J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Goldberg Variations

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Ekaterina Dershavina
Individual Works:Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Arte Nova
Catalog Number:74321 34011 2
Year Released/Recorded:1994
Total Playing Time:77:13
Comments:Hieu Tran said:

Ekaterina Dershavina plays the *Goldberg Variations* in the full sense of the term variations. For a performer rarely recorded (this may be her only recording), she performs this daunting work with ideas, and with varying styles. After a somewhat Romantically played Aria, Her first variation reminds us of Gould's 1981 recording. Aside from Gould's, her second variation is the only other recording I've found that expresses the jubilation inherent in the piece. Her fifth variation sounds like Chopin, replacing the often-played-as snaky line with a sprinkle of stars. She observes all repeats except for in the Aria da capo, but many of her repeats are not mere repeats; she adds ornaments here and there, and when not ornamenting, she takes advantage of her instrument, the piano, to emphasize certain lines through dynamics. In variation fourteen, for instance, her first A section brings out the soprano voice; in her repeat of it, she emphasizes the bass. Dershavina's performance is one of the most delightful piano renderings of the Variations, vibrant in its impetus and generous in its many insights on the work's spirits, moods, and counterpoint.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Hieu Tran
Date First Submitted:10/08/2000