J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Goldberg Variations

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Pierre Hantai
Individual Works:Goldberg Variations BWV 988
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Mirare
Year Released/Recorded:2003
Total Playing Time:78' 40''
Comments:Jose Bastos said:

Still missing from your long list. Very much worth listening. Perhaps less spontaneous than the previous reading by Hantai, but nevertheless still more involving. I heard him in recital a short time before this CD was released and it does full justice to the strong impression caused.

Lukasz Warzecha said:

This is Pierre Hantaï?s second recording of the Goldberg Variations. The style is very characteristic of this French harpsichordist: visibly expressive, clearly accentuated, some mi-ght even say: romantic to some extend. Tempi are not very fast, and all da capi are included but this doesn?t make the recording boring. This never happens if an artist has a good idea what to make of the repetitions, and Hantaï does.
Certainly, this is not a recording for those who like to hear the Goldberg very evenly measured (like e.g. the recording by Trevor Pinnock) or think that the basic link between parts should be the relations of one tempo to another (as Glenn Gould tried to establish in his second recording of BWV 988). But those who like to have contrapuntal texture spread before them as clearly as possible will be satisfied. As for the harpsichord, with its lack of dynamic capabilities, this recording achieves as much as possible in this respect.
In the case of Goldberg it's very difficult to say if a recording is a very good one, an ex-cellent one or just good (although one possibly can always identify a weak recording). There are uncountable ways to play this fantastic work in an interesting fashion, and this is certainly one of such recordings.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Jose Bastos
  • Lukasz Warzecha
Date First Submitted:09/26/2004