Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Instrumental Works: Recordings, Reviews & Discussions - Main Page | Order of Discussion
Recording Reviews of Instrumental Works: Main Page | Organ | Keyboard | Solo Instrumental | Chamber | Orchestral, MO, AOF
Performers of Instrumental Works: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Goldberg Variations BWV 988
General Discussions - Part 8 (2008-2009)

Continue from Part 7

New Recording of Goldberg Variations

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 2, 2008):
Aryeh Oron wrote (May 28, 2008)
New Recording of Goldberg Variations - another try?
On February 17, 2007, I sent the BRML the following message:
================================================
I uploaded a complete new recording of Goldberg Variations BWV 988.
See:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Mus/BWV988-Mus.htm
I would like to hear your impressions.
================================================
The responses were rather slim.
I would like to hear your impressions before the secret is revealed.
Hint: This genuine recording is NOT yet listed among the 354 recordings of the GV on the BCW, starting from:

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV988-Rec1.htm >

See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/GV-Silpor[Hitron].htm

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (June 3, 2008):
I have to wonder about the value of these things. It reminds me of the piano which plays the Goldbergs like
Glenn Gould. What's the point?

I guess it would be useful for TV and movie backgrounds and elevator music.

 

Goldberg Variations

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (October 21, 2008):
Just when I think I have enough recordings of the Goldberg Variations I find another one which I have to have. This one is not new, but is new to me - Bernard Legacé on the organ. The registrations he used are interesting and add something new to this work which I have always preferred on piano. It is sometimes a little bit too slow for me. Anyone else heard this?

 

What new Goldberg Variations should I add to my collection?

Plumeriavt wrote (January 18, 2009):
With all piano music on sale this weekend at HBDirect.com: http://www.hbdirect.com , I would like to hear suggestions as to which Goldberg Variations recordings one should have. I already have Glenn Gould and Dinnerstein
Goldberg Variations : HBDirect- Goldberg Variations


Thanks!

Gene Gaudette wrote (January 18, 2009):
[To Plumeriavt] Here are four very different recordings to track down (out of some nearly two dozen I own):

Edward Aldwell, piano (Biddulph, out of print, but I see this pop up occasionally on eBay and Amazon)
Sergei Schepkin, piano (Ongaku, still in print, interesting ideas about ornamentation and register shifts)
Céline Frisch, harpsichord (Alpha France, includes bonus disc with the Goldberg canons and the two tunes used in the Variation 30 quodlibet)
Jean Guillou, organ (Dorian, on an amazing modern French tracker organ that suits the music well)

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 18, 2009):
Goldberg Variations recordings

<plumeriavt> (Plumeria Vermont?) asked:
>Which Goldbergs should one have.<
I found my way to the Bach Cantatas website a little more than three years ago to answer the exact same question. I got distracted by the cantata discussions (some suggest obsessed?), but I did catch up with one important recent recording, through the influence of Brad Lehman:

Richard Egarr, harpsichord, Goldberg Variations plus 14 Canons, Harmonia Mundi, 2006.

The only possible feature one might consider a disadvantage is that it is on two CDs. I believe HM compensates for the relatively short length per CD with appropriate pricing, more than a single CD, but less than two full length singles, but check this for yourself.

In addition to the inspired, unhurried performance, with full repeats (hence the 2 CDs) consider this scholarly comment from the booklet notes, by Egarr.

<A timely coincidence, musicalogical discovery allowed me to use what may be Bach's own tuning system for the recording. There have been many claims and counter-claims since Bachs death as to his own preferred method of tuning. Most of them have little actual connection to Bach himself. Incredibly to me, there is still even a camp in favor of equal temperament. [see BCW archives, for example] In a brilliant and refreshingly musical piece of thinking and musicology, Bradley Lehman seems to have discovered the Truth, or at least a Truth. ... I am sure that Lehmans idea will not receive universal acceptance, but I find it utterly convincing.>

Consider also this humorous comment by Egarr, re the tuning system, on radio KPCK:

<KPCK: <You obviously endorse it [Bach/Lehman tuning]. Is it universally accepted?>

Egarr: <Of course not! Its more like a religion. You believe it or you dont. There is plenty of evidence in Early Music, and you can read it any way you want.> (end quote)

It is hard for me to imagine any Bach lover who would be unhappy with this recording, outside the <determined equal temperament> crowd. I plan to eventually do some detailed listening of Egarr in comparison with earlier recordings and/or alternate tuning systems. Perhaps we can induce Brad to suggest a few for insightful comparison?

Stephen Benson wrote (January 18, 2009):
Plumeriavt wrote:
< I would like to hear suggestions as to which Goldberg Variations recordings one should have. I already have Glenn Gould and Dinnerstein >
Different strokes bring up different lists at H&B. I went in on my own and came up with 219 available recordings; your link came up with 210. I wonder why the difference? Oh, well. With those numbers, it probably doesn't make much difference.

Even before checking out H&B's offerings, I knew I would suggest, among others, Ekaterina Dershavina, and when I saw that her disc is on sale for $4.99 [!] I figured I'd better jump off and make THAT information available. Hers is an eminently satisfying performance, an opinion echoed in the MusicWeb-International review which reads: "There is something impalpable in this performance of the Goldberg Variations. Ekaterina Dershavina gives a fine performance of this work, perhaps one of the best available on the piano. She allies both subtle phrasing, for the slow variations, and breathtaking energy for the fast ones. In spite of a few small moments where the magic is lost, this is a brilliant recording, and at a budget price as well! Snap it up for a rare example of pianistic excellence."

