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:Opus III
Catalog Number:30-84
Year Released/Recorded:1992
re-issue: 2000
Total Playing Time:77'26
Comments:Christopher Richardson said:

Fine recording. The harpsichord is a 1985 model after Michael Mietke, Berlin 1702-1704--pleasant, soft-toned. Hantai takes all the repeats, which I appreciate. The highly varied tempi of the variations are executed with equal skill. Recommended.

Jan Hanford said:

This is an exceptionally lovely interpretation of the Goldbergs. The harpsichord sound is like a music box, sweet and clear. His tempos are intelligent and his ornaments are frequent (particularly in the aria) but nicely articulated. I enjoyed this recording very much and highly recommend it.


I first discovered these variation with Gould (1981): it was good, but i didn't select it to go to a desert island. Some time after i tried the Scott Ross live recording: i thought perhaps with this great artist and the harpsichord it will sound different... no, it was always good, but i didn't wake up the night to ear it.
One day, i had a friend who lend me this record (Hantai). I had it for about one week, and it was absolutely wonderfull: all variations are perfect, each variation introduce something new and each play of the recording is a new sensation.

After that i didn't built it (i had yet Gould et Ross), but a few month ago i trend to be crazy to not ear it and i built it. Honestly i ear it about 4-10 times a month, and it's always the same sensation.

For me, it's the BEST, the only one to have.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Nicolas Huynh
  • christopher richardson
  • Philippe
And from the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:10/02/1995