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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goldbergs, 22 Sep 2008
By 
Harry R. Bendelow (Pembroke Dock, Wales (UK) United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bach - Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
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.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harpsichord could get popular, 8 Feb 2011
By 
J. Cotter (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bach - Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
I am a fan of Hantai's playing. He brings out all the sonority and tonal variety possible with the harpsichord. I think he plays the Goldberg variations with much imagination. The last ones are played very fast, adding new excitement just when listening interest could be flagging after so many variations. Finally, the initial, magic theme returns for a peaceful ending. Glen Gould plays some of the variations even faster on the piano and is also very exciting to listen to, but he does not achieve the same sense of unity that I get from Hantai's collection. Other players have left me wondering why Bach's Goldbergs are so famous because my mind is seriously wandering by about variation 10. If you don't listen to your Goldberg recording much, or you have not got one yet, try Hantai's. You could be in for a new treat.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE, 6 Jun 2009
By 
John Woodman (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bach - Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
I'm a Goldberg groupie - see my other reviews - but this is my first harpsichord purchase. So I don't feel qualified to do much more than offer general comments: the recording and the instrument are excellent, he plays with a nice combination of elegance and passion, I listen to it often. But it doesn't engage me in the different ways that Perahia and Gould do.
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Bach - Goldberg Variations
Bach - Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach (Audio CD - 2004)
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