It probably should be noted, as well, that only piano performances, not harpsichord or organ, are on sale.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 18, 2009):
Stephen Benson wrote:
>It probably should be noted, as well, that only piano performances, not harpsichord or organ, are on sale.<
Aha! I guess that makes the publicity I just provided for Richard Egarr, harpsichord, and Bach/Lehman tuning off-topic? Buy it anyway, sometime, at the best price you can find. Life is simple.

I also meant to ask Plumeria Vermont:

Plumeria is a Hawaiian plant, no? I am already thinking ahead to my next shirt (harder to sneak into the house than a new CD!).

SEatlast wrote (January 18, 2009):
Angela Hewitt. Glorious!

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (January 18, 2009):
>With all piano music on sale this weekend at HBDirect.com, I would like to hear suggestions as to which Goldberg Variations recordings one should have. I already have Glenn Gould and Dinnerstein<
I have Ekaterina Dershavina's piano recording. It is first rate. I highly recommend it.
I also have Bernard Legacacé's organ recording. This is good, but most of the Variations are a little too slow for my taste.

The ones on your list which I don't have which appealed to me were the ones by String Trios and Elena Barshai's organ version.

Julian Mincham wrote (January 18, 2009):
As an oddity I note that Catrin Finch has recently released her own arrangement of the Goldbergs which she plays on the harp (for DG).

I haven't heard it yet--has anyone??

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 18, 2009):
Julian Mincham wrote:
>As an oddity I note that Catrin Finch has recently released her own arrangement of the Goldbergs which she plays on the harp (for DG).<
As soon as Iread the word oddity (my middle name, some might suggest?) I was reminded of a story I read of a radio host who would play the Golodbergs in slightly scrambled sequence to see if anyone would notice. Reportedly, no one ever did! This must have been not too long ago, since the advent of the CD. The idea of trying it, on the air from LP, exceeds even my concept of humor!

<Not too long ago>, I wrote. That would be in the last 25 years, or so. I shudder at the prospect of Old Dude (Senior), until I remember the alternative.

Gene Gaudette wrote (January 19, 2009):
> Richard Egarr, harpsichord, Goldberg Variations plus 14 Canons, Harmonia Mundi, 2006. <
Egarr is a terrific keyboardist. His recordings of the complete surviving keyboard music of Jacob Froberger on Globe (in four two-disc volume) is superb; his playing of the Italianate toccata flourishes on both organ and harpsichord is thrilling, and his handling of the sometimes odd structural "architecture" of Froberger's music brings unexpected coherence to this repertoire. One also gets a strong feel for the stylistic details that influenced Bach and his contemporaries.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
fortegene (cool handle!) wrote:
> Richard Egarr, harpsichord, Goldberg Variations plus 14 Canons, Harmonia Mundi, 2006.
Egarr is a terrific keyboardist.<
I am listening to the CD right now, I began behind dinner. Since I first wrote, I also realized that Brad Lehman has a review of the CD in the BCW archives. Brad emphasizes that Egarr is a superb musician, as well as keyboardist.

I actually bought the CD on the basis of a radio interview of Egarr which Brad shared with me some time back; that is what I meant by his recommendation. I had forgotten about the review in BCW archives. In the interview, Eggar comes across as charming and articulate, but most impressive to me, with a great sense of humor. All in all, a Decent Human Being, either getting more and more rare, or I am just getting more and more Old Dudish (junior, Harry, relax).

I cannot say I think this recording is the best, I cannot even say for sure that it is my favorite, but I can say that it is good enough so that it is my favorite, right now, while I am listening to it. I have no feeling whatsoever of so and so does this or that better. A thoroughly enjoyable performance. I repeat my original thought, I cannot imagine anyone on this list, presumably all Bach fans (even fanatics) who would be disappointed in buying this CD. If it is on sale, all the better.

I was going to write a few words about the princess and the pea reviewing style, that is folks who sound like nothing is quite adequate to satisfy their sophistication and sensitivity. I was also going to say I though better of it, but now I realize, too late. I have already said a few words.

The original poster is indeed Plumeria (Hawaiian flower) Vermont, so I am off to off-list for some Hawaii chat.

Kevin Sterling wrote (January 19, 2009):
[To plumeriavt] I have more than a dozen recordings of the Goldbergs. Among my favorites are these cds:

Played on piano:

Greta Sultan on Concord (out of circulation, may be hard to find)
She gets to the bottom of every note and plumbs the depths of the work as a whole even on the old Baldwin she used. A remarkable recording done in one take with no interruptions or edits of any kind. Better than Tureck.

Played on harpsichord:

Jory Vinikour on Delos (2 cds)
Here a young player gives a highly musical account on a gorgeous instrument.I love it that he takes his time and doesn't skimp on the repeats.

Played on organ:

Jean Guillou (Delos)
Already recommended by someone else, this is quite a sonic treat. The organ was designed by Jean Guillou in the shape of the hand of God! There are great pictures of it in the booklet. It is a small but mighty and highly colorful instrument. Guillou's aggressive approach shows another side of this music and offers many delights.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
Goldberg Variations - Dinnerstein

Harry wrote (May 2008):
>And I found it [Dinnerstein's Goldbergs] beautiful and intriguing (OK, OK, Julian and Ed, I know I'm a sucker for blue eyes and a classic face, but I tell you, there's more to it than that . . .).<
Still explaining after 82.5 plus years? Cmon, Old Dude (senior). Sorry I missed this in real time, I was not yet subscribed to BRML, only to BCML, at that point. Ultimately, all secrets out! When I was a kid and everyone else admired Superman or Hopalong Cassidy, my main dude was Lamont Cranston (Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!).

I fully expect Brad to tell us that he has the radio archives on CD. If so, send along a couple, my little box of cassettes is getting pretty fragile.

