Blazing on Harpsichord
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is an unmistakenable familiarity in this recording with Glenn Gould's famous 1955 piano recording, except Newman has essentially transferred Gould's fantastic tempi reading to harpsichord. The opening Aria is slightly slower than how Gould interprets it, but the wild first variation is modeled after Gould's, whether Newman has deliberately done so or not. The precise, and almost mechanical, playing of the fifth variation is startling to listen to on harpsichord under Gould's tempo. The tone of this harpsichord is a bit clangy, giving the work a lightness in feel, not of the rumbling Pleyel harpsichord of Landowska's that gives it a sort of heavy-handedness. But it does not have the jubilant tone of Hantai's marvelous harpsichord either, thus being somewhere in the middle of the road in terms of a nice timbre. On a couple of variations, Newman relieves us of the tin-can sound by managing to play his harpsichord like a lute, effecting a beautiful color. Although he observes most of the repeats, in a few pieces he repeats only the A section, and with a few others, such as the Quodlibet, Newman plays them through once. He takes a moderate deal of liberty in ornamenting some of the repeats, but not destroying the essence of the pieces themselves--this will be instantly noticed in the opening Aria. What makes this recording unlike any other I've heard, i.e. Gould, Dershavina, Hantai, Sitkovetsky, Triskelion, etc., is Newman's ability to give the greatest sense of acceleration after the final minor mode variation (Variation no. 25). In fact, he never really plays anything slowly throughout the work, and near the end, he rushes toward the Quodlibet, disposing of Variation no. 28 with electric brilliance and the 29th with rhythmic liveliness. The Quodlibet, however, sounds a bit hurried, as though nearing the end, Newman couldn't wait to be done with this massive architectural work. Overall, this performance is almost technically flawless, although probably not ideal for those who want a straight-forward interpretation. For those looking for a Goldberg Variations on harpsichord that sounds distinct from so many others, this is an excellent recording for the price."
Colorful and amazing playing by Anthony Newman.
Phillip J. Rodgers | 02/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an incredibly inexpensive CD for such a work and such a performance of the work. Anthony Newman plays the harpsichord with beautiful color and almost perfect technique (the one flaw comes at one moment when he lifts his hands from the console before moving on to the next variation, and some noise slightly interrupts the transition from one variation to the next). Each variation, save the last, is structually performed twice. Newman's choice in tempi for the aria and each variation is tasteful and makes them marvelous to hear. When performed like this, Bach's work to cure insomnia is never dull."
Anthony newman samples js bach for the xxi century
hugo_1950 | 11/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"this recording that mr newman made is not the same as mr gould or landowska. why try to find equal points of coincidence,when we have a different instrument and a contemporary american musician? mr.newman gives the best interpretation using a master harpsichord virtuosity. just remember that there is no specific tempo for these pieces,so each artist will play them as they like or feel at that time.the way we in the 21 century is not the same as the time of bach or years ago.mr newman gives us an example of how this music sounds today. the other customers making reviews always compare with such or such other recording. it s better to see what is of positive on this one.most of all the experience of an artist that plays and teaches bach keyboard music for years. mr.newman always sounds new and fresh,he gives the energy that a nuclear reactor will have if it explodes(there had none in bach's time) but with the musicality and style always present. due to the low price of this cd it is a must for all those who want to hear bach with energy virtuosity and most of all with the idea of making music.if we think of bach and his taste(since he had a very open mind) he will enjoy the slowest recording,the fastes one and all the ones in between like i do myself. i do not play the goldberg variations that is why i recognize the effort and years of study of ALL THOSE who do play them. i wish i could some day play them but in the mean time i enjoy listening to recordings like this one by a bach specialist from who i have lots to learn from. so i suggest to all that read this to buy it and then judge by themselves the result and emotions the get after the play it. some recordings are played on the organ,or piano etc. this is harpsichord do not compare just listen and enjoy good music... firstname.lastname@example.org (usa)"