Top critical review
on 12 January 2017
I was expecting a lot from this recording, having very high esteem for Schiff as a pianist. I already owned four recordings of the Goldberg variations: the first and last Gould recordings, a recording with Danish pianist Christina Bjorkoe, and one with Angela Hewitt. Schiff's playing is technically impressive, as could only be expected, but overall I find his interpretation uniform bordering on dull with quite a few surprising little details and technical look-what-I-can-do moments, but lacking an overall vision for the interpretation of this very complex work. I still much prefer Gould's late (1981) recording and the combined sensitivity and lightness of Hewitt, both of which still reveal new discoveries after countless replays. By contrast, after listening to this recording 5+ times, I feel that I have exhausted what Schiff has to offer, and this CD will probably be one of those that stay on the shelf.