Glen Armstrong wrote (January 19, 2009):
[To Ed Myskowski] Ed, I thoroughly enjoy your off-topic posts -- and, of course, those on-topic. Could I make so bold as to ask for your e-mail as I have a few questions which are barely worthy of this site. My expertise is non-existent, and I don't wish to revel in the lack thereof in such elevated company. Glen Armstrong:gbda@pei.sympatico.ca Thanks

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
Glen Armstrong wrote:
>Ed, I thoroughly enjoy your off-topic posts -- and, of course, those on-topic.<
Thank you for the kind words. I have several friends on BCML who go back almost three years, the time when I signed up. I get words of support from time to time off-list, at which point I remind them that I do not need encouragement, I find plenty of trouble on my own.

>Could I make so bold as to ask for your e-mail as I have a few questions which are
barely worthy of this site. My expertise is non-existent, and I don't wish to revel in the lack thereof in such elevated company.<

My eMail is: emysko@earthlink.net I believe it shows up with every post to BCML, but I have included it in the body, to be certain.

You can contact me either on or off-list, but if it is relevant to BCML, I far prefer to keep comments on list for a number of reasons - most important, my time constraints, and maintaining the public communication value of BCW. As to the elevated company, I have pretty well taken care of averaging that down. Harry helps.

I think many people feel uncomfortable at first posting to the list, simply because of lack of confidence. If that is the case, my advice is to screw up your courage, keep it simple and clear as best you can, and go for it.

You will be amazed at how quickly it will become fun, and more important, how much you will learn and how much more you will enjoy the music from making the effort to write about it. It does require effort, however. See Julians comments from the archives of BWV 62, this weeks discussion topic, for example.

BTW, Julian is a professional educator and musician, as well as the elusive Decent Human Being. You can get a free music education (I am working on mine), simply by asking him questions. All you will get from me is a warm fuzzy feeling, if you anice, and a bit of wit. Edgy, perhaps, if you are not nice (not specific to Glen).

Julian Mincham wrote (January 19, 2009):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Well, gosh, gee-whizz Ed--I don't know where to put myself!??? >

You will be amazed at how quickly it will become fun, and more important, how much you will learn and how much more you will enjoy the music from making the effort to write about it. It does require effort, however. See Julians comments from the archives of BWV 62, this weeks discussion topic, for example.

BTW, Julian is a professional educator and musician, as well as the elusive Decent Human Being. You can get a free music education (I am working on mine), simply by asking him questions. All you will get from me is a warm fuzzy feeling, if you are nice, and a bit of wit. Edgy, perhaps, if you are not nice (not specific to Glen).

John Pike wrote (January 19, 2009):
[To Ed Myskowski] I agree that Egarr is a terrific harpsichordist but I don't think his Goldbergs are the best around. I seem to remember finding two of the variations, including no. 25, a little disappointing. As ever, Brad comes to the rescue. He has a superb review on his website of Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording on piano. You may not have heard of her but this recording will not disappoint....better than Hewitt, Perahia, Schiff, and that's saying quite something. I have tried to find the review on his website this am but without success. Apologies

Laurent Lehmann wrote (January 19, 2009):
John Pike wrote:
< As ever, Brad comes to the rescue. He has a superb review on his website of Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording on piano. You may not have heard of her but this recording will not disappoint....better than Hewitt, Perahia, Schiff, and that's saying quite something. I have tried to find the review on his website this am but without success. >
Zhu Xiao-Mei's version has long been my absolute favorite. Nowadays I'd have a tougher time choosing one single favorite among the dozens I own, but it's still easily in my top 5. This version is generally well-regarded in France.

Brad's review is here : http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/zhu-goldbergs.htm

This is my first post here, I think. Hello to everybody and apologies if this post come garbled - I've had difficulties formatting the reply to John's mail with Gmail.

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 19, 2009):
[To Laurent Lehmann] Welcome aboard. Good to see another fan of both Bach & Jazz music joining the list. There are several of us here.

Zhu Xiao-Mei is also among my personal favourites in the GV. Better than Hewitt and Gould's 1981? I enjoy them all.
Bradley Lehman's review is presented on the BCW at:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NonVocal/Klavier-Goldberg-Zhu-Brad.htm

However, if I had to choose only one recording of GV on piano, it would definitely be Charles Rosen.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV988-Rec3.htm [38]
<>

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
John Pike wrote:
< As ever, Brad comes to the rescue. He has a superb review on his website of Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording on piano. You may not have heard of her but this recording will not disappoint....better than Hewitt, Perahia, Schiff, and that's saying quite something. I have tried to find the review on his website this am but without success. >
Laurent Lehmann wrote:
>Zhu Xiao-Mei's version has long been my absolute favorite. Nowadays I'd have a tougher time choosing one single favorite among the dozens I own, but it's still easily in my top 5. This version is generally well-regarded in France.
Brad's review is here :
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/zhu-goldbergs.htm <

Also as ever, Brad comes through with more than musical insight. From the same review.
<As Ralph Waldo Emerson noted, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.">

To Plumerai, VT: I stand by my original suggestion of Egarr, as first recvommendation, to add a harpsichord to your two existing piano versions, and to provide some background to get up to speed on the tuning issues which provide hours of entertainment (and minutes of actual wisdom, essentially all from Brad) in the BCW archives.

Better yet, get them both: Xiao-Mei and and Egarr. El cheque esta en el correo from Harmonia Mundi, publisher of both?

