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Discussion: Bach: Goldberg Variations - Vinikour

Posts: 8

Post by RedFox February 25, 2007 (1 of 8)
what i like very much is the voice of the harpsichord built by kevin fryer
who followed a classical scheme, the tradition of the world famous rucker
harpsichords. (the Ruckers family is a flemish harpshicord maker family
in the 17th century). the sonics is excellent, very clear, i hear every
detail. i would score it five.

however its tempo is a bit slow for me (perhaps because i have got used
to the temp of glenn gould the pianist). my score is 4.5.

i would recommend the disc to anyone who likes bach and the voice of a
good harpsichord.

Post by Peter February 26, 2007 (2 of 8)
Is this one disc or two? What's the total time for this performance?

Post by Beagle February 26, 2007 (3 of 8)
Peter said:
Is this one disc or two? What's the total time?

Good questions:

zeus' title data says 2 discs, CD Universe says 2 discs (86 min.), Amazon.de says 1 disc (85 min.) -- but that sounds terribly long for Goldbergs, no? Gould 1981 clocks in at 50:13, Keith Jarrett on harpsichord (very credible performance!) at 61:19.

Isn't there an 84 minute maximum per disc, or is that rbcd? Wot-the-hell, I ordered it (amazon.com associate for US$15 -- compare amazon.ca US$54!).

Post by Peter February 26, 2007 (4 of 8)
I guess it's two - Zeus and jpc have it as two. There is a recording by Richard Egarr on HM which spills onto two discs, alas not SACD, but also includes 14 Goldberg canons bringing the total time to just over 99 minutes. HM's blurb describes it as the unabridged Goldberg Vars. Perhaps some repeats are not usually made, but are in these two recordings?

Post by terence February 27, 2007 (5 of 8)
yes it's a question of repeats. vinikour to my recollection does them all (i.e. A-A-B-B for all variations).

i have the vinikour. don't like his habit of spreading chords between the hands. it irritates me.

Post by miguelito54 March 31, 2007 (6 of 8)
This is two discs, running 39:57 and 45:42 minutes.
Yes, he plays all repetions. Consider that most performers had to either skip some repetitions or play at rather high tempos or both to keep the total playing time below 80 minutes. Not to mention versions with all the music on one LP, which skipped most repeats.
Vinikours performance does not sound too slow, not any any means. (Consider this music was intended for calming down Graf von Keyserlingk's insomnia!) What bugs me are the inconsistencies in his rhythmic phrasing. This is highly demanding two-handed keyboard music, and if you listen to this while reading along or if you listen very closely the weaknesses of a performance show very quickly.
If you want Glenn Gould type boldness on a harpsichord, try Pierre Hantai's versions (1992 for Opus 111 OPS 30-84, or 2003 for Mirare MIR 9945) - he even did them twice like Gould!

Post by miguelito54 March 31, 2007 (7 of 8)
One more recording I would like to recommend is Robert Hill's live recording from 1993 - available on Music & Arts CD-850 - an red book standard live recording, but one of the best recorded harpsichord CDs I own! He needs 75:07 - would have to read along to say if he skips any variations. Some of his tempos are even faster than Gould's or anybody's, but he doesn't sound restless - his technical mastery is beyond dispute. This is the best Hill CD I have heard so far.
You can currently order this directly from the label at sellout price: http://www.musicandarts.com/DigitalClassical.html

Post by miguelito54 April 13, 2007 (8 of 8)
Peter said:

There is a recording by Richard Egarr on HM which spills onto two discs, alas not SACD, but also includes 14 Goldberg canons bringing the total time to just over 99 minutes. HM's blurb describes it as the unabridged Goldberg Vars. Perhaps some repeats are not usually made, but are in these two recordings?

Céline Frisch's recent CD on alpha also has those Canons etc. performed with ensemble on a second disc. A very beautiful sounding CD and an excellent performance of the work!

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