving back from a weeks holiday in the southern part of Western Australia. It was in the Autumn, and we had decided to drive back in the dark. The local radio stations in the south were kind of fun to listen to, but we ended up tuned to the ABC station, which was the longest lasting one - as you drive away from a town because of the almighty distances involved, there is little or no coverage. We lost all signal from about six oclock into twilight.
After having stopped about two roadhouses for food and some tea, the kids were tired, and we still had miles to go to Perth. Practically everyone was asleep in the back and I was a bit worried about keeping up the concentration with the tiny amount of traffic, a very dim moon, and only occasional farming towns for interest.
I thought I was dreaming at first. There was just the hint of piano music. It didn't occur to me that it would have to have been coming from the radio at first. It had been hours since there was anything at all. Yet there it was, varying quite a bit as we took one hill after another, sometime fading right away into static again.
I couldn't quite place the melody, but it was extraordinarily captivating. I woke up my wife to tell her that something really good was on the radio.
It turned out to be the Goldberg Variations, actually played by Charles Rosen... it was a bit like a story, unfolding gradually, told very well. Like a lot of Bach, you can never quite predict what is going to follow, but the result was deightful and I wish it could have gone on for longer. I must be the only person who actually associates this German composer with the smell of Eucalyptus trees, and the other smells of a hot Australian night, but there he was, travelling with us, all down the road. I'm very glad I heard this piece, and as the years have passed I've found it even better.
Rosen picks up a lot of structure that Glenn Gould perhaps leaves behind a little bit. He also manages to see those parts of the composition that contain the tremendous energy and joy that is the great secret in much of Bach's music - that is no doubt a great surprise to those who encounter him in an academic setting.
This music is full of light and joy, and I would very much recommend it.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
It turns out to be the best version, by golly 21 Feb. 2005
By Horst Meisterfluscher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Here's what Peter Gibson said about Rosen's version on the jsbach.org website: "I have over 20 recordings of the Goldberg Variations, and I am amazed that your readers have not submitted Rosen's. It is one of the 2 or 3 best. It is certainly the most 'intellectual' performance on piano, with a restrained rational coolness which lovers of romantic piano may dislike, but no one has ever got the tempos so exactly right, or brought out the structure and shape of each variation so clearly. You won't experience 'warmth' with this one, but since I hope in the next life to actually BE the Goldberg Variations, I will be very happy if my performer is Charles Rosen, as this may be the closest the mind of man can get to paradise, once we have shaken off the emotional fluctuations of this frustrating bodily form."

"Without Bach, Theology would be devoid of an object, Creation would be fictive, and Nothingness peremptory. If there is anyone who owes everything to Bach, it is certainly God." [Emil Cioran]
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