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Goldberg Variations - Johann Sebastian Bach

Alexis Weissenberg Audio CD


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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. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Aria 4:330.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 1 1:290.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 2 1:420.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 3 - Canone all'unisono 1:400.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 40:540.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 5 1:160.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 6 - Canone alla seconda 1:220.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 7 - Al tempo di giga 1:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 8 1:310.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 9 - Canone alla terza 2:070.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 10 - Fughetta 1:310.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 11 2:050.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 12 - Canone alla quarta 2:370.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 13 6:150.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 14 2:030.99  Buy MP3 
Listen16. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 15 - Canone alla quinta: Andante 4:300.99  Buy MP3 
Listen17. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 16 - Ouverture 3:060.99  Buy MP3 
Listen18. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 17 1:300.99  Buy MP3 
Listen19. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 18 - Canone alla sesta 1:210.99  Buy MP3 
Listen20. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 19 1:430.99  Buy MP3 
Listen21. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 20 1:530.99  Buy MP3 
Listen22. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 21 - Canone alla settima 3:060.99  Buy MP3 
Listen23. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 22 - Alla breve 1:140.99  Buy MP3 
Listen24. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 23 1:500.99  Buy MP3 
Listen25. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 24 - Canone all'ottava 2:390.99  Buy MP3 
Listen26. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 25 - Adagio 7:210.99  Buy MP3 
Listen27. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 26 2:010.99  Buy MP3 
Listen28. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 27 - Canone alla nona 1:390.99  Buy MP3 
Listen29. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 28 2:030.99  Buy MP3 
Listen30. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 29 2:140.99  Buy MP3 
Listen31. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Variation 30 - Quodlibet 2:110.99  Buy MP3 
Listen32. Goldberg Variations BWV988: Aria 4:480.99  Buy MP3 


Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excitable,sometimes brutal approach 7 Jun 2006
By Peter Heddon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
While not displacing Gould's 1982 recording Weissenberg is definitely among the more charismatic accounts of this milestone work i've heard on the Piano.

Okay,it's not perfect:Part playing can be a bit blurred,tempi accelerate for 2nd time repeats (why!?)and variation 12 completely lacks definition but who could possibly resist Weissenberg's impetuos variation 5, the toppling cascades of notes in Variation 8,the shrill trills of var.28 or the clangorous intensity of the final variation.In short,my attention didn't waver much.

While Weissenberg's Bach is shown to even better advantage on a DG recording a few years later (Partitas 4,6+Italian Concerto)this is definitely an interesting alternative to the better mannered (but too refined for my liking)approach to be found from Schiff,Perahia etc.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A piano played like a piano 30 Mar 2010
By Paul Thiessen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love Weissenberg's version of the Goldberg Variations, because he plays the music as if he were playing on a piano - and of course, he is! If you want it played like a harpsichord, go buy one of the many fine harpsichord renditions (I suggest Rousset). Even better, get a harpsichord recording as well, and compare! Some purists may argue that because it was originally written for a harpsichord, that it must sound that way even when adapted to another instrument or ensemble. But Bach frequently borrowed from his own work and arranged it for other purposes, and I think he would be curious and pleased to hear the wide variety of interpretations of this work available on modern instruments today (piano duet, jazz trio, etc.).

But back to Weissenberg. He is capable of great power and great subtlety - go listen to his Rachmaninoff preludes. He brings the art of a pianist to Bach's music, using all the levels of dynamics, coloring and tone, attack, and even pedaling that makes the piano the unique instrument that it is. Why not take advantage of everything the instrument has to offer? This work is after all a type of theme and variations, and so Weissenberg offers a level of variation that simply not possible with a harpsichord.

It is played well and with sensitivity. This recording will be an excellent addition to any Bach - and piano - lover's collection.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Vulgar 21 May 2012
By Komodogadfly - Published on Amazon.com
Absolutely vulgar! Breakneck speed presses the music into mush. What are you guys hearing out there? Surely not Bach. It's all about the performer here and not the composer. For those who recommend this cd I suggest you dip into the writings of Robert Schumann. If he were alive he would be appalled at the unmusicality of this performance.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIPster Wars - News from the Bach Front - Communiqué 30 4 April 2012
By Bernard Michael O'Hanlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Satan is among us!" Father Melchizedek OP screeched in falsetto.