After all this help, we expect a report on your decision, and on impressions of the recordings. From one tropical plant household to another, here in New England USA, I will be wearing my plumeria Hawaiian shirt for the Inauguration tomorrow, it also happens to be one of the Reyn Spooner Xmas Limited Edition, Mele Kalikmaka. Could be my favorite, but picking a favoite Hawaiian shirt is like picking a favorite recording: the one that is on today is the favorite.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
Jens F. Laurson wrote:
>Egarr, who obviously has a strong--if not entirely neutral--champion in Brad L, is perfectly lovely and just too bland for me.<
What is yor suggestion for a harpsichord version, then, while we wait for Brad to chime in?

BTW, I am still looking for the elusive Werner Vol. 1 booklet notes, English plus recording data. Any help would be appreciated.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
Julian Mincham wrote:
>Well, gosh, gee-whizz Ed--I don't know where to put myself!??? <
Well, mate, I could drive a lorry through that opening, blindfolded! I will leave it to Old Dude (senior) to suggest where you can put yourself.

On the serious side, how about: Music Dept. Chair, emeritus?

Apologies for the duplicate mailing (inevitable TNT would say), the thread appeared to have wandered from BRML to BCML, so I used both.

John Pike wrote (January 19, 2009):
Goldberg Variations

[To Ed Myskowski] I think Egarr is very good and well worth getting, despite my reservations in an earlier posting, but another recording on harpsichord which I would recommend is Pierre Hantaii on Mirare (2003 recording). I think he has recorded them twice (at least) and I seem to remember the earlier recording was also well regarded. Leonhardt has also recorded them several times though sadly I only have an earlier recording from 1953 on Vanguard Classics (re-released on CD). I understand his later recordings get better, but I have had difficulty getting hold of them (like his DHM recording of the KdF, of which I could only get the Japanese version, with Japanese liner notes!!)

Jens F. Laurson wrote (January 19, 2009):
Dinnerstein's G-Bergs are of the incense wafting kind, to my ears. Not bad at all. (Review at http://www.weta.org/fmblog/?p=146 )

"There are moments where Simone Dinnerstein plays in the style an amateur Goldberg enthusiast might want to, if only he or she had her abilities: The result is probably all-too-indulgent for some and just perfect for others. at any ratebound to be a very personal choice. The ever present revelry has me miss the incredible forward momentum that a tighter approach - for example Yevgeni Koroliov's - can achieve in the Variations."

Since this is about piano versions: Koroliov (Hänssler) is extraordinary (after a rather drab Aria). Feltsman at least intriguing. (Review: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2008/05/more-goldberg-variations.html )

---

Egarr, who obviously has a strong--if not entirely neutral--champion in Brad L, is perfectly lovely and just too bland for me. (However, his new Brandeburg Concertos are superb. Not wild, either, but superbly executed, warmly passionate readings.)

( Review of sorts here: http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2006/04/goldberg-variations.html )

"Egarr impresses with feeling and a soft touch. In my opinion he outplays the fairly similar Céline Frisch on the alpha label, who also includes the 14 Goldberg canons (although for chamber group, not harpsichord like Egarr does) and the two songs on which the 31st variation, the Quodlibet is based. The alpha disc, a CHOC de Le Monde de la Musique 2001 and Diapason d'or 2002 winner, is highly interesting for that reason, but the Goldberg Variations themselves cannot stand out in a crowded field. On the mellow side, they compete directly with the ultimately more expressive Egarr."

Russ M. Sacko wrote (January 19, 2009):
Zhu Xiao-Mei Recording of GBV

Zhu Xiao-Mei's recording is no longer available on Amazon as the manufacturer has discontinued it. However it is available for download on iTunes for $9.99.

Bradley Lehman wrote (January 19, 2009):
Quoting John Pike:
< Leonhardt has also recorded them several times though sadly I only have an earlier recording from 1953 on Vanguard Classics (re-released on CD). I understand his later recordings get better, but I have had difficulty getting hold of them (like his DHM recording of the KdF, of which I could only get the Japanese version, with Japanese liner notes!!) >
Leonhardt's best recording of the Goldbergs (on dhm) is now available in the Sony 15-CD "Gustav Leonhardt Jubilee Edition". That box also has his excellent 1996 recording of cantatas 27/34/41. All 15 of the discs have the original cover art on the cardboard sleeves, but no booklets. On the other hand, the whole set is priced to be almost free.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
John Pike wrote:
>I think Egarr is very good and well worth getting, despite my reservations in an earlier posting, but another recording on harpsichord which I would recommend is Pierre Hantaii on Mirare (2003 recording). I think he has recorded them twice (at least) and I seem to remember the earlier recording was also well regarded.<
EM:
I was going to get one of the Hantais for comparison with Egarr, but it seemed to me that among the princess and the pea reviewers, about half preferred the earlier, half the later, and they all found some detail to dislike in both. So I bought nothing. Think about that, Dudes. One CD sale lost, by guys who depend on CD sales to make their living!

I am very fond of the Ralph Kirkpatick, for its historic and pioneeering value as much (or more) than for sheer musical pleasure. But when I play it, I dont wish I was hearing something else!

JP:
< Leonhardt has also recorded them several times though sadly I only have an earlier
recording from 1953 on Vanguard Classics (re-released on CD). I understand his later recordings get better, but I have had difficulty getting hold of them (like his DHM recording of the KdF, of which I could only get the Japanese version, with Japanese liner notes!!) >
EM:
Help us out here Terejia, or perhaps Chris Kern? BTW, I was about to write off-list but this will do fine - check in and say hello, Terejia. We miss you.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
Alas, despite a large quantity of Harmonia Mundi CDs currently at Berkshire Records Outlet (broinc.com), neither Egarr nor Xiao-Mei is among them. There is Egarr, WTC 1, but I believe that is a cutout, precisely because he recorded it before he discovered Bach/Lehman tuning? Help, Brad.

