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Goldberg Variations

Johann Sebastian Bach , Konstantin Lifschitz Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 32 Songs, 2010 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1995 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Aria 4:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 1 1:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 2 1:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 3. Cannone all'Unisono 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 4 1:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 5 1:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 6. Canone alla Seconda 1:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 7 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 8 1:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 9. Canone alla Terza 1:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 10. Fughetta 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 11 1:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 12. Canone alla Quarta 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 13 5:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 14 2:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 15 6:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 16. Ouverture 4:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 17 1:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 18. Canone alla Settima 1:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 19 1:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 20 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 21. Canone alla Settima 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 22. Alla Breve 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 23 1:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 24, Canone all'Ottava 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 25 5:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 26 2:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 27. Canone alla Nona 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 28 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 29 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Variation 30. Quodlibet 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen32. Goldberg Variations for Keyboard, BWV 988: Aria da capo 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 




Product Details

  • Performer: Konstantin Lifschitz
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (May 23, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Denon Records
  • ASIN: B0000034XW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,208 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Not since Glenn Gould's debut recordings has a young pianist tackled this challenging work with similar executional ease and unbridled joy. Konstantin Lifschitz blends heart, mind, and fingers in a way that makes Bach's textural complexities clear with a minimum of fuss. What marvelous music-making, and to think the pianist was sixteen when he recorded this! Lifschitz observes all the repeats. --Jed Distler

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
(5)
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing February 28, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The command with which this work is performed very nearly leads the listener to imagine Mr. Lifschitz a medium through whom the music is being channeled; the ecstatic, personal quality of his performance, however, disavows one of the notion.
As observed by Mr. Distler, Mr. Lifschitz observes all the repeats. This has the effect of making me feel as though I'm being introduced to the Goldberg Variations on piano for the first time. Very different in spirit than either of the Goulds, but not, in my opinion, less enjoyable (although Gould really is in a class by himself). One wonders what Gould's opinion of them would have been.
Mr. Lifschitz does not hum.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just good as a 16-year old, but absolutely wonderful! September 27, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I am a Bach buff, especially his keyboard pieces. Goldberg Variations are my favorite. I got this CD because I was curious how such a young pianist handled this monumental work that demands maturity as well as absolute virtuosity. When I listened to the CD for the first time, I was amazed that 16 years old Konstantin Lifschitz played Goldberg Variations nearly perfectly (just to clarify I do not believe a human being can achieve perfection) with confidence and maturity. He brought out polyphonic voices with exceptional clarity. He played each piece of the variations in a distinct manner such as tempo, dynamics, articulation and mood. He is not just good as a 16-year old, but he is phenomenal as a world-class pianist. If you want to listen to great Goldberg Variations, buy this CD. You won't be disappointed.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Richter had recorded the Goldbergs ... December 9, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is what they might have sounded like. Without a doubt, it is one of the finest recordings of the "Goldberg Variations" and one of the finest solo piano recordings, period. It justly deserved the Grammy nomination it received when it was first released.

Konstantin Lifschitz was, indeed, 16 when he recorded it, and shows all the technical brilliance of the young Glenn Gould when Gould first recorded it (for example, in ASIN B00006FI7C). However, even at the tender age of 16, Lifchitz brings dimensions to his performance that Gould never attempts. First, unlike Gould, he takes all the repeats. This provides an opportunity for frequent and inspired variations on the variations that often reveal "hidden" foundations of the score itself. Lifschitz's variety of touch and articulation combined with a solid command of tempo and the broader shape of the music can fill an encyclopedia. At the same time, his rhythmic intensity, whether slow or brilliantly fast, is always powerful.

After listening to this performance and some others that have come along since, such as the outstanding effort by the reborn Murray Perahia (ASIN B00004Z3PV), I continue to return to it. So, my preferences generally run, in order, toward Lifschitz, Gould, and Perahia, who to my mind represent the three finest piano interpreters of this literally monumental work. (A recent and undeniably virtuosic effort by Gavrilov (ASIN B000025I53) suffers, simply because of its perfunctory, and sometimes rushed, virtuosity.) Lifschitz, in particular, as Peter Woodard (chair of the Hartt School Jazz Theory department) has noted, brings a noticably Richterian approach to the work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure, youthful joy June 11, 2012
Format:Audio CD
We all have our lacunae however much we think we know and I admit never to having either heard or even heard of Konstantin Lifschitz until a fellow Amazon correspondent tipped me off - for which I am very grateful as I haven't been so excited about a Bach pianist since I first heard Glenn Gould's second version of the Goldbergs thirty years ago. Lifschitz - an astonishing 17 years old when he recorded these variations - brings a joy and energy to them which simply make the heart sing. Yet he is not all whimsy and caprice; he is capable of a granitic steadiness of pulse when it is required - a sort of purposefulness that conveys his complete immersion in this work as a wholly cohesive sequence of interlinked ideas. There is nothing fey in his approach; he strikes the keys with the confidence and certainty of youth. Indeed, just occasionally I could do with a little more restraint and understatement, particularly in the "Black Pearl", variation 25, but then it would not reflect the intrepidity of a young man in the plenitude of his powers. His tone is unfailingly beautiful and as with all the best exponents of the Goldbergs he has a way of bringing out the independent voices in the counterpoint so that while the right hand sings like a peal of bells the left is commenting in baritone like a wise uncle.

I have three favourite versions of this inexhaustibly stimulating and uplifting work: the aforementioned Glenn Gould with all its quirky concentration, the patrician authority of Perahia's classic account and now this gloriously extrovert and communicative interpretation. It runs to just under 80 minutes as Lifschitz observes all the repeats - which is just what you want when the music is played with such intensity and vigour.

On the strength of this lovely disc, I am moving on to the much-praised "Musical Offering" by the mature Lifschitz.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Young man's Goldbergs November 10, 2013
Format:Audio CD
There is much to like here. Some of the variations delight and thrill but others are less successful. The young Lifschitz has occasional recourse to artifice but in general he shows impeccable taste in his Bach playing without sacrificing imagination. He is clearly a very capable pianist and he makes a lovely, pure sound. Whenever I listen to this set of Goldbergs, though, I feel he runs out of steam. The first ten or so variations go wonderfully and with real panache. Sometimes, because of this, he might miss a chance to illuminate an aspect of a variation but the gains are exciting. But as the piece goes on the charm wears a little thin and there is less to delight. Some of the more profound variations seem to fail: they can fall flat and seem to plod a little (while Lifschitz seems to be aiming at something more airborne). The handling of the later variations (from, say, 17 or 18 on) is perhaps the test of an account of this much recorded work. So many pianists have shown us how Bach's imagination plumbs great depths or show us, without sacrificing formality, the very edge of a world that is almost wild. So, if I follow Amazon's instructions for personal scoring (5 means "love it", 4 means "like it" and 3 means "it's OK") I want to give it three and a half stars. This is not a recording that belongs in the Top 5 (or even, I suspect, Top 10) of Goldberg Variations. But for the exhilaration of the early variations and for it's freshness it might justify a place in a collection that already has many fine versions of the work - the Perahia, certainly, and the second (very lovely and very exciting) Schiff, and (obviously) the '81 Gould and perhaps the Tureck.
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