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Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

Johann Sebastian Bach , Andras Schiff Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $16.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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listen  1. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Aria (Live) 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 1 a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 2 a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 3 Canone all'Unisono a 1 Clav. (Live) 2:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 4 a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (Live) 1:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 6 Canone alla Seconda a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (Live) 1:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 8 a 2 Clav. (Live) 1:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 9 Canone alla Terza a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 10 Fughetta a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 11 a 2 Clav. (Live) 2:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 12 Canone alla Quarta (Live) 1:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 13 a 2 Clav. (Live) 4:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 14 a 2 Clav. (Live) 1:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 15 Canone alla Quinta in moto contrario (Live) 3:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 16 Ouverture a 1 Clav. (Live) 2:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 17 a 2 Clav. (Live) 2:10$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 18 Canone alla Sesta a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen20. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 19 a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen21. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 20 a 2 Clav. (Live) 1:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen22. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 21 Canone alla Settima (Live) 1:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen23. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 22 Alla breve a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen24. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 23 a 2 Clav. (Live) 2:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen25. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 24 Canone all'Ottava a 1 Clav. (Live) 2:17$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen26. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 25 a 2 Clav. (Live) 6:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen27. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 26 a 2 Clav. (Live) 2:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen28. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 27 Canone alla Nona (Live) 1:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen29. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 28 a 2 Clav. (Live) 2:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen30. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (Live) 1:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen31. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Var. 30 Quodlibet a 1 Clav. (Live) 1:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen32. J.S. Bach: Aria mit 30 Veränderungen, BWV 988 "Goldberg Variations" - Aria da Capo (Live) 3:55$1.29  Buy MP3 


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András Schiff emerged in the last decades of the 20th century as one of the most respected pianists of his generation. He began piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász, and made his debut at the age of nine. At 14 Schiff began formal studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados. Later he studied ... Read more in Amazon's Andras Schiff Store

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Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 + Bach: Six Partitas + Bach: Well Tempered Clavier, Books 1 & 2
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Product Details

  • Performer: Johann Sebastian Bach, Andras Schiff
  • Audio CD (September 30, 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B000094HLA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,460 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect September 26, 2005
By Musicus
Format:Audio CD
I am astounded by the negative reviews below. I have listened to many versions of the Goldberg variations, but never any better than this. I don't think I ever will be bored by Schiff's performance here. This live-concert is even better than his 1983-interpretation and I don't think it is possible to improve this one. It is relaxing and stimulating at the same time, a feeling of completeness that never is boring.

Moreover, I have never noticed anything wrong about the sound quality and think we use to blame the sound quality when we don't like the way of playing.

By the modern piano, you will of course not get any historically informed baroque music, but I can easily forget this, by thinking of it as pure piano music, valid by the eternal & boundless reason of Bach's musical thinking. So if the listening doesn't bring me back to Bach's era, it gives me something else, not less valuable. I cannot put this on without imagining something very pure, something white, like clean, new snow, white, firm and soft at the same time.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Variations Rediscovered June 9, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Mr. Schiff's beautiful, brilliant, powerful performance rediscovers one of the top works of the greatest of musicians. For those of us that for years were used to Mr. Gould's 2 great versions of the Goldberg Variations, this is a unique chance to enjoy this masterpiece in all its freshness and strength all over again; there are many interesting differences between the recordings and the musical approach is definitely original. A must-buy for the lovers of J. S. Bach music.
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53 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Celestial October 19, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I have several versions of the Goldberg Variations, and this one is ideally suited to the CD era. Just look at the length of it, for a start: 71.11 minutes. Of the others, Glenn Gould's first recording came in at an extraordinary 38.24 mins, but this was pushing the limit of what a 1950s LP could handle. Glenn Gould's second version, releaseed just after his death in the early 1980s, was 51.20 mins long. My least favourite version, on Naxos by Pi-hsien, is 55.08 minutes of muffled, murky piano-playing.
Andras Schiff performed this new version two years ago in front of an exceptionally silent audience in Basel. (No-one appears to cough or fidget at all -- only once in the entire concert did I detect someone dropping something.) The recording certainly has the ambience of the concert hall, but there's not even any applause at the end of the recital. (Contrast this with, say, another ECM label pianist, Keith Jarrett, performing live, where the audience behaves in almost the opposite manner.)
Clearly there is not the sound of each page of music being turned over. I am so new to piano-playing that I am still in awe of anyone who can keep so much music in his head. (That's one of the advantages of recording in the studio!)
As usual with ECM CDs, the packaging is immaculate: detailed notes by Schiff himself, who first recorded this work 20 years ago, and even an acrostic poem on his name by Vikram Seth, author of 'A Suitable Boy'.
Will this CD usurp any of the affection I have for both the Glenn Gould versions? No, they will continue to find a regular place in my CD player -- I just love their eccentricities, and I find their relative brevity easier to cope with. 71 minutes is almost too much music for my mind to handle, but this is a fantastic version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Album July 11, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I whole-heartedly recommend this recording to anyone who isn't so bogged down by early music dogma that they are unable to appreciate Schiff's nuance and musicality. The performance captured on this disc is live and in concert, so it isn't perfect, but that hardly matters because it only makes the experience of listening to it that much more real, more authentic (as opposed to some phony studio album with obvious splices and other fancy editing). At this point in my own musical career I am far more interested in hearing music that is engaging and personal, as opposed to that which is "perfect" or "historically informed," but also cold and sterile.

