Erato/wArner Classics Archive

BACH: Goldberg Variations – Alexandre Tharaud, p. – Erato/Warner Classics +  video DVD

BACH: Goldberg Variations – Alexandre Tharaud, p. – Erato/Warner Classics + video DVD

BACH: Goldberg Variations – Alexandre Tharaud, piano – Erato/Warner Classics 0825646051779, 75:13 + video DVD (16:9), PCM stereo (12/4/15) *****: After a slow, elegant, spaced-out Aria theme, relentlessly hip Alexandre Tharaud proceeds to give a freewheeling 21st century piano virtuoso’s bird’s eye view of the Goldberg Variations. Whatever the attitudes he adopts as he proceeds with the 31 variations – energetic, jaunty, bold, bright and always, forthright – the brilliant recorded sound is like the playing, almost in your face at times; the sound is so integral to the performance that you can buy it  on a vinyl and, most important, at whatever volume you play it is uniquely satisfying – although medium-loud enables you to hear more clearly just how much poetry Tharaud lavishes on what at first blush can be misconstrued as frontal attack. It is an eventful journey. Tharaud may soften with a hint of impressionists’ haze on track seven but soon returns to his semi-clattering, wandering, always fascinating ways. He also uses ornaments like earrings, to adorn the music at deliciously vulnerable places; in track 14, he goes to extraordinary lengths in the repeats with his ornaments and embellishments, as if Bach were a dandy at […]