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His poise and clarity are superb, and the display of well controlled fleet dexterity impressive [listen -- track 15, 0:00-0:58]. Schiff's ability to separate the contrapuntal lines and yet enjoy the introduction of those jolly folksongs ('It's so long I haven't been with you' and 'Cabbages and turnips have driven me away') adds so much to the warmth of this recording [listen -- track 31, 0:00-0:54].

There are other pianists whose Goldberg performances present different delights -- Angela Hewitt and Murray Perahia for instance, or back to 1955 for Glenn Gould, or, among the most recent, the Brazilian Jean Louis Steuerman. Schiff's latest stands proudly alongside them and, for gentle humour and unassuming virtuosity, would certainly win me to the pleasures of one of Bach's most endearing keyboard works.

Copyright © 15 February 2004 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK


J S Bach: Goldberg Variations - András Schiff

472 185-2 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 71'13" 2003 ECM Records GmbH

András Schiff, piano

J S Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV 988


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