Ramin Bahrami

Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Pianist Ramin Bahrami is a masterful player with a muscular but agile technique, a brilliant but beautiful tone, and a robust but flexible feel for rhythm and tempo. Though his performance at times seems almost free enough to be improvised, he clearly knows what he wants to do, where he wants to go, and what he wants to accomplish. But most strikingly, Bahrami has audaciously ignored almost all previous recordings of the piece in order to create his own interpretation. In hundreds of details, his take on the Variations differs from nearly all other performers. Accents, articulation, phrasing, and tempos differ in small and large ways, all adding up to a reading of the work that is strikingly original, deeply emotional, and wonderfully fresh. Bahrami dedicates the recording to the highly individualistic, not to say idiosyncratic Rosalyn Tureck, whom he describes as "the voice of Bach." Bahrami's performance is not anything like Tureck's, but both are utterly distinctive and original. Decca's digital sound is crisp, rich, and just about real. Surprisingly, the notes give no indication of what instrument Bahrami plays. One might have thought that after a generation of historically informed performances of the Goldberg Variations on the harpsichord, such information would be virtually mandated by law.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
1
4:40
2
1:39
3
1:24
4
2:11
5
1:02
6
1:15
7
1:13
8
1:49
9
1:40
10
2:13
11
1:40
12
2:19
13
2:10
14
5:32
15
1:53
16
5:41
17
2:46
18
1:48
19
1:24
20
1:46
21
1:46
22
3:02
23
1:18
24
1:45
25
2:42
26
10:16
27
1:46
28
1:35
29
1:48
30
1:50
31
1:30
32
4:52
blue highlight denotes track pick