Robert Loreggian: Bach – Goldberg Variations

review lorreggian goldberg x1 cong

This is the second or third CD we’ve had with the Goldberg Variations “played as they were mean to”. This time, Loreggian is playing a copy of a harpsichord made by Michael Mietke in the early years of the 18th century; exchanges between the maker and Bach are documented. Loreggian is a top notch player.

The trouble is, Glenn Gould’s classic version on the piano may be too fast, and on a piano, but it is very good. Like it or not, his performance is the standard others have to meet; as in the rock world, a cover can often be better than the original, and a remix can improve a tune.

Still, here’s Loreggian and his harpsichord. He clocks in at 38.48, which is only a tad longer than Gould’s 1955 recording (38 minutes 34 seconds), which we guess means he leaves out some of the repeats in the music. The sleeve notes talk about the instrument for those who like the details, and go into the maths of Bach’s composition to explain the patterns and complexity. It’s a nice performance, it’s just not Gould.

Out on Dynamic, CDS7823.


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