Bach’s Goldberg Variations, 32 variations including a set of canons of ever-increasing complexity, perfectly combine intellectual rigour with flowing musical effervescence. As such, they compare most interestingly with the Art of Fugue, the other great contrapuntal work that Bach composed in the 1740s. In this wonderful new recording, Colin Booth takes a gently iconoclastic approach, using rather different tempi, articulations and ornamentation than many other performers to create a bold but very well thought-through new interpretation. We feel this CD is an excellent companion to the Fugue State Films recording of the Art of Fugue, and hope that those who enjoy one may also enjoy the other.
“Booth takes a lighter approach than some, and he reminds us that complete performances would not originally have been envisaged; indeed he urges us to dwell on individual variations and to use the “repeat button”. A wonderful disc, which we have listened to in whole and in part several times, with great enjoyment.” Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointers February 2011
“…this brilliant record…” CD of the week. The Independent, February 2011
“This is a real achievement on Booth’s part; and one to which you will warm on repeated listenings to this CD. So it’s far from being yet another Goldberg Variations release. Booth’s is a significant contribution to the still vibrant debate on historically-informed performance practice. And one which has the merit of producing a highly satisfying and stimulating listening experience. The recording is relatively closely miked in such a way as to concentrate our listening on the music and, secondarily, the mechanics of the harpsichord (always welcome) in a warm acoustic. Well worth looking out and investigating.”