J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Goldberg Variations

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Jill Crossland
Individual Works:Golberg Variations
BWV 988
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Warner Apex
Catalog Number:0927 49979 2
Year Released/Recorded:1998
Total Playing Time:73' 11"
Comments:Peter Jones said:

This recording, formerly on a small private label, has recently been released on the 'super budget' Warner Apex label. Jill Crossland is an English pianist of some (although far from great) renown, famous mainly for winning a notable competition by performing from memory both books of the '48'.

Her playing is very accomplished, although some may find her choice of tempi a little idiosyncratic - for example, the first rendition of the Aria lasts over six minutes. Also, some listeners may well be put off by her regular use of pronounced rubato and her often unusual articulation. The recorded sound is acceptable, although not exceptional. The liner notes are somewhat irritating and pretentious - not being long enough to provide a decent picture of the music yet long enough for the author to wax slightly too lyrical for my tastes.

For me, however, this is a very pleasing recording. It doesn't rank up with the best - it is outstripped by Hewitt, Tureck, both Goulds, Perahia and the latest Schiff - but it does have moments of great lucidity and charm. There are moments where one smiles, or is startled, to hear the music in this light. And besides, it's very cheap!

A worthy addition to the ever-growing Goldberg catalogue, but only buy it if you've heard the best first.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Peter Jones
Date First Submitted:05/24/2004