J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Goldberg Variations

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Vladimir Feltsman
Individual Works:Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:MusicMasters
Catalog Number:01612-67093-2
Year Released/Recorded:1991
Total Playing Time:79:32
Comments:A most creative and daring approach to the Goldberg Variations is displayed by the Russian pianist. His rendition shows us his musical intelligence and creativity. Improvisations are made in many variations, bringing out a different color and tonal beauty but retaining its originality. Octaves are used sparingly in some variations to enhance the bass voice. All repeats are observed and the entire work spans more than 79 mins. An invaluable essay of the work by Feltsman comes with the sleeve notes. All in all, it is a youthful and most individual approach indeed, a sure welcome for the liberal Bachians. Strongly recommended.

Michael M. Eisman said:

I have been living with the Goldberg Variations since 1962, playing them and writing a book about them (3/4 finished). Feltsman has anticipated in performance most of the conclusions I have reached. Bach was not only a musical theorist but a practical musician. While he wrote the piece for a two manual harpsichord, he knew that musicians would find a great variety of keyboard instruments and he expected them to adapt the music to the insturment. That is exactly what Feltsman did so brilliantly.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Freddie Sng
  • Michael M. Eisman
Date First Submitted:11/28/1996