Re: Bach and Other Composers, I note with bemusement (both contents and date) the following 2 CD set:

Bach, Goldberg Variations. Schoenberg, 5 Klavierstucke Op.23; Klavierstuck Op.33a. Cage, Music of Changes, Part I; 'The Perilous Night' for Prepared Piano. Debussy, Etudes 7-11 from Book II. (Grete Sultan, piano. 1959-90)

Stephen Benson wrote (January 19, 2009):
Laurent Lehmann wrote:
> Zhu Xiao-Mei's version has long been my absolute favorite. <
In addition to the Dershavina I suggested earlier, this is also in my small group of favorites. ALL of Zhus's Bach is exceptional!

Stephen Benson wrote (January 19, 2009):
Aryeh Oron wrote:
< However, if I had to choose only one recording of GV on piano, it would definitely be Charles Rosen. >
Another of my small group of favorites. (I seem to be going at this piecemeal.) And this one is available for $6.99 in the H&B sale!

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
Stephen Benson wrote:
>In addition to the Dershavina I suggested earlier<
I had overlooked Steves earlier recommendation, in all the flurry. From BRO:Bach, Goldberg Variations. (Ekaterina Dershavina, piano) RCA, $3.99.

<World ends soon! By records.> (Courtesy Looney Tunes, and if you think I am an oddity ...)

Take that twenty bucks you were about to squander on some religious book, go directly to www.broinc.com, and spend it on something you will actually enjoy!

Bradley Lehman wrote (January 19, 2009):
Quoting Ed Myskowski:
< Alas, despite a large quantity of Harmonia Mundi CDs currently at Berkshire Records Outlet (broinc.com), neither Egarr nor Xiao-Mei is among them. There is Egarr, WTC 1, but I believe that is a cutout, precisely because he recorded it before he discovered Bach/Lehman tuning? Help, Brad. >
That's the number of the current issue. It's still in print, as far as I know. Maybe just an overstock there? Egarr just did a US tour a few months ago, playing all of book 1 and promoting that set. It's in tune. So are Watchorn's and Beausejour's.

Xiao-Mei has never been on Harmonia Mundi. Her label is Mandala. OK, it has Harmonia Mundi distribution.... Her Scarlatti CD is also worth seeking. It was from a concert in Prague 15 Nov 1995. The catalog number is IMV 019 on the "INA" label, distributed by Abeille Musique.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2009):
Brad, responding to my hint for help:
>Egarr just did a US tour a few months ago, playing all of book 1 and promoting that set. It's in tune. So are Watchorn's and Beausejour's.<
Need an answer, ask an expert. Just to be certain there is no misunderstanding, what Brad means by in tune is that Bach/Lehman tuning is used, my specific question. From my own holdings, I caassure you that both the Egarr Goldbergs and Watchorn WTC 1 have excellent booklet notes, the Watchorn especially good re the tuning system.

Anyone who wants to thoroughly enjoy the BCW archives, and enjoy the educational benefit of easy communication with Brad on BCW, needs to be familiar with the issue. No more enjoyable way than to buy a record.

By my calculation, I can take the twenty bucks I saved on that Bible I didnt buy, go to www.broinc.com for Dershavina, Egarr WTC 1, find another selection (perhaps that weird 2 CD combo I mentioned earlier) to get up to a minimum $15 purchase. I was about to write I could get change from the twenty, but that is not precise.

BRO has a $15 minimum, plus $6 min. shipping ($0.10 each additional), for a total minimum purchase of $21 plus a few cents. OTOH, I am pretty sure I misquoted the Bible, I think it is actually $25 (I tried to phone up, for accuracy, but Lutherans closed for MLK day. Gotta respect them for that surprising respect (if that is in fact what it is).

Bottom line: I think you can buy the records and get change, compared with the cost of the Bible. Any questions about my recommendation?

Bradley Lehman wrote (January 19, 2009):
MLK music (OT) - was Re: Goldberg Variations

Quoting Ed Myskowski:
< By my calculation, I can take the twenty bucks I saved on that Bible I didnt buy, go to www.broinc.com for Dershavina, Egarr WTC 1, find another selection (perhaps that weird 2 CD combo I mentioned earlier) to get up to a minimum $15 purchase. I was about to write I could get change from the twenty, but that is not precise. >
My most recent Broinc run included a disc of Schwantner's "New Morning for the World" (text by MLK), and Nicolas Flagello's "The Passion of Martin Luther King". I've been saving it for this afternoon's listening. Schwantner's piece reminds me a lot of "A Lincoln Portrait" by Copland. Album details: Amazon.com

Haven't yet met a piece by Flagello that I didn't like. His style resembles Copland at his most compositionally conservative, or Barber. This one was composed in 1968, right after MLK's demise.

Russ M. Sacko wrote (January 20, 2009):
Zhu Xiao-Mei Recordings

Besides the GBV, Zhu Xiao-Mei has recorded Book 2 of the Well Tempered Clavier (Nov 2007) and some Haydn Sonatas (Dec 2008). All available on iTunes.

Stephen Benson wrote (January 20, 2009):
[To Russ M. Sacko, regarding Zhu Xiao-Mei] Her recording of the Partitas is also among the best in a very crowded field of excellent performances.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 20, 2009):
Stephen Benson wrote (off-list) [Zhu Xiao-Mei]:
>Ed, I hate to correct you ... I do believe that the proper reference to Zhu Xiao-Mei is "Zhu", her surname in Chinese.<
First, like Aryeh, I welcome correction because it avoids perpetuation of mistakes. Nothing I hate more than calling Ted Fred, just as an example, and having Ted tell me after I have been doing it for several years.

