Notes and Editorial Reviews
*** PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SINGLE-LAYER SUPER AUDIO CD THAT WILL ONLY PLAY ON SUPER AUDIO CD PLAYERS. ***
*** This title is also available in a standard CD format here. ***
This selection received a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)."
The SACD and CD versions of this acclaimed recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations were released almost simultaneously late last year, as Sony, the co-developer of SACD, tried to gain some traction with the new high-resolution format. While SACD prices have dropped considerably since then,
approaching CD levels, the fact that Sony decided to release this high-res version in a two-channel single-layer SACD-only format probably did not help its cause (a hybrid version certainly would have made more sense for marketing purposes). Nonetheless, the choice appears to be pretty much moot, since this recording, already sonically excellent, benefits only slightly from the enhanced qualities of SACD.
Comparing it to the CD version, you instinctively want to hear more in the new format, and at some level psychological desire overcomes the fact that these two versions sound pretty much alike. Listeners may discern a more vivid and realistic rendering of piano timbre, an increased sense of a three-dimensional soundstage, and the illusion of more "air" around the instrument. Complex contrapuntal passages "seem" crisper and the individual "voices" come across as more finely etched; but, in the end, the technical improvements are probably minimal enough for most listeners to relegate the search for superlatives to wishful thinking. The CD version is, for all intents and purposes, as good in its overall presentation, suggesting that a well-engineered recording matters way more than its ultimate release format.
--Michael Liebowitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less
Works on This Recording
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Murray Perahia (Piano)
Written: 1741-1742; Nuremberg, Germany
Date of Recording: 07/2000
Venue: Le Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Length: 73 Minutes 28 Secs.
Notes: Composition written: Nuremberg, Germany (1741 - 1742).
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