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Different (and that's why it's so good...)!,
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This review is from: J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (Audio CD)
It's hard not to write a review of any recording of the Goldbergs without mentioning the Canadian elephant in the room... -- but, surely, that's not really the point to any recording is it: to compare it to others, whilst ignoring its own, unique attributes?
I was fortunate enough to hear Simone Dinnerstein at the Wigmore, on her UK debut, play the variations; and, therefore, in a way, the CD could be said to be something of a disappointment: failing to catch the breadth of her performance (and the amount of time it took: all repeats intact; and much thought before she touched the keys; not to mention occasional pauses to catch her breath between individual variations...); and the sheer (almost religious) involvement and astonishment of the educated audience....
But -- having said all that -- this is a great reminder of an original interpretation; and one which shrugs off any history as if to say: "Oh look, a new book of piano music: I wonder what it will sound like when I play it?" In fact, live: this approach seemed to be present throughout -- repeats not simply being repeated, but _reinterpreted_, based on what had been 'learned' the first time through. Each variation is fresh; a new discovery; a step on the road to something bigger.... (And the pianistic technique is also varied throughout....)
This is, after all, surely (arguably), Bach's masterpiece: summing up all that _he_ had learned through composition and performance; and yet, simultaneously, managing to hide the awesome technical perfection behind music that -- Dinnerstein reminds us -- can still sound new, fresh, modern even, and relevant, today.