Sophia Gilmson | J.S. Bach Goldberg Variations On Harpsichord and Piano

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J.S. Bach Goldberg Variations On Harpsichord and Piano

by Sophia Gilmson

This is the only known current recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations on harpsichord and piano by the same artist.
Genre: Classical: Bach
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria (Harpsichord)
1:52 album only
clip
2. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:58 album only
clip
3. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 2 a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:55 album only
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4. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 3 Canone All Unisuono a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:19 album only
clip
5. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 4 a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:34 album only
clip
6. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 5 Ovvero 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:53 album only
clip
7. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 6 Canone Alla Seconda a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:41 album only
clip
8. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 7 a 1 Ovvero 2 Clav. Al Tempo Di Giga (Harpsichord)
0:56 album only
clip
9. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 8 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:04 album only
clip
10. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 9 Canone Alla Terza a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:59 album only
clip
11. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 10 Fugetta a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:54 album only
clip
12. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 11 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:07 album only
clip
13. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 12 Canlone Alla Quarta (Harpsichord)
1:27 album only
clip
14. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 13 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
2:18 album only
clip
15. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 14 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:11 album only
clip
16. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 15 Canone Alla Quinta a 1 Clav. Andante (Harpsichord)
2:28 album only
clip
17. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 16 a 1 Clav. Ouverture (Harpsichord)
1:42 album only
clip
18. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 17 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:10 album only
clip
19. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 18 Canone Alla Sexta a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:54 album only
clip
20. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 19 a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
0:43 album only
clip
21. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 20 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:05 album only
clip
22. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 21 Canone Alla Settima (Harpsichord)
1:36 album only
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23. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 22 a Clav. Alla Breve (Harpsichord)
0:55 album only
clip
24. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 23 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:07 album only
clip
25. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 24 Canone Al Ottava a 1 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:30 album only
clip
26. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 25 a 2 Clav. Adagio (Harpsichord)
3:44 album only
clip
27. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 26 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:11 album only
clip
28. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 27 Canone Alla Nona a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:07 album only
clip
29. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 28 a 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:16 album only
clip
30. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 29 a 1 Ovvero 2 Clav. (Harpsichord)
1:12 album only
clip
31. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 30 a 1 Clav. Quodlibet (Harpsichord)
1:00 album only
clip
32. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria da Capo (Harpsichord)
2:00 album only
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33. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria (Piano)
2:08 album only
clip
34. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio a 1 Clav. (Piano)
1:03 album only
clip
35. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 2 a 1 Clav. (Piano)
0:57 album only
clip
36. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 3 Canone All Unisuono a 1 Clav. (Piano)
1:33 album only
clip
37. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 4 a 1 Clav. (Piano)
0:33 album only
clip
38. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 5 Ovvero 2 Clav. (Piano)
0:53 album only
clip
39. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 6 Canone Alla Seconda a 1 Clav. (Piano)
0:37 album only
clip
40. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 7 a 1 Ovvero 2 Clav. Al Tempo Di Giga (Piano)
0:55 album only
clip
41. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 8 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:04 album only
clip
42. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 9 Canone Alla Terza a 1 Clav. (Piano)
1:11 album only
clip
43. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 10 Fugetta a 1 Clav. (Piano)
0:56 album only
clip
44. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 11 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:06 album only
clip
45. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 12 Canlone Alla Quarta (Piano)
1:16 album only
clip
46. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 13 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
2:16 album only
clip
47. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 14 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:14 album only
clip
48. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 15 Canone Alla Quinta a 1 Clav. Andante (Piano)
3:06 album only
clip
49. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 16 a 1 Clav. Ouverture (Piano)
1:35 album only
clip
50. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 17 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:06 album only
clip
51. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 18 Canone Alla Sexta a 1 Clav. (Piano)
0:54 album only
clip
52. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 19 a 1 Clav. (Piano)
0:46 album only
clip
53. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 20 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:05 album only
clip
54. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 21 Canone Alla Settima (Piano)
2:19 album only
clip
55. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 22 a Clav. Alla Breve (Piano)
0:48 album only
clip
56. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 23 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:07 album only
clip
57. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 24 Canone Al Ottava a 1 Clav. (Piano)
1:36 album only
clip
58. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 25 a 2 Clav. Adagio (Piano)
4:18 album only
clip
59. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 26 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:11 album only
clip
60. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 27 Canone Alla Nona a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:06 album only
clip
61. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 28 a 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:19 album only
clip
62. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 29 a 1 Ovvero 2 Clav. (Piano)
1:06 album only
clip
63. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 30 a 1 Clav. Quodlibet (Piano)
1:06 album only
clip
64. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria da Capo (Piano)
2:27 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"I find Gilmson’s performances on both instruments executed with flawless technical grasp, and with interpretive acumen that’s thoroughly captivating and rewarding…

