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Bach: The Goldberg Variations
Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach: The Goldberg Variations
Genre: Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (32) - Disc #1

Unlike many Bach works adapted for guitar, the intricacies of the Goldberg Variations lie beyond the scope of six strings. Guitarist Kurt Rodarmer circumvents these limitations via overdubbing--either playing duets with ...  more »

      
   
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CD Details

All Artists: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Bach: The Goldberg Variations
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Sony
Release Date: 1/20/1998
Genre: Classical
Styles: Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074646025727

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Unlike many Bach works adapted for guitar, the intricacies of the Goldberg Variations lie beyond the scope of six strings. Guitarist Kurt Rodarmer circumvents these limitations via overdubbing--either playing duets with himself or else trios and quartets. Rodarmer also employs a custom-made guitar on which the bass register extends down into the cello register. While idiomatic keyboard effects, such as the cross-handed sequences, fall by the wayside, Rodarmer manages to convey the music's linear vitality at tempos that make most guitarists green with envy. Overdubbing, however, renders contrapuntal lines more independent than interactive. I am also bothered by the guitarist's cloying vibrato in lyrical movements and habitual accents on downbeats. A fun project, nonetheless. --Jed Distler

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CD Reviews

The one for the piano-phobes
Mike Cherepov | Lexington, MA | 12/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A magnificent performance, particularly if you prefer the guitar's more lyrical sound to the piano. To my ear even the magisterial second Gould interpretation of the Goldbergs sounds a bit like a drum compared to Rodarmer's. Some passages that traverse the whole keyboard range do show a bit of strain, but by and large the music is wonderfully seamless. In fact, I wish I hadn't read about the technical challenges of transcription, dubbing and performance on multiple instruments. Those make the listener pay attention to the technique, while the playing sounds as natural as breathing. An awesome achievement. Looking forward to the Well-Tempered Guitar:-)
--Mike"
Unbelievable
Mike Cherepov | 10/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I, like many people was skeptical of this project at first, perhaps also forgetting that Bach did not write the Goldbergs for Glenn Gould on a grand piano in 1955. In fact, as a classical guitarist myself, I was a bit afraid this would do a disservice to the public's impression instrument, which does not hold up well when playing the Prelude to Bach's 6th Cello Suite, for example.But one listen was all it took. This is a masterpiece: of transcription, of performance, or recording, of conception. I now consider it to be the finest reading of the Goldberg Variations on record, and find Rodarmer to be a finer transcriber of Bach for the guitar than even the revered John Duarte, but finally, I find him to be the best *guitarist* working today. John Williams, David Russell and the Romeros have never played with such subtlety of nuance as does Rodarmer here, and I only wish we had more recordings by him. While his vibrato may annoy some players for me it is a pleasure and a necessary element of playing the Goldbergs on guitar, and his tone....I have never heard better. Even Parkening at his greatest (the PARKENING PLAYS BACH album) is an artificial two-dimensionality of the studio in the wake of Kurt Rodarmer's stupendous achievement."
Sorry to repeat, but this gets better with each listening.
Marmez1@aol.com | Los Angeles, CA USA | 04/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I apologize to all Amazon readers for adding a second opinion after my earlier review. I had to do it because of the way this performance has grown on me. It has gotten better and better with repeated listening. Rodarmer plays with a great pulse. His interpretations of each variation are enlightening and compelling. As I mentioned before, the different tonal qualities of each guitar string produces an unusual effect, and the inner voices are thus easier to follow. The sound is also great. Whether listening on my car CD player or on my friend's very high end system, this CD sounds incredibly natural. In fact, on a high end system it is quite outstanding.Every friend for whom I have played this has loved it. I think you will too. Very highly recommended."