Sir Simon Rattle gazed around the Philharmonie. As far as he could tell, they were alone in the gloom. It was past midnight.

"Preacher, you don't actually believe in that stuff, do you?" he replied bouncily. "This is not the Dark Ages. I'm a big believer in education and the power of the internet!"

The cleric was too busy checking his armoury to rebut this presumption. His silence unnerved the funky conductor.

"Hey, yeah, like I spoke to Magdalena; we think it would be pretty cool to have a ghostie here in the Philharmonie - just like our own Phantom of the Opera. Hey - that's an idea! Let's program it soon and we'll stage another conga line with the orchestra! (Bernstein - Wonderful Town / Audra McDonald, Kim Criswell, Thomas Hampson, Wayne Marshall, Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic) Do you want some free tickets?"

"Number 7," Father Melchizedek hissed, "sometimes I wonder about your commitment to the cause of SPECTRE (Sinister Period Practice Enacted to Counter Traditional Readings Everlastingly)! Do I need to convey my concerns to Number 1?"

"Righto," Sir Simon replied nervously. "I'll kick off that Buxtehude Project tomorrow with the Berlin Philharmonic. Anyway, I'll let you get on with your wizardry stuff, padre. Like I said, there has been some strange things going on here ever since the 8th of January, 2012. I reckon it's the air-conditioner, but perhaps there are more things found in heaven and earth . . . . . oh, whatever that dude said!"

Soon enough, the High Priest of Period Practice was alone in the hall. The meagre illumination was being provided by the exit signs. He kept his distance from the rostrum - in his mind, it was the Abomination of Desolation - but for the moment no infernal forces were in play. After a quick prayer to Saint Munrow the Pale, the cleric retreated to one of the upper galleries and burrowed into a corner. From there, he kept vigil until his eyes closed in sleep.

Come three in the morning, he was woken up by the opening bars of the Goldberg Variations. He hazarded a glance over the railing: a ghost was seated at a Bosendorfer: it was Alexis Weissenberg.

Father Melchizedek bared his teeth in a hiss before dropping back into his bolt-hole. "So you've come back to the haunt of your old successes - that's a mistake, you unholy creature!" He frantically searched his armoury for a talisman: yes, there were performances of the Goldberg by the likes of Rousset, Gilbert, van Asperan, Cole, Ross, Pinnock - but extremities were warranted: that could only mean the Leonhardt version. Lest he frost-burn his own hands, the High Priest of Period Practice donned gloves before grasping the CD in question. It was glacial. Still, who could doubt its firepower?

Meanwhile Weissenberg played on. Most people would be astounded by his characterisation of the work. Evoking Jupiter, it could be likened to a planetary system consisting of 32 moons. Where does one start? The playfulness, the heroism or the poety? Sure, there is the occasional accelerando in the second half repeats but they are sufficiently musical not to impair the integrity and flow of the work. On occasion, one could say that his fingers run ahead of his brain but what fingers they are and they are never less than spellbinding! The Pearl Variation stops time. Weissenberg sees Variation XIII as being pivotal to the first half and accordingly adopts a reverential tempo. And where else is one to find to such a luminous treatment of Variation XIX? It's stunning. The sound is exemplary. This is sophisticated pianism at the service of the Cantor of St Thomas' - a triumph of grand vice over clinical virtue - but it was all wasted on Father Melchizedek. To him, it reeked of Liszt-ification. Or perhaps the ghost was attempting to transform the work into a Black Mass, Scriabin-style. Bah!

At last, Melchizedek rose to his feet and held the Leonhardt above his head like a monstrance. An imprecation was on the tip of his tongue. Just as he was about to command the spectre to return to the Underworld, he inadvertently dropped the disc and it fell down into his cassock before making its way into his nether region.

"Ahhhhhhh" Father Melchizedek yelped as he made the transition from counter-tenor to the castrato of his dreams.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous. This has become my favorite album 12 Jan 2011
By Better Off with this show - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The sound quality on this album is good and the music is beautiful. I can sit and listen to it every day. It's also a good album to use while working.
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