I did not try to confirm Steves opinion; I will interpret silence from the list as agreement.

One thing I enjoy about Old Dudehood (Jr.), everything reminds me of a story, and in contrast to Old Dudehood (Sr.), I can stiill remember them well enough to tell them. One day Robert J. Lurtsema (the DJ Who started the Bach cantata Sunday AM tradition on WGBH, Boston, back in the early 1970s) introduced Concerto for Orchestra by Bartok Bela. That is in fact correct, in Hungarian, but I never heard him do it again. Draw your own conclusions.

Personally, if I were an advisor to Ms Zhu, I would suggest she change her middle name to something that would facilitate the acronym: XYZ. Perhaps Yo, as in Yo Yo Ma? Which reminds me, his friend Lynn Chang once told me that he prefers Yo Ma Ma!

Laugh or die. Which also reminds of an analogy I do not want to forget: Bach and beer go together like Lutherans and humor.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (January 20, 2009):
She also recorded Schubert's Divertissement à la hongroise with Alexandre Tharaud. This is available on EMusic.

Stephen Benson wrote (January 20, 2009):

Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Perhaps Yo, as in Yo Yo Ma? Which reminds me, his friend Lynn Chang once told me that he prefers Yo Ma Ma! >
Do I dare say, "Yo, Ed!"
And in the spirit of the inauguration, it was pointed out that Yo Yo Ma (or Yo Ma Ma!), who will be playing at the inauguration ceremonies tomorrow, has played for five presidents. One of the networks even posted a marvelous bit of footage of Yo Yo Ma at the age of 7 performing with his sister at the White House for JFK!

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 20, 2009):
Steve wrote:
>Do I dare say, "Yo, Ed!"
And in the spirit of the inauguration, it was pointed out that Yo Yo Ma (or Yo Ma Ma!), who will be playing at the inauguration ceremonies tomorrow, has played for five presidents. One of the networks even posted a marvelous bit of footage of Yo Yo Ma at the age of 7 performing with his sister at the White House for JFK!<

You can say anything you want that in any way reinforces my recollections of brushes with greatness, i.e., the Yo Ma Ma anecdote. Or better yet, opens an opportunity for Old Dude (Jr.) to tell another story. Yawn? I warned you, day before yesterday, if it is too much, avert your eyes.

Me and the spouse (Her Ladyship I like to call her in public. Probably only Old Dude (Sr.) and Brad know her by name, unless I leaked it carelessly early on in my BCML days. Maybe Julian, as well? I will check it out.)

[we] were hanging out in the Atrium of the brand new $150 M (likely plus, Old Dude, 150 is what they fessed up to) addition to the oldest continuosly operating museum in the USA (maybe Canada has something older?), originally the East India Marine Society, a sea captains drinking club (guys and booze? like Bach and beer! girls and Booze? never happens, right ladies?), one of two such competing drinking clubs in the city at the time (1799 CE or AD). So much of pledge coooperation, (see Hail to the Chief, newly discovered lyrics).

I mentined yesterday that I consider: BCW! Better than a book something of a motto. If I were not writing this stuff, I would be trying to write a book. The book I would be trying to write is Finnegans Wake: the sequel. Since FW is a circulatio, no sequel. I am thinking of calling it a tangential or an axial. All opinions welcome, at all times. That is the beauty of BCW!

Anyway, [we] were sitting with a number of other folks, when I looked down and saw a violin case sitting next to an Asian lady, ca. 1.5 m, 45 kg tops (petite, for the non scientists). Dialogue:
EM: Are you playing with Yo Yo Ma today?
Asian Lady: Not me, but my husband is. They are friends.
EM: Are you married to Lynn Chang?
AL: Yes, he will be along any minute. They are friends. I am just watchihng his violin for him.

Next Lynn gets there, more dialogue:
EM: Geez, I remember that you guys were friends at Harvard years back, I think I even saw you play together a few times, but its been a while. He is big time now, no?
LC: Nah, he is just Yo to us, he prefers Yo Ma Ma for fun. You should wee what he wears when he is not working {a Hawaiian shirt would be overdressed]

Yo was introducing his Silk Road Project, appropriate for PEM, because those drinking sea captains established a lasting bond between Salem USA and Asia. Works for me, that is the origin of my Hawaii link.

I have just realized that I inadvertently started writingin a window where I cannot save, only write and hit send. Perhaps more.

 

Goldberg Variations BWV 988 - Discography Version 3

Aryeh Oron wrote (12, 2009):
I am glad to inform you of the 3rd Version of the Discography of the Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (GV) on the BCW.

In the 1st Version (January 2004) the discography included 261 recordings. In the 2nd Version (May 2006) - 299 recordings.

For the 3rd Version I have done in recent months the deepest possible search over the web (including: recording catalogues and databases, web-stores, artist websites, recording label websites, other discographies, etc.) and discovered many dozens of unfamiliar recordings. Members of the BRML, other Bach fans and artists have supplied me info of unfamiliar recordings. Their names are mentioned as contributors at the bottom of the relevant pages. I am sincerely grateful to them all.

You can find the list of complete recordings of GV, arranged by recording date, split into several pages, a page for a decade, starting at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV988.htm

In this 3rd version of the GV discography - 416 recordings are presented. This is definitely the most recorded keyboard work of J.S. Bach.

There are, of course, other discographies of the GV over the web (you can find links to them in the main page of GV above). I have used them to check the completeness of the GV discography on the BCW and to fill some gaps. I believe that the discography of GV on the BCW is now the most comprehensive, updated and complete you can over the web or elsewhere.

