"Although there have been many superb historically informed performances of the
Goldberg Variations over the years (I am especially enamored of the hypnotic performance on a luscious sounding harpsichord by Richard Egarr), this bulletproof score continues to attract individualistic music-making. Pianists are drawn to Goldberg like flies to a bare light bulb; the music fits wonderfully under the fingers, and is deeply satisfying to play. Beth Levin’s performance is very much in the “I’ll play it my way” mode, but without a speck of disrespect to the composer. Quite the opposite; she plays as if in love with the notes. Tempos are deliberate, sometimes to the extreme. Repeats are taken at will. Voicing is unexpected. And yet thereRead more is always the sense that she is exploring Bach’s genius, as opposed to fashioning a vehicle for her own personality. The live recording captures a few more technical fumbles than I would have expected from a one-time Rudolph Serkin student, but they do not unduly detract from what is a uniquely touching view of the music."