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Bach/Gould Project - Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (arr. for string quartet); Glenn Gould (1932-1982): String Quartet, Op. 1 / Catalyst Quartet

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
>Gould, Glenn [Piano] : Quartet for Strings Op 1
Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This debut recording from the Catalyst Quartet features their own arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations in addition to the rarely heard and only composition by Glenn Gould, String Quartet, Op. 1. Hailed by the New York Times at their Carnegie Hall debut as "invariably energetic and finely burnished... playing with earthy vigor", the prizewinning quartet is comprised of top Laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition. Known for "rhythmic energy, polyphonic clarity and tight-ensemble playing" (NY Concert Review), the quartet has toured domestically and abroad. They have also appeared on radio and television broadcasts across America and have contributed to online and print media publications including The Strad and Strings magazine.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
This album is titled Bach/Gould Project, which left me a little unsure what was inside. In fact it is simply the Goldbergs, played by a string quartet, followed by Glenn Gould's quartet. In his time Gould was probably the best-known interpreter of the Goldbergs, and he wrote his quartet in 1956, around the time of his early recording. The Catalyst Quartet adapts the Bach with minimal addition. Pizzicato is used in a few variations, and they need to do some adroit part switching (e.g. in Variation 11) when both parts go below viola C, so that only the cello can play the notes. They play with lots of rhythmic energy and sparse vibrato.


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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
  • Ensemble: Catalyst Quartet
  • Running Time: 34 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1741

>Gould, Glenn [Piano] : Quartet for Strings Op 1
  • Running Time: 35 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1953-1955