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Goldberg Variations BWV 988
Played by Sergio Vartolo (Clavicembalo)
Discussions

K-1

J.S. Bach: Variationi Goldberg

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Sergio Vartolo (Clavicembalo)

Tactus

Jun 1989

2-CD / TT: 101:41

The longest GV recording ever?
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Vartolo´s GV

Thomas Radleff wrote (February 3, 2003):
The harpsichord on which Sergio Vartolo is playing the Goldberg Variations, is a Christian Zell copy by Barthelemy Formentelli. Vartolo seems to chose his instruments very carefully; in all his other recordings he doesn´t use this one anymore; mostly Venetian models for Frescobaldi, Taskin-copies or spinettoni for Scarlatti.

Two discs: 49:08 + 52:33; the second disc begins with Var. 16.

His recording indeed is very long, but seldom I have the impression it is slow. Perhaps without knowing his Frescobaldi recordings you might be offended by his excessive, sometimes manieristic rubato - like a speech that comes to his mind right now.

Ah, Tactus ! Like Ricercar, one of these wonderful labels, bearing many a surprise, but hard to find, and impossible to order anywhere. (Any sources...?)

Riccard-Nughes wrote (February 3, 2003):
< Ah, Tactus ! Like Ricercar, one of these wonderful labels, bearing many a surprise, but hard to find, and impossible to order anywhere. (Any sources...?) >
Directly from them http://62.101.95.195:591/tactus/index_eng.htm

2 good Italian on-line shops : www.iperdue.com www.stradivarius.it

Jim Morrison wrote (February 3, 2003):
[To Thomas Radleff] Thanks Thomas,

This probably isn't much use to you, but Tactus is easy to track down in the USA.

Heck, Tower records online has 118 titles and at: http://www.allegro-music.com/
you can find 217! including nine by Vartolo, some on organ, some on harpsichord.

Jim (who has a special fondness in his heart for recordings with excessive rubato/agogic accents! I've never heard anything from Vartolo but he sounds like someone I should look into.

Would you recommend his Frescobaldi on Tactus? Any different from the Naxos set?)

Pete Blue wrote (February 3, 2003):
Thomas R. asks: "Any sources?"
I think H&B, which used to be based in Texas, had a copy or two. Try them: www.hbdirect.com (they never seem to discount, though).

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 3, 2003):
Thomas Radleff wrote:
< Ah, Tactus ! Like Ricercar, one of these wonderful labels, bearing many a surprise, but hard to find, and impossible to order anywhere. (Any sources...?) >
Here in the US I get the Tactus recordings directly from: http://www.allegro-music.com or their half-price "cyber music surplus" section. Great selection, great prices, great service.

 

In Defense Of Vartolo: His GV, Not His Frescobaldi

Pete Blue wrote (February 6, 2003):
I have had my copy of the 2-CD set on Tactus of the Goldberg Variations played by Sergio Vartolo for only a short time, but I like it more on every playing. None of the characteristics described by the detractors of Vartolo's Frescobaldi are present in his Bach.

I find the playing consistently dramatic and risk-taking, with delightful ornamentation and convincing tempo choices both within each variation and overall.. In all 103 minutes there isn't a pedestrian moment (or at least not more than one!). If like me you're an admirer of Ottavio Dantone's WTK, I believe you'll like these Goldbergs. I got a used copy from Half.com at a great price but I believe new copies are reasonable.

Which brings up a question: I own a bunch of GVs played on both piano and harpsichord, and I can't say I have a preference for one instrument over the other in this work. Then why do the GV seem more "important" on harpsichord than on piano? I don't believe it's because my harpsichord recordings are better played, because I've heard a lot of GVs I don't own, on both instruments, and I don't think the "best" harpsichord performance beats the "best" piano performance, qua performance. It's just that when I want to listen to a monumental GV,I invariably turn to the harpsichord.

Is this merely an idiosyncrasy of mine or are there other possible explanations?

 

Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019
Comparative Review: Goldberg Variations on Piano:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5
Comparative Review: Round-Up of Goldberg Variations Recordings:
Recordings | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
Reviews of Individual Recordings:
GV - R. Barami, J. Crossland, O. Dantone, D. Propper | GV - M. Cole | GV - J. Crossland | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - S. Dinnerstein | GV - R. Egarr [Lehman] | GV - R. Egarr [Satz] | GV - R. Egarr [Bright] | GV - Feltsman | GV- P. Hantai | GV - P. Hantaï (2nd) | GV - K. Haugsand | GV - A. Hewitt | GV - R. Holloway | GV- H. Ingolfsdottir | GV - J. Jando | GV - B. Lagacé | GV - G. Leonhardt | GV- K. Lifschitz | GV - A. Newman | GV - T. Nikolayeva 3rd | GV- J. Payne | GV - W. Riemer | GV - C. Rousset | GV - S. Schepkin, M. Yudina & P. Serkin | GV - A. Schiff [ECM] | GV- H. Small | GV - M. Suzuki | GV - G. Toth | GV - K.v. Trich | GV - R. Tureck [Satz] | GV - R. Tureck [Lehman] | GV- B. Verlet | GV - A. Vieru | GV - J. Vinikour | GV - A. Weissenberg | GV - Z. Xiao-Mei
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Quodlibet in GV | GV for Strings
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
GV - D..Barenboim | GV - P.J. Belder | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - S. Dinnerstein | GV - R. Egarr | GV - V. Feltsman | GV - C. Frisch | GV - G. Gould | GV - P. Hantaï | GV - R. Holloway | GV - J. Jando | GV - K. Jarrett | GV - G. Leonhardt | GV - V. Makin | GV - A. Newman | GV - S. Ross | GV - A. Schiff | GV - R. Schirmer | GV - H. Small | GV - G. Sultan | GV - G. Toth | GV - R. Tureck | GV - S. Vartolo | GV - B. Verlet
Article:
The Quodlibet as Represented in Bach’s Final Goldberg Variation BWV 988/30 [T. Braatz]

Sergio Vartolo: Short Biography | Capella Musicale di S. Petronio di Bologna | Recordings of Instrumental & Vocal Works
Discussions of Instrumental Recordings:
Goldberg Variations BWV 988 - played by Sergio Vartolo

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Last update: ıDecember 5, 2008 ı22:01:56