In this version I have also done some serious revision:
a. Each recording now contains additional info:
- Exact recording date (not only month/year)
- Recording place
- Links link/s to source of info/possible purchase sources
- Option to see larger photos of the album covers
b. I have built performer pages (or update existing performer page) and bio pages for most artists in the discography. The performer page has a link from the recording title.

As a rule of thumb, each recording is listed only once. All the issues of each recording are presented together (including their cover photos). If a performer has recorded the GV more than once, the info includes also the recording number.

I would appreciate any help in making this discography even more comprehensive, updated and accurate by adding recordings, correcting errors and completing missing details. Please write to me, either through the BRML or to my personal e-mail address.

John Pike wrote (September 13, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] What an extraordinary labour of love.
Congratulations!

Kevin Sterling wrote (September 13, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] This is a brilliant, engaging, and highly useful discography. No better work to have lavished all this energy on than the Goldbergs. Many thanks, Aryeh, for your work.

Meidad Zeharia wrote (September 13, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Fantastic!

I wonder if you have such pages for The Art Of Fugue and Musical Offering?

Thanks Aryeh...

P.S. Any chance for Israeli meeting for a lecture or special editions?

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (September 13, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Wow! Thank you for this list Aryeh.

Funny, I was looking up some Bach recordings on EMusic awhile ago and I found a couple of new ones. I was going to check the web page to see if you had them but I didn't get around to it.

I don't see them on your new list.
David Wright released his piano recording on Jan.1 2007. Ronald Hawkins on May of 2009. I am not sure what instrument(s) he used. It says under style - Chamber Music.

I downloaded a few of David Wright's variations and they are very good.

The David Wright album was by Zum Records/The Orchard. The Ronald Hawkins was put out on MSR Classics/IODA.

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 13, 2009):
[To Anne (Nessie) Russell] Thanks. However, both are already in the list.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV988-Rec7.htm
David Wright - 393 (missing exact recording date & place and TT).
Roland Hawkins - 395

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 13, 2009):
[To Meidad Zaharia] Thanks. The answer is yes.
AOF: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV1080.htm
MO: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV1079.htm
Both discographies need some revision & update.

The BCW also contains comprehensive discographies of:
All the Solo Keyboard Works BWV 772-994
Lute Works BWV 995-1000, 1006a
Canons BWV 1072-1078, 1086-1087
All are linked from the main page of the Instrumental Works:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/index.htm

Meidad Zeharia wrote (September 13, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thanks Aryeh,

That's fantastic!
I got a lot to read today.... The Art Of Fugue is my favorite piece of music ever written by humans...

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (September 13, 2009):
Aryeh Oron wrote:
< Thanks. However, both are already in the list. >
Sorry Aryeh. I can't count past 300!

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 14, 2009):
Yesterday's Washington Post had this preview of two live performances coming up in the DC area, in autumn: Hewitt and Taylor, each playing the Goldbergs. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/10/AR2009091004790.html

The article mentions Taylor's special two-keyboard piano (which had been Gunnar Johansen's), but not the fact that its second manual acts differently from the way a harpsichord's second manual does. Some older stories about that: http://www.google.com/search?q=christopher+taylor+moor+piano+bach+goldberg

Ed Myskowski wrote (September 15, 2009):
Concert updates [was: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988]

Bradley Lehman provided the following link:
< Yesterday's Washington Post had this preview of two live performances coming up in the DC area, in autumn: Hewitt and Taylor, each playing the Goldbergs. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/10/AR2009091004790.html >

including the following comment:

<both players use modern instruments (a 1920s Steinway is still "modern" in musical parlance) and bring a contemporary, sometimes Romantic awareness to their performances. Furthermore, the concerts are too far apart to be easily linked in a single "Goldberg" review. And in any case, it is important for the reviewer to avoid the easy trap of acting merely as a Beckmesser-like scorekeeper in comparing two performances: "She played this part fast; he played it slow. She got this passage; he didn't."> (end quote)

The concept of a preview of a review is new to me. Also, I am puzzled as to who (or what) is Beckmesser. Interesting article nonetheless, and it is especially good see see classical music notices maintaining a position in the newspapers.

A follow-up to one of my own previews: Doug Major played the Bach D major (Dougs signature piece?) Prelude and Fugue, BWV 532, on the *romantic* organ at MMMH, to open his program last Friday evening, Sep. 11. It may not be *authentic* Bach organ (I am not qualified to offer an opinion), but it was certainly an inspired and inspiring performance. Doug concluded the program with his own transcription of Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue, which performance was dedicated to his *Pop* who had died unexpectedly just a few days earlier. That brought a rare tear to this Old Dudes eyes.

Dan Stepner will be including the Chromatic Fantasy only, but not the Fugue, (BWV 902) on his upcoming program of Bach for Solo Violin (with stand-up comedy?!) at Brandesi U., Waltham MA. I previously noted that Dan had said he would not play this work again, after he premiered it a few years ago. I had the opportunity to discuss this a bit with him, it turns out to be a strictly pragmatic decision: he will be happy to plthe fugue, as well as the fantasy, so long as he is adequately compensated for the extensive preparation needed. Save up your pennies. Dan also expects to publish the transcription at some point.

As always, I join Brad and others in encouraging everyone to get out to enjoy and support live music performances whenever possible, and to share a few words re Bach on these pages.

Aloha, Ed Myskowski

bcc: Doug Major, Dan Stepner

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 15, 2009):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< The concept of a preview of a review is new to me. Also, I am puzzled as to who (or what) is Beckmesser. >
Beckmesser is the old-fashioned Masteringer in Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" who objects to Hans Sach's "new" art which Walther epitomizes. His tapping in disapproval in the song trial and his attempted serenade to Eva are comic highlights in the opera. The character was widely believed to be a satire on Hanslick, the Viennese critic who wrote scathing (and frequently perceptive) reviews of Wagner's music: he fanned the flames of the Brahms-Wagner debate. The name has come to mean any critic who opposes new music in any period.