I can now say that Sophia Gilmson has gone where no one has gone before, and that if you have the slightest interest in Bach’s Goldberg Variations, it is imperative that you acquire this set…

Sophia Gilmson and producer Andy Murphy, working in concert with a fantastic production team, have achieved something quite extraordinary here."
Fanfare

"....one of the most refreshing and thought-provoking performances this season.”
Austin-American Statesman

One of the world's most magnificent musical creations, Bach's Goldberg Variations was written for two-manual harpsichord. There are numerous recordings of this piece performed by harpsichordists and pianists. However, listeners have had no opportunities to hear side-by-side performances on both instruments by the same performer.

For a long time I entertained the idea of performing the work on both instruments during the same concert. In 2001, I had the rare opportunity to make my dream come true. Two complete performances of the Goldberg Variations -- one on harpsichord and another on piano, preceded by a lecture -- were presented to an overflowing house at Jessen Auditorium, University of Texas at Austin, where I teach. The response from the community, including my colleagues, was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. I was encouraged repeatedly to share this program with broader audiences, which brought me to a variety of stages in the USA and Europe.

This program was hailed as "one of the most refreshing and thought-provoking performances of this season" (Austin American-Statesman, Michael Huebner) and earned the prestigious Mount Everest Award given by the Austin Critics Table. MIchael Barnes, chief arts critic of the Austin American-Statesman at the time, ranked it as one of the top 10 arts events of 2001, calling it "unforgettable". ​

Later I made a studio recording I am offering to your attention now.

The set of two CDs includes two complete performances, one on harpsichord and another on piano.

This DVD contains an introductory talk, a demonstration of selected variations on harpsichord and piano side by side, and two complete performances on each instrument accompanied by a display of the score. It addresses the history of this piece's creation, the legend attached to it, and an analysis of its architecture. It also allows for a comparison of the expressiveness of both harpsichord and a piano as played by one performer. The rhythmical energy and linear clarity of the harpsichord is contrasted with the lyrical warmth and dynamic flexibility of the modern piano, allowing new insights into the most sensitive issues regarding interpretation of Bach's keyboard music, such as the intricacies of counterpoint, dynamics, articulation, pedaling, and tempi. ​​

​Performing this piece on harpsichord built as a replica of those typical for Baroque time allows a priceless glimpse into Bach's world. How would he play it? How would he shape the phrases on an instrument that does not respond to dynamics we are so used to on the piano? How would he employ articulation combining various degrees of legato and non legato for clarity and expressiveness? How would he use two keyboards and various registers for balance and colors? The harpsichord itself leads to many answers.​​

Bringing this music to modern piano sheds new life to the interpretive possibilities. To what degree will I use dynamics and pedaling? How will I utilize longer decay of the sound for the benefits of counterpoint?

I found these challenges marvelously stimulating. Aiming for the best possible musical result, regardless of the instrument, taught me to be fully aware of the endless possibilities this music offers.

I hope that listeners will not compare the two performances to decide which instrument is "better". It is my desire to provide a unique opportunity to explore the expressiveness of each instrument as played by one performer.


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Reviews


to write a review

Boris Kushner

An astounding recording of Goldberg Variations
To the best of my knowledge, Sophia Gilmson, Professor of Music at the University of Texas-Austin, is the only musician who performed Bach’s Goldberg Variations in a single concert both on piano and harpsichord. This real feat of musicianship is now available both on CD and DVD in a carefully done studio recording.
Both CD and DVD feature complete performances of Goldberg Variations on harpsichord and piano. DVD adds an intriguing historical introduction and illuminating demonstration by Sophia Gilmson of technical and aesthetic challenges a performer faces while moving from a double-keyboard harpsichord to a modern piano. Simultaneous demonstration of the score is very helpful as well. I found both piano and harpsichord performances astounding, one of the best among the recordings I know. In my opinion, this recording is the absolutely a “must” for every lover of classical music and music of Bach, in particular.
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