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Holloway: Gilded Goldbergs / Micaleff and Inanga Piano Duo

Album Summary

>Holloway, Robin : Gilded Goldbergs (after Bach), for 2 pianos, Op. 86
Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Glen Inanga (first piano) and Jennifer Micallef, who I gather have performed this work many times, bring to the table consummate artistry, incredible tonal variety, and a remarkable unity of expressive purpose; and Hyperion's sonics are exquisite, as usual." - Haskin, ARG

'A marvellous work... Whatever your CD priorities to date, this one surely has to fly straight to the top of your wants list' (Gramophone)

'Stimulating and immensely enjoyable music... The discs have seldom been off my player in recent days - the work draws one back and draws one in, and I'm sure this will be the reaction of many who acquire the set' (International Record Review)

'A remarkable achievement... Rollicking, camp good fun' (The Sunday Times)

'The 19th and 20th centuries come crashing in, summoning various trends and composers' shades, with Bach's genius always poking through. The young team of Jennifer Micallef and Glen Inanga... bounce through the work, the finger-work clean, the spirits high' (The Times)

'A stunning recreation given a commanding performance' (Classic FM Magazine)

'intriguing, witty and wholly engaging' (Gramophone)

'Rarely has a new composition impressed me as strongly as this one' (American Record Guide)

'this is obviously a labour of love... it also is willing to take risks of creative imagination and even of taste, the courage of which I salute... Jennifer Micallef and Glen Inanga sound fluent and suitably flamboyant throughout, and I can only assume the composer is pleased with their dedication' (Fanfare, USA)

'What a delight this recording is!... I think Holloway's fanciful new construction using Bach's bricks inspires deep admiration' (Chamber Music Magazine)

'This two-piano transcription and elaboration of Bach's Goldberg Variations might be enjoyed equally (and simultaneously) for its musical range and for the wonderful playing of Nigerian pianist Glen Inanga and, from Malta, Jennifer Micallef' (Hi-Fi News)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Holloway's initial prompt for these stunning two-piano transcriptions of Bach's Goldbergs, was his frustration as a single pianist at his 'inability to clarify the close-weave canons or manage the more fiendish hand-crossing numbers so idiomatic on a two-manual harpsichord'. So far, so pleasurable - but then inevitably the full artistic implication of what he was doing struck home. It was only later, after much agonised self-questioning, that he decided to 'go for the gilding and lose the guilt!' Bach's original is thrown in at the deep centre of a swelling harmonic sea, sometimes as a moment of ineffable calm (Variation 18, a 'canon in sixths'), at other times more like an oncoming tidal wave (Variation 29, 'Toccata with clusters'). The use of modulation is often alarming but always musically effective and never more so than in an ingenious re-working of the closing 'Quodlibet' (Variation 30), which traverses 'all 12 keys', ending in D. Holloway's ear for nuance, and the ingenuity of his invention, will leave you openmouthed with admiration. Whatever your CD priorities to date, this one surely has to fly straight to the top of your wants list.


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Works Details

>Holloway, Robin : Gilded Goldbergs (after Bach), for 2 pianos, Op. 86
  • Ensemble: Micallef-Inanga Piano Duo
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (06/01/2002-06/04/2002)
  • Running Time: 91 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992-1997