Bach lover | Sydney, Australia | 11/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rosalyn Tureck's playing here is quintessentially measured and impeccably controlled. This allows many special moments to shine through. The canons in the Goldberg Variations are particularly gentle yet rigorous, especially the minor-key ones. The transfer from the bleak Variation 21 to the sublimely joyful Variation 22, for instance, gains great unshakeability from her methodical and perfectionist stance. This is not her fastest recording of the Goldbergs - her 1979 recording on VAI has a little more kinetic thrill in Variations 14 and 26, for example - but this recording combines technical perfection with an all-encompassing joy in the music as it unfolds.
The remaining pieces are contrasting but also excellent. The B minor Partita begins with the sort of dotted French Overture that Tureck excels in, and the remaining movements are similarly commanding. She exacts great pathos from the Sarabande, while the Gavotte, Passepied and Bourrée are commendably dance-like and arresting. In the closing Echo, Tureck makes the most of Bach's explicit dynamic contrasts - rare in his output - for an exciting close. I haven't heard a more compelling recording of this long and somewhat disparate work.
The Italian Concerto has boisterous if somewhat heavy outer movements, while the central Andante exhibits Tureck's rich ornamentation and sense of line.
The Duets, rarely recorded, are here given a fairly definitive interpretation which manages to combine contrapuntal rigour with ear-opening textures, especially in the arresting harmonies of No. 4.
Altogether a wonderful exhibition of Tureck's art at possibly its most austere stage - but nevertheless captivating."
Great pianist, great pieces
sondheimfan | Albert Park, VIC Australia | 08/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording is entitled "Great Pianists of the 20th Century," and that is the only way to describe Rosalyn Tureck's poised, measured and yet brilliantly executed performance of the Bach Goldberg Variations, some of the most time-honored music ever written for the instrument, by a great master of the style, Johann Sebastian Bach. There's really nothing more to say...everything on this recording is, well, great!"