Pavel Kolesnikov - Johann Sebastian Bach - Goldberg Variations

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Release date 2020

There is no shortage of recordings of the Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, Bach's magnum opus in the variation form, but pianist Pavel Kolesnikov's reading is fresh. Its distinctiveness comes in part from its background. Kolesnikov, reluctant at first to record Bach, took up the work upon being commissioned for a dance project. His Goldbergs deemphasize the three-variation symmetries of the work, defined by the canons, in favor of detailed treatments of each individual variation, considered as a whole. Kolesnikov takes pains to bring out the counterpoint in the variations, not only in the canons but in the many passages of invertible counterpoint in the other variations, where he articulates the themes sharply when they appear in the left hand. These come out sounding a bit harsh in Hyperion's church sound here; one of the label's usual recital venues would have served Kolesnikov better. However, his reading is absorbing, with the listener never quite knowing what will come next: some variations are brilliant, others introspective. Start sampling at the beginning, where his Aria is unusually brisk, but its briskness is not picked up in the subsequent variations. A worthy entry in the still rather sparse catalog of Bach recordings from Russia

by James Manheim 


SKU 034571283388
Barcode # 034571283388
Brand Hyperion Records

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