Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clear demonstration that playing the music without interpretive interference really works, 22 Jan 2013
This review is from: Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988; Italian Concerto, BWV 971 (DG The Originals) (Audio CD)
This performance of the Goldberg Variations has been in my collection since 1985 and it is still the one that I find gives complete satisfaction. The recording still sounds excellent. The addition of the Italian Concerto and reduction in price makes this issue even more attractive for new purchasers.

Essentially, the music sounds right by being played on the harpsichord. This is especially the case in all the faster and moderate speed variations when the inherent rhythmical nature of the instrument comes into its own and allows the compositional structure and detail to be heard more clearly and more precisely. Pinnock, at those points, keeps a tight grip on the rhythm well aware that by doing this he is playing to the strengths of those variations.

When it comes to the slower sections of the work he includes a degree of rubato which is one way of dealing with the instrument's inability to sustain notes as well as a piano for instance. It is at these points that a pianist can score simply through a greater range of touch. The remarkably fine performance by Evgeni Koroliov on a Medici DVD made in 2008 is an object lesson on how to play this music on the piano, mostly because, like Pinnock, he allows the music to speak directly and does not get distracted from that concept by intrusive interpretive distortions.

The perfect solution to collecting recordings of these endlessly satisfying works is perhaps to have one fine example of a harpsichord performance plus one on a piano. In this way it is possible to get the best of both worlds.

I would suggest therefore, that for harpsichord enthusiasts, the Pinnock version will take some beating and should remain a strong consideration. Piano enthusiasts may wish to investigate Evgeni Koroliov who is equally satisfying in an undemonstrative presentation that concentrates on the musical values.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

I. Giles
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Argyll, Scotland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 12