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Yaara Tal, Andreas Groethuysen - Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations (Version for 2 Pianos by Rheinberger/Reger) (2009)

Posted By: ArlegZ
Yaara Tal, Andreas Groethuysen - Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations (Version for 2 Pianos by Rheinberger/Reger) (2009)

Yaara Tal, Andreas Groethuysen - Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations (Version for 2 Pianos by Rheinberger/Reger) (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue & Log) ~ 225 Mb | Total time: 76:06 | Scans included
Classical | Label: Sony Classical | # 88697526962 | Recorded: 2009

Since its first authorized edition in 1741 or 1742, the Goldberg is indispensable to any serious keyboard professionals, and with the dawn of the recording age, the Goldberg has naturally attracted a league of pianists who wish to put their personal statements onto this symbolic work. Pianists who acquired a legacy in part through their championship in this work include such Bach interpreters as Glenn Gould (Sony, 1955), Evgeny Koroliov (Hänssler, 1999), Maria Tipo (EMI, 1986) and the late Rosalyn Tureck (DGG, 1985), whose interpretation of the Goldberg she claimed was inspired by a visionary communication between the pianist and a higher being. To date, the Goldberg has likewise drawn the interests of a multitude of arrangers who have re-worked arrangements based on the original. These include versions for the guitar (Józef Eötvös), organ (Jean Guillou), string trio (Dmitri Sitkovetsky), and a mammoth version by the Italian pianist-composer Ferruccio Busoni. These outputs are phenomenal, evident to the original’s popularity.
Adding to this catalogue of Goldberg transcriptions is one by Josef Rheinberger, and subsequently revised by Max Reger. This double revision has largely been forgotten. But, complements to Sony Classical, and with co-sponsorship by Bayer Culture and the Max-Reger-tage, this arrangement has come to light again in this brand new recording. This is in major part made possible through involvement of the Israeli-German piano duo Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen, who recorded the work one year ago in Germany. Josef Rheinberger was a Bach devotee. In the early 1880s, Rheinberger constructed a two-piano version of the Goldberg largely with three goals in mind – first, Rheinberger was inspired to join the two instruments to create sounds of orchestral dimensions; second, he was faithful in his two-piano version to deliver in full extent the clarity of the work’s structure; third, he was first and foremost an adventurous composer enriching the score with elements of Romanticism, as to update the work so-to-speak with new innovations via the expanse of the contemporary keyboard instrument. The fruits of this creative process earned him a work that garnered the praise: “[Rheinberger’s score] … is immensely ingenious and of brilliant virtuosity at one and the same time.”
Two decades later – from 1909-1915 – the composer and pianist Max Reger championed this Rheinberger version in a series of recitals, and further revised the Rheinberger arrangement with a “spread of expressive psychologising interpretation over the musical architecture.” Inspection of this score reveals that Reger had a dynamic view of the Goldberg, by exploring the lively and eloquent ingredients indigenous to Baroque music. First, Reger added a canvas of dynamic markings (numerous crescendo and diminuendi), in order to help listeners outline the progression and resolution of phrasing; second, Reger used his wealth of knowledge as a composer of organ music to create the needed sonorities. Now in the present time, Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen return to full circle by bringing these double revisions to a version of their own. What they offer in this recording is a probe into the world of Bach, but with a modern voice of unprecedented elegance and novelty.
First, the “Romantic” quality from this double revision is articulated by Tal and Groethuysen through a voice that carries into the past. The rewards emanating from careful counterpoint, keen observance to bass lines, and adherence to phrasing in motivic units to preserve the intended polyphony have their attractiveness, as evident here in this recording. These qualities allow the duo to concentrate on an interpretation that joins eloquence with powerful drama. Take the 17th variation, for example, where the two juggle the tenderest of pianissimo with shimering leggiero to great effect. To elaborate on this theme of contrast and balance, Tal and Groethuysen also experiment on their dynamic use of tempi to create a dialogue of interesting questions and answers. As the liner notes by Susanne Popp outline, the Aria and the 13th and 25th variations were played with extremely thoughtfulness in part due to the pianists’ elected choice of slow tempi. By choosing slower tempi, the duo is effective into nearly sustaining time; this has the effect to transform music into an all-encompassing kaleidoscope of sounds. The palette of colors that emerge as a result is both vivid and full. In contrast, the variations that employ a faster range of tempi (like the 5th, 14th, 19th and 20th) are played with a joie de vivre, with the scope and breath of no less fiery virtuosity.
Second, the Baroque qualities of the double-revised score are adhered by the piano duo through their attention to the repeats. For instance, in the 18th and 22nd variations, each repeat is revived to bring the old qualities associated with the Baroque – only with increasing dimension and meaning. In slightly over 76 minutes, the Tal-Groethuysen piano duo secures a performance that is not only inspirational – metaphorically taking a magnifying glass from the present back into the past – but a reference recording of this piece that surpasses any judgements of time.
– Patrick P.L. Lam

Performer:
Yaara Tal, piano
Andreas Groethuysen, piano

Track List:
01. Aria: Andante Espressivo
02. Variation I: Più Animato
03. Variation II: Allegretto
04. Variation III: Canone All' Unisono. Andantino
05. Variation IV: Energico
06. Variation V: Con Fuoco
07. Variation VI: Canone Alla Seconda. Allegro
08. Variation VII: Allegretto Scherzando
09. Variation VIII: Allegro
10. Variation IX: Canone Alla Terza. Moderato
11. Variation X: Fughetta, Alla Breve
12. Variation XI: Allegro
13. Variation XII: Canone Alla Quarta. Andanta
14. Variation XIII: Adagio
15. Variation XIV: Con Fuoco
16. Variation XV: Canone Alla Quinta. Adagio
17. Variation XVI: Overture. Maestoso-Allegretto
18. Variation XVII: Poco Allegro
19. Variation XVIII: Canone Alla Sexta. Alla Breve
20. Variation XIX: Allegretto
21. Variation XX: Allegro Marcato
22. Variation XXI: Canone Alla Settima
23. Variation XXII: Alla Breve
24. Variation XXIII: Allegro
25. Variation XXIV: Canone All' Ottava. Andantino
26. Variation XXV: Adagio Espressivo
27. Variation XXVI: Allegro Deciso
28. Variation XXVII: Canone Alla Nona. Allegro
29. Variation XXVIII: Allegretto
30. Variation XXIX: Allegro
31. Variation XXX: Quodlibet
32. Aria. Andante Espressivo


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Yaara Tal, Andreas Groethuysen / Goldberg Variations. Version for 2 Pianos

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Yaara Tal, Andreas Groethuysen - Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations (Version for 2 Pianos by Rheinberger/Reger) (2009)

Thanks to the original releaser