Album: Andreas Staier, Bach: Goldberg-Variationen (Harmonia Mundi)

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The Independent Culture

Andreas Staier's Goldberg Variations returns Bach's keyboard exercise to his preferred instrument, the harpsichord, after decades of transcriptions for piano, organ, strings, harp, and synthesiser.

Initially, misgivings are aroused by a prickly, heavy-footed "Aria", in which the melody is obfuscated by the prominent resonance of Staier's multi-register Hass copy harpsichord; but once the Variations begin, the rich timbre suits the tempo more aptly, its lingering harmonic drones as charged as a florid piano interpretation. Staier sustains a courtly musical protocol in, for instance, the four-voice Fughetta of "Variation 10", while elsewhere executing the complex hand-crossing of "Variation 5" with a dexterity that presents the piece as part maze, part cascade.

Download this Variatio 5. a 1 ô vero 2 Clav; Variatio 10. Fughetta a 1 Clav; Variatio 13. a 2 Clav