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Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (Edition Bachakademie Vol 112) /Koroliov (piano)

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (25 Oct. 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Haenssler
  • ASIN: B00003L1WX
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Give this a listen, 2 or 3 times well spaced. Enter a new world of clarity, timing, interpretive subtlety that isn't Gould's magificent ego
For years I have looked for a version that isn't twee, that has the emotional depth of Gould, but that lacks his interference patterns.
This is it. promise you. The conditioned ear needs a few hearings to adjust. But then it happens and you see, feel, hear the music in a new light. It transforms from tamed to profound and you hear it like the cello suites instead of a piece of fairly tame Phil Spector. Gould was a character but he really did not help this music. This gets you free of him.
Plus it is piano as isn't pretending to be harpsichord, which I like. Modern and timeless together. Totally magificent.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Until I came across some of his recordings on Amazon Germany's and UK's websites by chance recently, I had never heard Koroliov's name. Born in 1949 and trained by some famous teachers (including Neuhaus and Oborin, no less) in Moscow, Koroliov now lives in Germany. Judging from his biography, he obviously belongs to a group of superbly-gifted Russian pianists.

This 2-CD set (made in 1999) is the first recording by Koroliov I bought after reading some very favourable reviews on Amazon. I must say it is well up to my expectations. Clean articulation, clarity of sound and total lack of idiosyncrasy are some of the main virtues. The tempi are well-judged. All the repeats are played.

I've always liked Angela Hewitt's recording (also made in 1999). Her style is a little more pianistic, making full use of the piano's capabilities, and her rubato is beautifully done. But, Koroliov uses less rubato, and his style is a little more straightforward. Embellishments are sparse and apt.

The digital recording is excellent and the sound is totally natural. This 2-CD set is not cheap, but it is well worth acquiring.

Separately, there is a DVD recording (issued by MediciArts) of the same work by this pianist when he performed at the Bach Festival at Gewandhaus in Leipzig in 2008. An unassuming and unpretentious musician, he shows an impeccable style and taste as in the current CDs.
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Format: Audio CD
Check it out on Spotify if you need convincing that this is worth owning at an inflated price. Best Goldberg I've heard, and the competition is stiff...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8db9887c) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8de0d4b0) out of 5 stars Beautiful Bach on a Beautiful Period Instrument 27 Nov. 2009
By K. G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's a shame the rating for this CD is brought down by comments about erroneous sound samples. The problem isn't even relevant anymore, and concerns should have been directed toward Amazon and not been taken into account when grading the actual disc.

That said, the CD is indeed Bach's Goldberg Variations played on the harpsichord (NOT piano), which is rare to find in recordings. It's almost amusing how altogether *refreshing* it is hearing this music on the harspichord, and then to consider that the harpsichord, and not the modern piano, was the contemporary keyboard instrument of Bach's day.

For Baroque music, I vastly prefer the harpsichord over the piano, which is why I sought out this recording. I wasn't disappointed in my purchase and would recommend.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8db6de28) out of 5 stars Getting Harder to Find 9 May 2007
By Ryan Reavis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The execution of Bach's work is technically well performed. What I found amazing was that, even on Amazon, this was one of the ONLY recordings of the Goldberg Variations played on harpsicord. The piece was originally wriiten for the harpsicord, but it seems to be quite in vogue to transcribe his orignial work for various other instruments. I have nothing against that trend, but I would like to see more faithful recordings of the work on the instrument for which it was intended.
1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f252390) out of 5 stars Something amiss here.... 7 Mar. 2008
By paul pirate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I remembered there being a Leonhardt harpsichord recording, but if the samples provided are intended for the recording listed here, something has gone very wrong. It's a piano (right?), played very staccato much of the time (is this meant to represent harpsichord strings being PLUCKED?). If someone has managed to remix this so that it sounds like a piano, kudos for engineering ability, but I somehow don't think so. Don't buy this if you want a harpsichord version (and not the Landowska, either). The first reviewer has noted correctly: this has become a piece for modern piano recitals, and there are enough interesting versions to make it work as such. I still miss the harpsichord sound, however, from the first notes of the Aria on. (But does anyone do it on the fortepiano????)
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