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Alan Swanson
Fanfare, November 2012

Daniel Barenboim is perhaps not one immediately to be associated with Bach, but his is a most satisfying performance of the Goldberg’s, regardless of instrument, and it easily appears here. © 2012 Fanfare

Alan Swanson
Fanfare, September 2012

The performance is accompanied by a 10-minute introduction by Barenboim…Many such introductions are only so much waffle but, in this case, I recommend beginning by listening to what Barenboim has to say, not so much for any deep insights into the Goldberg Variations, but for its clear introduction to how Barenboim approaches the piece.

It is fascinating to hear Barenboim vary his touch and attack. He is not afraid of being pianistic at moments, as in Variation 12, for instance, or in the “overture” that constitutes Variation 16, nor is he shy of an occasional change of volume during a section to make a point. He ties Variations 17 through 20, and 22 and 23, together to make larger units.

This is a most satisfying performance of the Goldbergs, regardless of instrument, and I commend it. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review

Christina Petrowska Quilico
The WholeNote, May 2012

Released this year, the DVD of Daniel Barenboim’s performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was actually recorded in 1992 and I was surprised to hear such a sensitive and musical interpretation. Past performances have not always lived up to expectations in tonal quality. This performance exudes energy and deep emotional commitment to the work. Barenboim uses a wide range of dynamics and articulations to create the instrumental sounds from Bach’s time.

He makes pianistic references to the famous high trumpet, the oboe, the string family and the organ. Barenboim has created an orchestra from the piano. This is no surprise as he is a highly respected conductor and it shows in his “orchestration” of each variation. His faster variations are dance-like and real toe-tappers. However, despite the speed or tempo he never loses his refined touch and exquisite control of the rhythm and ornaments. Each variation breathes musically, dances, sings or speaks in a contemplative manner. Although linked, each variation tells a unique story.

…Barenboim…[has] virtuosic techniques and the ability to cast a spell when performing this work…communicative and musical skills to take their place in the elite group of Goldberg performers. His playing had a greater range of tonal colour and dynamics. I don’t mean dynamics as simply loud and soft but dynamics that created different moods and instrumental soundscapes. © 2012 The WholeNote Read complete review

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8:55:23 AM, 4 September 2015
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