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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Open Source J. S. Bach - Goldberg Variations
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 1104
Location: Vienna Austria

PostPosted: Tue 29 May 2012, 13:51    Post_subject:  Open Source J. S. Bach - Goldberg Variations
Sub_title: Bach? Open Source? Really?

Here's a new concept in Open Source thinking - the music of J .S. Bach no less.

I have just legally downloaded the complete Goldberg Variations from here:

and it is great!

Here is a quick review of the recording, which you can download as a series of MP3's from a torrent.

The story goes, that this piece was commissioned from Bach by a Russian aristocrat who had insomnia problems. You can research this further yourself if you are interested.

The set of variations is performed by Kimiko Ishizaka (so beautiful and talented - wow!) on a Bösendorfer Imperial concert grand. Over the years I have had some experience with tuning these pianos. Bösendorfer have their showroom and factory here in Vienna where I live. I also know them from the UK where I used to live.

There is very little - if anything - to criticise about this recording. I would gladly have paid the normal retail price for access to it, but here we have it free-of-charge as Open Source! So, with nothing much to criticise, I can only really describe the end result.

First the piano. Bösendorfer usually has to play "second fiddle" to Steinway and Sons when it comes to concert hall exposure - it's just the way it is - marketing plays its part here. A good analogy here is the difficulty that Linux has in conquering the desktop.

The Bösendorfer has a gutsy and incisive tone - colder maybe than the Steinway but ideal nevertheless for illuminating Bach's music. This Bosie was beautifully tuned and voiced for the recording.

Ms. Ishizaka's interpretation of the piece is IMHO straight-down-the-middle, classical and non-controversial - probably just as it should be - a treat for the ears.

If one has been brought up over the years with the Glenn Gould/Richter/Vedernikov/Nikolayeva sort of approach to the interpretation, then this version makes a pleasant change - not that the previously mentioned performers weren't also great in their own individual ways.

Over the years, each performer's concept of these great Bach pieces change. To take Gould as an example - the recording of the Goldberg Variations that he made for ORF (Austrian Radio) here in Vienna was a very different animal from his previous versions that he made back home in Canada. Gould had his own personal Steinway that he took everywhere with him.

Maybe in due course Ms. Ishizaka could treat us to a second view of this piece. Maybe allowing herself the luxury of a slightly more romanticised concept? Since it takes probably years for these things to incubate in the mind, could she possibly in the meantime see her way to doing the same Open Source thing with Bach's Die Kunst der Fuge (Art of Fuge)? That would be a "must have" for me.
Life is too short to spend it in front of a computer

Life is too short to spend it in front of a computer
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jun 2012, 11:37    Post_subject:  

Hi, do you know that the 96k FLAC files previously released had a problem with track 28, Var. 27 (in some players, VCL in particular, it skips the last 2 seconds). Is there any solution to this problem? Your help will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
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Joined: 08 Apr 2012
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat 21 Jul 2012, 12:07    Post_subject:    

thank you
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