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Alan Swanson
Fanfare, November 2016

Zhu has certain characteristic performance traits. Her tempos are generally lively, though quite varied from movement to movement. She also varies the volume, especially in the repeats, all of which she takes, with one exception. I have always admired her discreet sense of legato, which she maintains in fast tempos in the 16th notes, while shortening eighth notes, especially in the bass line, almost to a staccato.

…thoughtful, well executed, and finely recorded. © 2016 Fanfare Read complete review



Hi Fi Review (Hong Kong), September 2016

This 2016 recording demonstrates that Zhu Xiao Mei has developed a different understanding on the Goldberg Variations since her 2014 recordings, bringing her interpretation to a higher level. © 2016 Hi Fi Review (Hong Kong)



James Harrington
American Record Guide, September 2016

This was a most reverent and completely engrossing performance. [Zhu Xiao-Mei] has been playing and performing this work for many, many years and has an earlier recording. Her new recording has all of the wonderful qualities of the earlier ones, with a quieter, more subdued Aria and first half. © 2016 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Alex Baran
The WholeNote, August 2016

Zhu makes two emphatic points about this journey. First, that the Variations ascend gradually from the opening Aria to their pinnacle in the 25th Variation. Here the languorous meditation in a minor key lasts two, even three times the duration of any of the other variations. Whatever Bach means to say, he says it at this point. Second, that the work is cyclical, beginning and ending with the Aria. On hearing it a second and final time, we sense that we have understood something. The cycle is life and death. © 2016 The WholeNote Read complete review



Dominy Clements
MusicWeb International, August 2016

[Xiao-Mei’s] touch here is sturdy rather than magical, though with a great deal of clarity in the counterpoint to go along with detailed dynamic contrasts. ‘Enjoyable rather than truly involving’ would be one way to sum this up… © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com, June 2016

There’s no denying Zhu’s attractive sonority, her spontaneous touches, and her genuine affinity for the score. © 2016 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review





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