Koroliov has said that a childhood inspiration was hearing Glenn Gould play in Moscow in 1957. But this performance goes well beyond anything Gould ever managed. It's hard to imagine a more satisfying set of Goldbergs than this extraordinary live performance from the Bach Festival in Leipzig last year.
The seduction happens on many levels: Koroliov's clear, unaffected articulation, absolute balance between both hands, mastery over the architectural progress of the 30 variations (plus opening and closing Aria) and a crystalline sound from the Hamburg Steinway.
Koroliov's rhythmic vitality and clever highlighting of inner voices illuminates this mathematical marvel: Bach's variations are as much an intellectual puzzle as they are beautiful music.
There is not much to see on the DVD, which leaves you free to close your eyes. I was lucky enough to watch the sun gild passing clouds outside my window and contemplate what a miracle it is to have 80 minutes of eternal beauty available to me on the DVD shelf. -- Toronto Star, John Terauds, December 2, 2008