Rosalyn Tureck

Bach: Goldberg Variations; Italian Concerto; Aria variata; Overture in the French Style

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"Poetry, scripture -- and science." These are words that close Rob Cowan's insightful and affectionate notes to this re-release of pianist Rosalyn Tureck's EMI Bach recordings. And how appropriate these words are. Aside from the immensely slow tempos, the most striking aspects of Tureck's Bach are her beauty of tone, her reverential interpretations, and her clarity of articulation. In both her 1957 recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, and her 1959 recordings of his Aria variata in A minor, BWV 989; Italian Concerto in F major, BWV 971; and Overture in the French Style in B minor, BWV 831, one hears everything in the score played with consummate poise and balance as well as devotional intensity. To triangulate on Tureck's highly individualistic style, imagine Glenn Gould's lucidity, Wilhelm Kempff's probity, and Edwin Fischer's severity fused with a wholly personal spirituality. Though not for everyone -- those who come to Bach looking for a good time are advised to steer clear -- anyone who values the luminous and the numinous above the quick and the crisp should at least hear Tureck's Bach. Though EMI's monaural and stereo sound is a bit dim and dull, it is still honest and true.

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