Notes and Editorial Reviews
Non-keyboardists increasingly lay claim to Bach's Goldberg Variations on disc, from string trios and cimbalom duos, to guitar renditions and synthesizer blowouts. The challenge to both performers and arrangers is to render Bach's keyboard-specific textures with results that are technically plausible and musically convincing. A brass quintet arrangement by Arthur Frackenpohl, newly recorded by the Canadian Brass, succeeds on both counts--for the most part. The slower variations acquire an attractive ceremonial dimension in this medium, benefiting from a brass player's ability to change dynamics on a single note (which of course you can't do on piano or harpsichord). I also like how the double keyboard cross-handed variations are deployed to
splendid antiphonal effect although the neccesarily slower tempos weaken Bach's original bravura intentions. Repeats are observed in each half of the opening Aria and a few select "A" sections elsewhere. "A" and "B" section da capos are respectively assigned to higher and lower instruments. The Canadian Brass achieve a blend that's akin to the dark smoothness of aged Scotch whisky, purring out rounded legato lines in which no breath seems to transpire. An electric blanket of resonance reinforces the ensemble's slick perfectionism, which probably will appeal more to brass fanciers than Bach lovers.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Jens Lindemann (Piccolo Trumpet),
Christopher Cooper (French Horn),
Charles Daellenbach (Tuba),
Jens Lindemann (Trumpet),
Eugene Watts (Euphonium),
Ronald Romm (Trumpet)
Written: 1741-1742; Nuremberg, Germany
Date of Recording: 06/1999
Venue: Humbercrest Church, Toronto, Canada
Length: 87 Minutes 8 Secs.
Notes: Arranged: Arthur Frackenpohl
Composition written: Nuremberg, Germany (1741 - 1742).
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