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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CKD356
Recording details: July 2007
St Silas the Martyr, Kentish Town, London, United Kingdom
Produced by François Eckert
Engineered by François Eckert
Release date: February 2010
Total duration: 16 minutes 39 seconds

'I heard Halls play the Goldbergs live some two years ago and I remember being beguiled by the lack of affectation or ostentation to a performance in which the entire work appeared to gradually and organically unfold … Halls provides his own scholarly and eminently readable programme notes, a model of their kind and fantastically thorough. Linn has done him justice with a finaly balanced recording which avoids the slightly oppressive closeness of Staier's account. Highly recommended' (International Record Review) » More

'Let me start off by saying that this might be the best-sounding plucked-string version of this piece I have ever heard … the Goldbergs are the main billing, and for the most part Halls gives us a very illuminating reading … a fine reading of some standing, and with the great sound to boot. I am sure it will be getting a lot of play time at my place' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'Of recent years the best recordings of the Goldberg Variations have been on the piano—not least from Angela Hewitt. Matthew Halls, now better known as the director of the former King's Consort, bucks the trend by offering the music on a 2-manual harpsichord … having greatly appreciated Halls's recent recording of Handel's Parnasso in Festa I had high expectations of his Bach. I was not disappointed' (MusicWeb International) » More

Aria Variata 'alla Maniera Italiana', BWV989

Theme: Aria  [2'00]
Variation 2  [1'17]
Variation 3  [1'10]
Variation 9  [1'01]
Variation 10  [2'07]

Other recordings available for download
Angela Hewitt (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
A work in A minor that appears in the Andreas Bach Book is the Aria Variata ‘alla Maniera Italiana’, BWV989. It probably dates from 1709, so is a relatively early work. In many ways it is similar to the organ chorale partitas (the theme here also has a chordal setting), but there are also things it shares with the ‘Goldberg’ Variations. The aria, for instance, is repeated at the end, although in BWV989 it is not an exact reiteration but rather another variation (the last, No X) with some slight changes. Still, it is moving to return to the mood of the opening, especially after the brilliance of the preceding two variations. Also like the ‘Goldberg’, the variations are based on the harmonic outline rather than on the opening melody. Each variation is in binary form (two sections, both repeated) and often requires some appropriate ornamentation to sustain the interest. Several different versions of the theme exist, the one in the Andreas Bach Book being by far the most richly ornamented. Not wanting to omit that one, yet liking the plainer outline of the theme for its initial statement, I include it on the repeat. There are some extremely wide stretches for the hands (in fact not just wide but impossible), making us think that perhaps it was written for some kind of pedal harpsichord. A few tempo indications have survived, but one in particular is a bit strange (largo for Variation I which seems crazy given the sparse material and rhythmic motive). In the end, musical common sense has to be used.

from notes by Angela Hewitt © 2004

Other albums featuring this work
'Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach' (CDS44421/35)
Bach: Angela Hewitt plays Bach
MP3 £45.00FLAC £45.00ALAC £45.00Buy by post £50.00 CDS44421/35  15CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Bach: Fantasia, Aria & other works' (CDA67499)
Bach: Fantasia, Aria & other works
MP3 £7.99FLAC £7.99ALAC £7.99Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA67499  Archive Service; also available on CDS44421/35  
'Bach: Fantasia, Aria & other works' (SACDA67499)
Bach: Fantasia, Aria & other works
This album is not yet available for download SACDA67499  Super-Audio CD — Deleted  

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