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Bach: Goldberg Variations, arr. for string orchestra / Britten Sinfonia; Thomas Gould (D. Sitkovetsky, arranger)

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

On this recording, the Britten Sinfonia's Associate Leader Thomas Gould directs the ensemble in Dmitry Sitkovetsky's beautifully realized and heartfelt arrangement for strings of Bach's great keyboard work, the Goldberg Variations. Sitkovetsky penned the transcription in 1985 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Bach's birth. It was inspired by Glenn Gould's remarkable 1981 recording of the work, and the transcription is dedicated to Gould's memory.

Gramophone Magazine, April 2015
A patiently unfolding set of considered perspectives, taken to the edge in the delicacy of articulation and luminosity of counterpoint and by an inexhaustibly ambitious fleet-of-foot ensemble celebrating Bach's mesmerising au courant figurations...Stellar Bach-playing.

The Times, 21st March 2015
[Sitkovetsky's arrangement] opens up to the counterpoints within the music, as well as allowing the greater variation of colour and dynamics possible on strings...Led by Thomas Gould the Britten Sinfonia play with sinuous beauty and virtuosic clarity, with no clattering continuo instrument clogging the textures.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2015
So bold are Glenn Gould's fingerprints on the score, not just in the intricate decorations but also the colours, the phrasing, the idiosyncratic articulation, that it is more an arrangement of his interpretation than it is an arrangement of the work itself...the Britten Sinfonia navigates the transcription with considerable panache.

The Telegraph, 12th April 2015
It is crisp, clear and buoyant with ornamentation deftly executed and rhythms kept on their toes. The playing recognises that this is not just a keyboard piece played on strings but also that Sitkovetsky idiomatically drew on the timbres and textures of strings to bring a new range of colour to the music.

MusicWeb International, April 2015
Without a weak moment in the entire work and in stunningly good SACD sound, this is a Goldberg Variations to acquire and hang onto for dear life, for it is indeed life-enhancing.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: All Hallows' Church, Gospel Oak, London (04/2014).


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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
  • Conductor: Thomas Gould
  • Ensemble: Britten Sinfonia
  • Running Time: 66 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1741