J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Goldberg Variations

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Jozsef Eötvös
Individual Works:Goldberg Variations BWV 988:
Variations 1 - 30
Aria da Capo
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Privately Produced
Catalog Number:EJ-01WZ
Year Released/Recorded:1997
Total Playing Time:62:47
Related Web Site:http://www.spinnst.co.at/Gitarre/Eoetvoes/
Comments:Review by Jan Hanford:

Performance: Exceptional
Recording: Excellent

I was so wonderfully surprised when I heard this recording. The Goldberg Variations for guitar? Just one guitar? The answer is an enthusiastic "yes!"

Jozsef Eötvös has perfectly adapted the Goldberg Variations to the guitar and the result is magnificent. The transcription is wonderfully true to the score; if there is anything left out I am not able to perceive it. It sounds like one of Bach's guitar works, there is nothing artificial or forced about this transcription. His transcription has also been published; an important addition to the classical guitar repertoire.

His mastery of both the guitar and this work is impressive, I didn't know two hands could accomplish this level of complexity and contrapuntal fullness. He is no mere technician; he's an exceptional musician. József's interpretation is lovely, with outstanding articulation and sensitive phrasings of the slower passages.

The cd itself is recorded with pleasant reverb that does not interfere with the performance. The Variations have separate track numbers on the cd which is a nice bonus. The only tragedy is that this cd desperately needs world-wide distribution! It is too well-kept a secret and I really wish some recording company would come along and snatch him up for a major distribution deal. (Hello, Sony? Hello, Virgin Veritas? You are missing a real opportunity here.) This cd is a stunning accomplishment and I enthusiastically recommend it.

Information about this cd, including sound samples and purchasing is available at: http://www.spinnst.co.at/Gitarre/Eoetvoes/

You can also special order it from Musical Offering, Berkeley, California.

Comments from Michael Stitt, Bach Plucked:

Every very once and while a work of art is readapted - transformed from its original form context, to become an even greater interpretation of art. Such is my affection of Jozsef Eotvos's transcription and CD recording of Bach's masterpiece for the keyboard - The Goldberg variations (BWV 988). click here for Michael's complete review.

Acknowledgements:From the collection of Jan Hanford.
Date First Submitted:07/16/1998