Bradley Lehman wrote (September 15, 2009):
Quoting Douglas Cowling:
< Beckmesser is the old-fashioned Masteringer in Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" who objects to Hans Sach's "new" art which Walther epitomizes. His tapping in disapproval in the song trial and his attempted serenade to Eva are comic highlights in the opera. The character was widely believed to be a satire on Hanslick, the Viennese critic who wrote scathing (and frequently perceptive) reviews of Wagner's music: he fanned the flames of the Brahms-Wagner debate. The name has come to mean any critic who opposes new music in any period. >
Wagner's Beckmesser is not only opposed to the new; more importantly, he's a critic who is unable to deliver the goods himself, but who can only find faults in others' work from the sidelines, based on his own pedantic standards. In that opera, when Beckmesser tries to sing his own composition, it's just a bunch of incoherent non-sequiturs. He can't handle the musical or literary content in his own formal rules, so he reduces himself to the fool.

Even funnier than the original is the way Beckmesser turns up in the 1958 "Let's Fake an Opera" from the Hoffnung Festivals. http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Nov02/HoffnungConcerts.htm
His character comes up with this garbage (singing it to Wagner's melody):

"I see by daylight dawning
A perfect female form...
My lute I'd soon be pawning
If you would keep me warm.
Entrancing Azucena,
Come, share my marker's box.
I'll sing my cantilena
And you will darn my socks."

 

BCW: Over 500 Goldbergs!

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 1, 2012):
The discography pages of the Goldberg Variations BWV 988 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV988-Rec1.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade.
With over 500 different recordings this is certainly Bach's most recorded solo keyboard work, although the discography includes also many arrangements.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Goldberg Variations Discography once again

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 23, 2012):
Only half a year ago I had revised and updated the discography pages of the Goldberg Variations BWV 988 on the BCW, and I found myself having to update them once again. Almost 50 new recordings have been added since the last revision, most of them are naturally from the current decade, but there are also many discoveries from previous decades. The discography presents now 549 different recordings (every recordings is presented only once, including all its releases) of this Bach's most recorded solo keyboard work.
See the discography page of the current decade: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV988-Rec8.htm
This page has inter-links to the pages of previous decades.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Discographies of the Variations & Capriccios BWV 988-994

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 29, 2013):
The discography pages of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and the Arias & Variations, Capriccios on the BCW have been updated. The discographies are arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade. The discography pages are inter-linked. You can start, for example, at the last decade page (2010-2019) and go backward to pages of previous decades.
Goldberg Variations BWV 988 (563 recordings of the complete work):
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV988-Rec8.htm
This is definitely the most recorded work among Bach's solo keyboard works. However, the discography includes not only recordings on keyboard instruments (harpsichord, clavichord, piano, organ, etc.) but also many arrangements for various combinations of instruments.
Arias & Variations, Capriccios BWV 989-994 (128 recordings of complete works):
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV989-994-Rec8.htm
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

With this group I have finished revising and updating all the BCW discography pages of Bach's solo keyboard works BWV 772-994.

 

Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019
Comparative Review: Goldberg Variations on Piano:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Comparative Review: Round-Up of Goldberg Variations Recordings:
Recordings | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
GV - R. Barami, J. Crossland, O. Dantone, D. Propper | GV - M. Cole | GV - J. Crossland | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - S. Dinnerstein | GV - R. Egarr [Lehman] | GV - R. Egarr [Satz] | GV - R. Egarr [Bright] | GV - Feltsman | GV- P. Hantai | GV - P. Hantaï (2nd) | GV - K. Haugsand | GV - A. Hewitt | GV - R. Holloway | GV- H. Ingolfsdottir | GV - J. Jando | GV - B. Lagacé | GV - G. Leonhardt | GV- K. Lifschitz | GV - A. Newman | GV - T. Nikolayeva 3rd | GV- J. Payne | GV - W. Riemer | GV - C. Rousset | GV - S. Schepkin, M. Yudina & P. Serkin | GV - A. Schiff [ECM] | GV- H. Small | GV - M. Suzuki | GV - G. Toth | GV - K.v. Trich | GV - R. Tureck [Satz] | GV - R. Tureck [Lehman] | GV- B. Verlet | GV - A. Vieru | GV - J. Vinikour | GV - A. Weissenberg | GV - Z. Xiao-Mei
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Quodlibet in GV | GV for Strings
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
GV - D..Barenboim | GV - P.J. Belder | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - S. Dinnerstein | GV - R. Egarr | GV - V. Feltsman | GV - C. Frisch | GV - G. Gould | GV - P. Hantaï | GV - R. Holloway | GV - J. Jando | GV - K. Jarrett | GV - G. Leonhardt | GV - V. Makin | GV - A. Newman | GV - S. Ross | GV - A. Schiff | GV - R. Schirmer | GV - H. Small | GV - G. Sultan | GV - G. Toth | GV - R. Tureck | GV - S. Vartolo | GV - B. Verlet
Article:
The Quodlibet as Represented in Bach’s Final Goldberg Variation BWV 988/30 [T. Braatz]

Instrumental Works: Recordings, Reviews & Discussions - Main Page | Order of Discussion
Recording Reviews of Instrumental Works: Main Page | Organ | Keyboard | Solo Instrumental | Chamber | Orchestral, MO, AOF
Performers of Instrumental Works: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: żNovember 3, 2013 ż10:05:34