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Goldberg Variations BWV 988
Sergey Schepkin, Maria Yudina, Peter Serkin (Piano)
Three Goldbergs

1

J.S. Bach: The Goldberg Variations [K-1]

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Sergey Schepkin (Piano)

Ongaku Records 024107
Dear Heart 2021

Jan 15, 1995

CD / TT: 71:53

Recorded at Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, Boston, MA, USA.
Review: Three Goldbergs
Buy this album at:
CD: Amazon.com

2

Maria Yudina: Bach / Beethoven (Great Pianists of the 20th Century) [K-5]

Goldberg Variations BWV 988 [70:55]

Maria Yudina (Piano)

Philips

Jan 1968

2-CD / TT: 142:05

Recorded in Moscow, Russia. Other works: by L.v. Beethoven.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

3

Bach: Goldberg Variations - Italian Concerto [K-3]

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Peter Serkin (Piano)

RCA / BMG

June 1994

CD / TT: 44:30 / 45:03

3rd recording of Goldberg Variations BWV 988 by P. Serkin.
Buy this album at: Amazon.com

Donald Satz wrote (June 19, 1999):
Largely through coincidence, I had three piano versions of the Goldberg Variations in my hands last night: Sergey Schepkin on Ongaku, Maria Yudina on Philips, and Peter Serkin on RCA.

The most obvious note I made to myself before listening was that the Serkin was only 44 minutes long; that means "forget the repeats." I also figured that I would not be agreeable to the lack of repeats.

After listening to the three versions, my conclusions are:

a. Yudina's aria and the other "slow" variations are superb. She presents them beautifully with a high level of emotion and even a sense of urgency which I found compelling. However, the faster variations were very routine. The sound has some hiss and breaks now and then. That's no problem when her interpretation is excellent, but it was bothersome in the fast variations.

b. Based on Schepkin's excellent discs of the partitas, I expected much from him in the Goldbergs. Expectations were dashed as Schepkin was on an embellishment kick which annoyed me significantly. His recording is not recommended.

c. That leaves Serkin. Although I did not like the lack of repeats, his disc is the best of the three. Serkin is a superb pianist and does a great job with Bach. Details and emotions displayed were excellent. He did not express any urgency in the aria, but that was the only drawback and only area where he was not superior to Yudina. In addition, his coupling, the Italian Concerto, was also played very well. The fast movements were particularly exciting.

I still can't get over how Schepkin, with full intent, ruined his interpretation by being cute, by giving the indication that Bach is not good enough, that he, Schepkin, will improve the work. I can't understand how he could have listened to the results with any satisfaction. To put it another way, if you are going to "mess with" a work, it would be a good idea to do something which makes it distinctive, not fussy.

 

Feedback to the Review

Bob Kasenchak wrote (June 21, 1999):
I was wondering what Don (or anyone) thinks of Joaõ Carlos Martin's Bach? He has recently (sort of) put out the complete keyboard works on Concord Concerto. I was thinking of picking up the sampler...any advice? I think he plays it all on piano (not harpsichord or anything).

Donald Satz wrote (June 22, 1999):
[To Bob Kasenchak] Martins is all piano. Before Concord Concerto, Martin's interpretations were on a label called Tomatoe (something like that).

Martins would tend to be considered a "romantic" artist in Bach. His playing is unabashedly rich. Since I get along with Bach so well, I don't mind the romanticism he brings to Bach. Martins is a "keeper."

I don't know about the sampler route; it still costs money. I'd get one of the "regular" one-disc entries. After that, you'll likely want to get more of Martins.

 

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- Hantai | GV – 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 Bach’s Final Goldberg Variation BWV 988/30 [by Thomas Braatz]

Sergey Schepkin: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Schepkin’s Well Tempered Clavier, Book I (10 Parts) | Three Goldbergs

Maria Yudina: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Three Goldbergs

Peter Serkin: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Three Goldbergs

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Last update: ýNovember 1, 2006 ý02:55:20