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Goldberg Variations

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Audio CD, April 5, 2007
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1. Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9): Variation 5
2. Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9): Variation 6
3. Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9): Variation 7
4. Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9): Variation 8

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 5, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B00000FDBZ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,988 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By sbissell3 on September 6, 2000
Bach was a bit vague on most of his compositions as to exactly what instrument he had in mind. The Goldberg Variations however were composed for the "double clavecin," or harpsicord. In modern times the piano has been the instument of choice for most recordings, although the variations have been transcribed for a wide variety of instruments and arrangements. This recording is one of a series of Canadian musicans and it receive high praise from Glenn Gould, whose classic 1955 recording is often considered THE standard for the variations.
I have often found the harpsicord a bit hard to appreciate as the sound is, to my ear, a bit harsh. To my delight this is not the case with this recording. Beausejour's playing is highly sensitive in this recording and it has leap to my list of favorites on first listening. This recording stands up to the Gould and Andras Schiff versions. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to listen to the variations as Bach probably intended them to be heard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Martin on November 12, 2012
"Based in Montreal and partially supported, if I read the notes correctly, by the Canadian government, Analekta is issuing recordings by "the finest Canadian musicians" in order to preserve the "Patrimoine canadien." They have found a winner in the harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour, who was born in Québec and who studied there with Mireille Lagacé. (He later went on to work with Ton

Koopman and Kenneth Gilbert.) I find this recording of the Goldberg Variations a total delight, from the dignified statement of the theme through the sunny, often upbeat renditions of the variations, played here with their repeats. Joy is the keynote here, even in the sixth variation, which Glenn Gould played with such touching concentration.

The booklet, incidentally, includes a long quotation from Gould on this piece that he played so sublimely, in which Gould pronounces in his best Latinate diction that "the fundamental variative ambition of this work is not to be found in organic fabrication but in a community of sentiment. Therein the theme is not terminal but radical, the variations circumferential not rectilinear," and so on. This reminds me of what a loss to music it was when Gould became a genius.

I don't see this happening to Beauséjour, whose playing is unaffected, rhythmically taut, and dancelike throughout. Bach shines through his fingers. The harpsichord is recorded closely, but not harshly. This is a fine recording by a harpsichordist most listeners will want to hear".

Michael Ullman
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