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Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful but lacking in intensity, 19 Nov. 2010
This review is from: J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (Audio CD)
I've no need to re-write what has been said so many times, and by other reviewers, about this magnificent work - surely one of the great works ever written. And, yes, so many of us hail Gould as the master of this work - the work in a sense 'belongs' to him, and rightly so.

Dinnerstein gives a thoughtful reading, one that does have some nice original touches, but, and this is a big but, her playing doesn't sell itself well. Just as we feel we are moving to a critical point in the music, she seems to back off. I'm not sure if this is intentional - if it is, then it really doesn't work or make for satisfying listening. Her fingers work well, although I did feel there was a struggle at times which hindered the overall direction. The one big issue I have with this recording, and Dinnerstein is not alone here, is in terms of clarity of vision: I don't feel that she sees the work in its great architectural glory, and this makes for a rather uneven and fragmented performance. Her tone verges on the thin, which is a shame, as we never really feel the gush and build of some of the more bubbling passages. Alas, the true 'heart' of the work, the long 25th g minor variation, failed to convince. I wanted intensity and pathos and ended-up feeling short-changed.

On the up side, there is something fresh about the performance, despite its many flaws. I certainly didn't dislike the playing overall, but feel that somehow it didn't quite gel.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Nov 2014 16:51:13 GMT
jornfin says:
The work belongs to Gould? I remember him admitting he'd played Bach like he was Chopin. Are we never going to get beyond that?
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