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Customer Review

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Joke, surely?, 18 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Bach: Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
I have to say I was transfixed whilst listening to this recording of one of the greatest works ever written. Not transfixed for good reasons, alas, but because I actually thought I was listening to some kind of spoof/joke recording. I have NEVER heard such tasteless playing in my life - the pedal is down through most of the initial Aria, the textures in general merge into a kind of blurry haze and as for technique, well, the work is clearly beyond Ms. MacGregor's capabilities. I was amazed that as soon as the fingerwork got in any way taxing, which let's face it is in a bulk of the work, she actually slows down to half speed in order to play the notes. Even then there are are inaccuracies that should never have been allowed past an editing process.

If not a joke recording, then this must be some attempt to be 'different' - but different only works in the hands of a capable artist, one who has true vision and instinct. Alas, Ms MacGregor appears to have neither, and any attempt she has made to be original has fallen flat. I don't decry people for trying to record out of their comfort zone, but this recording actually verges on the insulting: an insult to Bach, to the work, and, indeed, the listener. Had I been able to rate with Zero stars then I would have done so. Shocking!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Aug 2011 10:43:45 BDT
How, I wonder, can we hear things so differently and in good faith?

Posted on 16 Aug 2012 18:52:07 BDT
Ribble says:
MacGregor's live performance of this work, which I was fortunate enough to experience a few months ago, brought this piece into perspective for me for the first time, even though I've 'known' it for many years. Yes, not everything was perfect, but compared with the atrociously over-rated Gould, she brought the work to life, and her 'coup de concert' when the aria returned is no studio trickery, just remarkable pianism.

Posted on 1 Nov 2015 17:17:14 GMT
I can't comment on the recording as I haven't heard it but if it's anything like her live performance around the time that the CD came out, then I agree with the reviewer. More than once during her recital I felt she was on the brink of losing it and her playing was sloppy and lacked clarity. Her clumsy segue from the final variation into the reprise of the aria was simply hideous.
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