I also own Schiff's 1982 recording for Decca and love to compare the two in terms of tempos, articulations, dynamics, etc. There are differences, though I'm not sure which I prefer, which probably means that they both bring out unique aspects of the music and are worth spending time with.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensely Lyrical Bach July 25, 2010
Format:Audio CD
András Schiff is able to make even those who have Bach's glorious GOLDBERG VARIATIONS memorized from numerous other recordings (or having been able to play these extraordinary variations on their own) hear them afresh. Schiff's approach is so intimate, beginning with the statement of the original aria through all the variations until the aria is once again allowed to sing alone, that he makes us feel as though he were sitting at the keyboard in a room occupied only by the artist with us as the only guest. This is transparent Bach, every phrase and variation stated with such clarity and beauty that the fact that these variations are technically difficult is simply submerged in the quality of music that flows from Schiff's hands and heart.

Works as important in music history and in the hallowed place in the heart of millions in the centuries since it was composed are bound to have strong opinions about performance - whether the work should even be played on the piano as opposed to the harpsichord, whether what Glenn Gould attached to these variations are valid or no, etc - and that is unavoidable. What András Schiff accomplishes in this recording is that touch with transcendence that makes all other arguments fade. Yes, there are many superb performances of this work and a legion of recordings that are exceptional, but returning to the very origin - the aria on which the work is based - played in the way Schiff caresses it without smothering it in either sentiment or academia, gives ample proof that the following variations of that little miracle aria will satisfy the way Bach wished them to satisfy. No matter how many recordings you may have of this work, expand your appreciation of it with András Schiff. Grady Harp, July 10
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Goldberg Variations CD
Great Recording! Very nice addition to my CD collection!
Published 1 month ago by Marta Trippe
5.0 out of 5 stars Replaces Gould as my go to Goldbergs
This recording (live) is much more moving that Schiff's earlier version on Decca. At least two professional players (one piano and one harpsichord) put this recording at the top... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Douglas Thorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars terrific
Great recordings of the Goldberg Variations by Andras Schiff. I was inspired to purchase the CD after listening to Teri Gross's interview with the pianist.
Published 5 months ago by Jeffrey Hart
5.0 out of 5 stars great performance
Schiff plays the variations with elegance, exactly as Goldberg would have liked to hear them. If you are not so comfortable with the famous Gould interpretation and ashamed to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Moshe shirav
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This is a brilliant interpretation of the Goldberg Variations. The sound it clean and crisp and the music is sublime. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Savonarola
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great reading of Goldberg Variations
Just bought this CD from Amazon UK (cheaper delivery to Brazil when compared with Amazon USA). I can say that this is another great reading of this Bach's masterpiece. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jose Mario Serra
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon has the wrong previews for this recording!
Someone please check the preview recordings for this record. The piece is performed on piano, the previews are harpsichord. Read more
Published on November 1, 2009 by Bill Barrick
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awful
This is the biggest pile of gibberish I've ever heard. Would someone please hand this guy a copy of the Gould recording and tell him to go out to the woodshed for 50 years. Read more
Published on October 11, 2005 by Rob Taft
2.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Schiff is not interested in counterpoint...
And it is difficult to enjoy this version of the Goldberg Variations for that reason. Instead of bringing out the lines, Schiff washes them together with the pedal in ungainly... Read more
Published on March 14, 2005 by Corn Soup
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