Notes and Editorial Reviews
Harpsichord Concertos: in d; in E?
Jacques Ogg (hpd), cond; Univ of Salamanca Baroque O
VERSO 2025 (65:54)
This recording provided me with my introduction to the harpsichord concertos of Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who lived from 1727 to 1756. Born in Danzig, he traveled at 10 to Dresden, where he studied with Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, and then on to Leipzig to become a student of J. S. Bach. He received an appointment to lead the private orchestra of Count Heinrich Bruhl, wrote a substantial amount of
music, most of which, in various fits of self-criticism he destroyed, and died before he turned 30 of consumption. He was also the harpsichord virtuoso whose playing and whose employment prompted the composition of Bach’s
Perhaps he deserves to be better known. These harpsichord concertos, designed rather relentlessly to showcase the keyboard player’s virtuosity, are pleasing enough. Yet they are never moving or particularly expressive. One has only to think of what Bach did in one or two variations to realize Goldberg’s inferior rank. There are innovative aspects of the works, including the transitional passages for harpsichord with which Goldberg links the three movements of the D Minor Concerto. I imagine Goldberg was a fluent master of his instrument, a more than competent composer—he was known as tireless as well—but hardly, even in these relatively long, relatively grand works, a major figure. Jacques Ogg, who thinks differently, plays vigorously and with considerable skill, and even with some aggressive flair. The orchestra plays its minor part well, and the recording is clear and presents a realistic soundstage.
FANFARE: Michael Ullman
Works on This Recording
Concerto for Harpsichord in D minor by Johann Goldberg
Jacques Ogg (Harpsichord)
University of Salamanca Baroque Orchestra
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