J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Goldberg Variations

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Rosalyn Tureck
Individual Works:Goldberg Variations BWV 988
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Deutsche Grammophon
Catalog Number:459 599-2
Year Released/Recorded:1999
Total Playing Time:cd 1: 45'17
cd 2: 45'54
Comments:Krzysztof Lorentz said:

'Bach manual' by Rosalyn Tureck. Whoever wants to know exactly every note of Goldberg Variations should listen to this recording. Gould fans will be happy. And this 2CD album is in CD-pluscore format - extra CD-ROM features are added (score, MIDI files, illustrations...). Highly recommended.

Rich Rosenwald said:

The 84-year old Rosalyn Tureck is AMAZING in this. Not only can you her her magnificent playing, but you can also watch it with the score on CD-Rom computer systems. This uses the latest technology DG has implemented in a select few of their recordings. This is the latest release using the 'CD Plusscore' system. It is a must for both fans of bach and ones who have interest in music on the computer at the same time. Perfect addition to anyone missing the Goldberg Variations in their Bach collection (like me).

This CD should be availiable in March 1999 according to PolyGram, but I got a copy from overseas really cheap due to the fact that it was a new release in February 1999.

Yoram Weil said:

As an ex-pianist who dealt a lot with the Goldberg's, I must confess that Rosalyn Tureck intellect had perceived almost every imaginable detail written in this piece. The voicing in the cannons is amazing without sacrificing none of the musical beauty of them. Noteworthy variations performed are numbers 8,16,22 and all the minor key variations (15,21,25). My only drawback is a little bit slow to my taste tempi of the more virtuosos variations like 5,11,20,26. Although I am appalled by the interpretation of Gould to the Goldberg in his 1955 performance these variations have at least the pianistic quality of virtuoso pieces. Nonetheless, Tureck interpretaion make you actually think and stimulates both intellectually and emotionaly, and it is the most important interpretation heard by me (and I've heard them all)

Larry Man said:

In this most recent recording of the monumental Goldberg Variation, Dr.Tureck has demonstrated to us the very basic underlying principal and discipline for the performance of this work. The absolute essences from all the 30 variations can be heard here with further added personal interpretation. This is exactly how this work should be played.

John Morris said:

I listen to Ms Tureck's Goldberg Variations spell-bound everytime. I have the Glenn Gould, Charles Rosen (a first-rate reading ) and now the inimitable Murray Perahia. But it's the Tureck I go to for a deep satisfation as her version has just the right tempo, dynamics, intonation for what is basically a night piece.

Pierluigi Granone said:

This is the last performance of Rosalyn Tureck's Goldberg Variations. Rosalyn Tureck is known to have said: "I do what Bach tells me, I never tell the music what to do". Listening to this performance I thought it was true. I strongly recommend to use these cds as cd-rom: you'll see the score on your screen.

Jan Hanford said:

Ok, she's been around a long time, is highly acclaimed and has devoted her life to Bach. The bottom line is I found this recording boring. For all the recordings that are too fast that I've complained about, this one is too slow. She ponders through a few of the variations and then pounds one out. The result is academic and dull. Her tempos, her ornamentation, her dynamics; none of it works for me. Her self-important, rambling, incomprehensible and, sometimes, loonie liner notes make her even more unappealing.

Yes, the cd-rom is nicely done and appears to be the carrot-on-a-stick to purchase this cd. I can't think of another reason. Not recommended.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Krzysztof Lorentz
  • Rich Rosenwald
  • Yoram Weil
  • Larry Man
  • John Morris
  • pierluigi granone
And from the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:02/20/1999