J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

Goldberg Variations

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Murray Perahia
Instrumentation:Piano
Individual Works:Goldberg Variations
BWV 988
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Sony Classical
Catalog Number:SK/SM 89243
Year Released/Recorded:2000
Comments:Dddr Ronald Davie said:

Murray Perahia is one of the great pianist of our time. His interpretation of the set of Mozart Piano Concertos was for me until now his supreme and unsurpassed achievement.

However, his recordings of Bach's keyboard music, starting with the English Suites 1,3 and 6 (a 1998 Grammy Award) and, most recently, the Goldberg Variations suggest that Bach, even more than Mozart, may bring the best from Perahia's outstanding talent.

Certainly, his 'Goldbergs' have attracted immense crtitical acclaim. His unmannered virtuosity, his tonal variety and delicacy of touch and his sympathetic and intelligent performance of this most monumental or works marks out this recording as almost certainly the best interpretation to date. Perahia has, as they say, raised the bar.

For those unfamiliar with this work - or those in general not drawn towards solo piano performances - this recording can in particular be recommended. Bach's brilliance and inventive genius is revealed in all its glory by a master artist.

Julian Krishnamurti said:

Perahia performs the Goldbergs with wonderful clarity and originality. The tempos that he chose suit the music very well as does his tone. He obtains a tone that is intimate yet full-bodied as if it were being played in a salon with sympathetic acoustics. This is a strong interpretation performed with technique and taste.

Tina Nance said:

Murray Perahia's sensitive, even ethereal, recording of this monumental work is not the only thing which is truly great about this disc. I was not at all surprised by his outstanding program notes as well. Perahia's thoughts on the structure of this work, resulting from truly deep study, were not only outstanding and very well explained; his thoughts on the spirituality, almost programatic, of this work were also profound. His Bach scholarship is both broad and deep. Listening to the recording after anticipating it for so many months, and reading Perahia's thoughts and personal feelings about Bach and this work added greatly to my experience as a listener. In these dark times in history, the "Goldbergs" probably do "...have something to do with spiritual comfort in a dark time" (Perahia quoted in PIANO TODAY, Winter 2001). This disc represents a high point and a lasting treasure in this music lover's life.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • Dddr Ronald Davie
  • Julian Krishnamurti
  • Tina Nance
Date First Submitted:12/24/2000