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Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Masaaki Suzuki (Harpsichord)

Suzukiís Goldberg Variations

K-2

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Masaaki Suzuki (Harpsichord)

King Record

Apr 1997

CD / TT:

1st recording of Goldberg Variations BWV 988 by M. Suzuki.
Buy this album at:

K-3

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Masaaki Suzuki (Harpsichord)

BIS

Jul 1997

CD / TT: 73:17

2nd recording of Goldberg Variations BWV 988 by M. Suzuki. Recorded at the Kobe Shoin Women's University Chapel, Japan.
Review: Suzukiís Goldberg Variations
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Donald Satz wrote (August 22, 1999):
BIS released the Goldberg Variations performed on harpsichord by Masaaki Suzuki over a year ago. Suzuki is also the conductor of the Bach cantata series on the same label and is apparently heavily immersed in Bach these days.

A few weeks ago, I raved about the Hantai version of the Goldbergs on Opus 111. Suzuki's version is on a similarly high level. He is fully expressive and has a fantastic sense of phrasing and pacing with one exception - the aria. Here, he displays a tendency for little hesitations which are slightly annoying; one magazine reviewer described it as "horizontal stretching".

One other feature which a listener might find troublesome, although I didn't, is that most of the variations where Suzuki eliminates repeats are slow ones; you could end up feeling that the work becomes skewed to one side. Again, I did not have this reaction.

Recorded sound is superb: rich and clear as a bell. Overall, Suzuki shares center stage with Hantai (perhaps a half-step behind) for harpsichord versions of recent vintage. For recent piano versions, Peter Serkin and Tureck head the list.

Don's conclusion: Must Buy - unless you're extremely particular about repeats.

 

Feedback to the Review

Felix Delbruck wrote (August 23, 1999):
< Donald Satz commented on Masaaki Suzuki's playing of the aria in the Goldberg Variations: Here, he displays a tendency for little hesitations which are slightly annoying; one magazine reviewer described it as "horizontal stretching". >
That's a very strange phenomenon which I hear in many younger interpreters. Maybe Horowitz started it (certainly when he does it it is at its ugliest) - it's a kind of expressive 'leaning' at the beginnings or ends of runs, an exaggerated stretching of large intervals, a series of agogic 'bulges' all over the place. I'm not sure I can describe it exactly, but I know it when I hear it, and I'm allergic too it. It sounds gushing and emotionally pushy, or alternatively timid and lily-livered, or something - again, I can't say exactly, but I hate it. Listen to the phrasing of Landowska, or Schnabel, or Hofmann before his decline, or Rachmaninoff, or Szigeti (or Kempff, or Richter) - and you'll know what you're *not* hearing. Their cantilenas and musical shapes seem to me often more direct, with a sharper and more confident outline, less fussily distended, than those of many players today.

(Incidentally, getting back to a subject of some time ago, that's what I was talking about when I said I didn't like Pires's and Perahia's Mozart - the same lack of 'backbone').

Patrik Enander wrote (August 23, 1999):
Donald Satz wrote:
< BIS released the Goldberg Variations performed on harpsichord by Masaaki Suzuki over a year ago. Suzuki is also the conductor of the Bach cantata series on the same label and is apparently heavily immersed in Bach these days. >
I bought a couple of CDís in this cycle, but hadn't listened much to them but a couple of weeks ago I "discovered" vol 5. (Gleich wie der regen und Schnee, BWV 18, lobe den Herrn meine Seele, BWV 143, tritt auf die Glaubesbahn, BWV 152, Mein Gott, wie lange, ach lange, BWV 155, Komm du susse Todesstunde) This is a lovely disc. Two of my favourite cantatas is on it, Komm du .... and Tritt auf..... Peter Kooy is steady as a rock, Skurada and Mera excellent (jus listen to the duet between then in BWV 155, that alone makes this CD an excellent buy). I'm not too impressed with Midori Suzuki. Her voice is a bit thin. I find the playing of Bach Collegium Japan excellent. I recommed this disc highly.

