|Jan Hanford said:|
The lute-harpsichord (lautenwerk) has emerged from obscurity in the last few years and there have been a few new releases using this extraordinary instrument. Basically a lautenwerk is a harpsichord with gut instead of metal strings and sounds often like a lute or harp. I tend to snatch up any CD I see using this instrument because of its unusual sound and rare appearance on recordings.
Gwendolyn Toth's performance of the Goldberg Variations on lautenwerk is a revelation. Bach himself owned two of these instruments so not only is this performance musically sublime but it is also historically exciting. The natural sustain of the strings with no dampers creates a whirl of sound that gives the Goldberg Variations a sweeping, lush sound that makes for delightful listening.
The Goldberg Variations have been played on nearly every instrument, from harpsichord to piano to guitar to string trio. This extraordinarily beautiful performance on lautenwerk is an important and exciting addition to the large catalog of recordings of this work. A triumph!