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Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 / Lars Vogt, piano

Album Summary

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

Notes & Reviews:

Pianist Lars Vogt presents one of the classic works of the Baroque repertoire - Johann Sebastian Bach's (1685 - 1750) famous Goldberg Variations. Originally written for the harpsichord the Goldberg Variations, published in 1741, embodies an Aria with 30 variations and a coda. Bach wrote the work for Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who, as the narrative relays, often played music for Count Kaiserling, the Russian ambassador to the Saxony court with whom he resided, as a cure for the count's insomnia. Apparently the work was one of the successes that Bach had during his lifetime, being published in the decade before his passing. A professional concert pianist for more than two decades, Lars Vogt was appointed the first ever "Pianist in Residence" by the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003/04 and enjoys a high profile as a soloist and chamber musician.

The Observer, 23rd August 2015
Informed by period performance practice but playing on a modern grand, Vogt uses very little pedal and keeps ornaments clean and graceful. Textures are transparent. The simplicity, wit and honesty of his approach makes this a wonderful addition to the catalogue by a versatile musician.

BBC Music Magazine, November 2015
Vogt's feeling for the over-arching whole is impressive. He's not above a little 'guiding' either - pianist that he is, sometimes drawing attention to detail in a way denied to Bach's harpsichord. But he's sparing in the use of the pedal and, like Andrßs Schiff and Murray Perahia, inclined to let his fingers sing wherever possible - to laugh, too.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln, Germany (03/24/2014-03/26/2014).


Wonderful and satisfying interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations
Taking on the task of performing, let alone recording, this set of 30 variations on what initially seems like such a simple melody, is most certainly not a task for the timid. And being open to new interpretations after being repeatedly awestruck by Glenn Gould’s famous performance and the more recent work of Jeremy Denk was very difficult for me. With this recording, I resolved to listen to it several times before truly forming an opinion, and I am pleased to say that I *really* like Mr. Vogt’s sensitive and organic feeling work very much.

It goes without saying that that the virtuoso requirements of the work are extreme indeed, and I feel that to be the case particularly in the slower and softer sections, where the slightest passing of a note too quickly or the holding of a sonority just that instant too long would be noticeable in the extreme. But herein, Mr. Vogt lets Bach’s sonic landscape speak for itself, absorbing into the heart and the head in a the unique way that only Bach achieves this way. It is clear that Lars Vogt not only cares about bringing this unique music to life, but that he respects it and the composer as well in a very special and reverent way. And you can hear that in the performance.
The liner notes consist of a several page interview with Mr. Vogt, and it is educational and enjoyable reading indeed. The quality of the recording is excellent, and while nothing can replace the experience of seeing this music performed in person, this CD is a treat. Very highly recommended!

Submitted on 10/07/15 by KlingonOpera 
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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
  • Performers: Lars Vogt (Harpsichord); Lars Vogt (Piano)
  • Notes: Deutschlandfunk Kammermusiksaal, Köln, Germany (03/24/2014-03/26/2014)
  • Running Time: 70 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1741