Donald Satz wrote (August 23, 1999):
Felix Delbrueck wrote in response to me concerning the "aria":
< Here, he displays a tendency for little hesitations which are slightly annoying; one magazine reviewer described it as "horizontal stretching". I'm not sure I can describe it exactly, but I know it when I hear it, and I'm allergic to it. It sounds gushing and emotionally pushy, or alternatively timid and lily-livered, or something - again, I can't say exactly, but I hate it. >
To me, at least in Suzuki's case, it sounds like he's a little "behind the beat". Suzuki did this purposely, and I assume he thought it was distinctive and enriching. I can see that point of view, but overall, I kept wanting him to "get on with it". I do want to emphasize that I don't think Suzuki ruins the aria, but he does take it "down" a notch or two. I also have the feeling that, over time, I will become more comfortable with his approach.

Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Details
Recordings:
Until 1950 | 1951-1960 | 1961-1970 | 1971-1980 | 1981-1990 | 1991-2000 | From 2001
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Quodlibet in GV | GV for Strings
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
GV - Barenboim | GV - P.J. Belder | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - Egarr | GV - Feltsman | GV - C. Frisch | GV - Gould | GV - Hantaï | GV - R. Holloway | GV - J. Jando | GV - Jarrett | GV - Leonhardt | GV - V. Makin | GV - A. Newman | GV - S. Ross | GV Schiff | GV - R. Schirmer | GV - H. Small | GV - G. Sultan | GV - G. Toth | GV - Tureck | GV - Vartolo | GV - Verlet
Review: Goldberg Variations on Piano:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
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 - Cole | GV - Crossland | GV - Dershavina | GV - Egarr [Lehman] | GV - Egarr [Satz] | GV - Egarr [Bright] | GV- Hantai | GV Ė Hantaï (2nd) | GV - Haugsand | GV - Hewitt | GV - Holloway | GV- Ingolfsdottir | GV - Jando | GV - Leonhardt | GV- Lifschitz | GV - Newman | GV - Nikolayeva 3rd | GV- Payne | GV - Schepkin, Yudina & Serkin | GV - Schiff [ECM] | GV- Small | GV - Suzuki | GV - Toth | GV - Trich | GV - Tureck (Satz) | GV - Tureck (Lehman) | GV- Verlet | GV - Vieru | GV - Vinikour | GV - Weissenberg | GV - Zhu
Article:
The Quodlibet as Represented in Bachís Final Goldberg Variation BWV 988/30 [by Thomas Braatz]

Masaaki Suzuki: Short Biography | Bach Collegoim Japan
Recordings of Vocal Works:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Recordings of Instrumental Works
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Cantatas:
Suzuki - Vol. 2 | Suzuki - Vol. 5 | Suzuki - Vol. 8 | Suzuki - Vol. 9 | Suzuki - Vol. 10 | Suzuki - Vol. 11 | Suzuki - Vol. 12 | Suzuki - Vol. 13 | Suzuki - Vol. 14 | Suzuki - Vol. 15 | Suzuki - Vol. 16 | Suzuki - Vol. 17 | Suzuki - Vol. 18 | Suzuki - Vol. 19 | Suzuki - Vol. 20 | Suzuki - Vol. 21 | Suzuki - Vol. 22 | Suzuki - Vol. 23 | Suzuki - Vol. 24 | Suzuki - Vol. 25 | Suzuki - Vol. 26 | Suzuki - Vol.. 27 | Suzuki - Vol. 28 | Suzuki - Vol. 29 | Suzuki - Vol. 30 | Suzuki - Vol. 31 | Suzuki Secular - Vol. 1
Other Vocal Works:
BWV 232 - Suzuki | BWV 243 - Suzuki | BWV 244 - Suzuki | BWV 245 - Suzuki | BWV 248 - Suzuki
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Bachís Clavier-Ubung III from Massaki Suzuki | Bach Harpsichord Discs from Hill and Suzuki | Bachís French Suites from Suzuki | Review: Partitas by Suzuki [McElhearn] | Suzukiís Partitas [Henderson] | Suzukiís Goldberg Variations
Table of recordings by BWV Number

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Last update: żOctober 15, 2006 ż16:44:22