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Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Ekaterina Dershavina (Piano)

Review: Goldberg Variations Ekaterina Dershavina, piano

K-1

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations

Goldberg Variations BWV 988

Ekaterina Dershavina (Piano)

Arte Nova

Nov 1994

CD / TT: 77:13

Discussions: Goldberg Variations BWV 988 - played by Ekaterina Dershavina
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Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 27, 2001):
Ekaterina Dershavina is a young pianist who has won several prizes, yet has not established a reputation as a recording artist. This may actually be her only disc so far. Oddly, it was recorded in 1994, and only released this year.

Dershavina seems to privilege a rhythmic approach to the Goldberg Variations. She is incisive, lively and energetic in the faster variations, and subtly smooth in the slow variations. Her tempi are relatively rapid - without being Gouldian - but, in most cases, she seems right at home with these rhythms. There are a couple of occasions when she seems to lose the rhythmic flow in fast passages - as in variation 26 - but overall she has a very nice touch.

Dershavinas dynamics are well-suited for this work. She varies her dynamics well, both within individual variations and between them. She has just the right touch in variation 5, a rapid, flowing piece. Her performance of variation 15, a blinding piece with runs up and down the keyboard, is one of the most breathtaking I have ever heard. In general, she negotiates very well the faster pieces, giving them an energy that is rare in piano recordings.

She shows a great feeling for elaborate yet not overdone ornamentation. She is certainly a virtuoso pianist, but has the humility to not show it. In some of the variations, such as variation 9, she uses florid ornamentation, but it never sounds excessive.

Dershavina plays variation 25, the longest of the set, with great tenderness. She seems to stroke the music lovingly, giving it a gentle, sensual interpretation, phrasing the melodies carefully yet with great conviction. In the repeats of this variation she strays from the text a bit, adding subtle nuances that flow with the music in perfect harmony. This is perhaps the best performance of this variation I have ever heard on the piano.

There is something impalpable in this performance of the Goldberg Variations. Ekaterina Dershavina gives a fine performance of this work, perhaps one of the best available on the piano. She allies both subtle phrasing, for the slow variations, and breathtaking energy for the fast ones. In spite of a few small moments where the magic is lost, this is a brilliant recording, and at a budget price as well! Snap it up for a rare example of pianistic excellence.

 

Feedback to the above Review

John Grant wrote (November 27, 2001):
I picked up her Goldberg Variations. (Arts Nova 3480). For 30 years I've always thought Gould's first set were "it." But this playing is unpretentious and, at the same time, extraordinarily gifted. Fabulous. Pure luck. I just picked it up because it was cheap. Now I have a great recording! Does anyone know anything of her? Has she recorded anything else?
http://www.mp3.com/stations/bach_wtc_1_part1
http://www.mp3.com/stations/wtc2

Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 27, 2001):
[To John Grant] What a coincidence. Did you just post this out of the blue? At the same time I posted a review of it?

I was quite enchanted by her playing. As far as I can find, she has not recorded anything else. I'm looking into it.

John Grant wrote (November 27, 2001):
[To Kirk McElhearn] I'll check the group mail. If you posted a reference to your review, I didn't see it. Just coincedence, I guess. I'll look for the review.

Roy Johansen wrote (November 28, 2001):
[To John Grant] I think the GV is the only recording she has made. There are a few references to her on the net, and it appears she's devoting her time to teaching at a Russian conservatory and giving concerts. Which is our lamentable loss; her GV are extraordinary! (If you want to look her up, be aware that her name is sometimes spelt "Dershawina" on German web pages.)

 

Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Details
Recordings:
Until 1950 | 1951-1960 | 1961-1970 | 1971-1980 | 1981-1990 | 1991-2000 | From 2001
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 - Cole | GV - Crossland | GV - Dershavina | GV - Egarr [Lehman] | GV - Egarr [Satz] | GV - Egarr [Bright] | GV- Hantai | GV - Hantaï (2nd) | GV - Haugsand | GV - Hewitt | GV - Holloway | GV- Ingolfsdottir | GV - Jando | GV - Leonhardt | GV- Lifschitz | GV - Newman | GV - Nikolayeva 3rd | GV- Payne | GV - C. Rousset | GV - Schepkin, Yudina & Serkin | GV - Schiff [ECM] | GV- Small | GV - Suzuki | GV - Toth | GV - Trich | GV - Tureck (Satz) | GV - Tureck (Lehman) | GV- Verlet | GV - Vieru | GV - Vinikour | GV - Weissenberg | GV - Zhu
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Quodlibet in GV | GV for Strings
Discussions of Individual Recordings:
GV - Barenboim | GV - P.J. Belder | GV - E. Dershavina | GV - Egarr | GV - Feltsman | GV - C. Frisch | GV - Gould | GV - Hantaï | GV - R. Holloway | GV - J. Jando | GV - Jarrett | GV - Leonhardt | GV - V. Makin | GV - A. Newman | GV - S. Ross | GV Schiff | GV - R. Schirmer | GV - H. Small | GV - G. Sultan | GV - G. Toth | GV - Tureck | GV - Vartolo | GV - Verlet
Article:
The Quodlibet as Represented in Bachs Final Goldberg Variation BWV 988/30 [by Thomas Braatz]

Ekaterina Dershavina: Ekaterina Dershavina | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Reviews of Instrumental Recordings:
Review: Goldberg Variations Ekaterina Dershavina, piano
Discussions of Instrumental Recordings:
Goldberg Variations BWV 988 - played by Ekaterina Dershavina

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Last update: June 7, 2007 15:27:49