Bach: Goldberg Variations

Bach: Goldberg Variations

by Wolfgang RübsamWolfgang Rübsam


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Acclaimed for his recordings of the organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Rübsam has also recorded some of Bach's keyboard music at the piano, though this 2018 Naxos album of the "Goldberg Variations (Clavier Übung IV), BWV 988" is his first recording on a Lautenwerk or lute-harpsichord. The instrument was built for Rübsam by Keith Hill, following period specifications, and this modern copy offers crisp Baroque sonorities that permit the freely played melody and counterpoint to be heard clearly. The single-manual instrument's gut strings provide two timbres, and a set of brass strings provide sympathetic vibration to the rather dry plucked sound, giving it the ringing quality needed for cantabile playing. Rübsam also plays up the lute effect by articulating the voices with slight arpeggiation, which also gives a looser, nearly improvisational feeling to the voice leading and embellishments. Because the "Goldberg Variations" have been transcribed and arranged for many instruments and various combinations, this release may seem yet another attempt to bring novelty to an overly familiar chestnut. But Rübsam's unerring instincts and consummate artistry make this performance much greater than a gimmick, and listeners who prefer hearing the variations on a harpsichord will find the Lautenwerk to be a refreshing source for new ideas and expressions. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/10/2018
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313392179
catalogNumber: 8573921

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