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Bach: Keyboard Masterworks / Andrew Rangell


Release Date: 11/19/2013 
Label:  Steinway & Sons   Catalog #: 30024  
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell
Number of Discs: 3 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

BACH Goldberg Variations . 6 Partitas. The Musical Offering: 2 Ricercars. Toccata in f# Andrew Rangell (pn) STEINWAY & SONS 30024 (3 CDs: 211:35)

Less than a generation ago, it seemed as if playing Bach on a modern piano would become a sort of quaint anachronism, washed away by the ascendency of the period instrument movement. Of course, there was the huge legacy of Glenn Gould, who received a Read more pass because he was a singular artistic phenomenon, and because, even though he used the “wrong” instrument, he was a critical player in the Bach revival of the second half of the 20th century. Today, there are more recordings of Bach on the piano than ever. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that Andrew Rangell’s widely acclaimed series of recordings for the now defunct Dorian label in the 1990s was a powerful impetus towards the current situation. His recording of the Goldberg Variations , along with The Musical Offering ricercars and the Toccata in F# Minor, all played on a modern piano, came across as anti-Gould, with an emphasis on the magnificent lyricism of the music, presented with generally relaxed tempos.

Since Rangell’s recording of the Goldberg Variations over two decades ago, an almost unbelievable flood of recordings on the piano of this beloved music has been released, and more is still coming. And yet Rangell’s version holds up very well, sounding smart and distinctive, and unabashedly sensual. The Dorian recordings, made in the acoustically lovely Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, are all included on this very rewarding three-CD set, an ArkivMusic production for Steinway. There is also a 2000 recording of the Six Partitas, made in Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. A 20-year stretch in an artist’s career can have any number of affects. There may be a deepening in some cases, but Rangell sounds essentially like the same interpreter. If anything, there seems to be a bit more reticence in the newer recording, perhaps reflecting a loss of some youthful exuberance. What remains consistent is the pianist’s gently probing intellect and his abiding respect for the sheer beauty of the music.

I can’t imagine anyone who loves this music not thoroughly enjoying this set, but of course the range of choices for the consumer is immense. I would not even attempt any kind of ranking among modern piano recordings of Bach, especially in the case of the Goldberg s, but I do have a special affection for Vladimir Feltsman’s magical recent recording of the Partitas.

FANFARE: Peter Burwasser

"Highly present, transparent recordings in the first place, these solo piano works are timeless, high watermarks for the genre. On a purely musical basis, these recordings are must hearing for any fan of music music that want to soak in the joy of masterful playing at it’s best."

-- Midwest Record Entertainment[11/2013]

R E V I E W S of original releases:

Goldberg Variations

"...the strands of counterpoint sing with extraordinary transparency; you will hear relationships never apparent before." -- NEW YORK TIMES

"For the most part, this is a much saner view than Gould's, and Rangell's deep affection for the music projects itself strongly. He certainly finds more joy and bounce in the score than the austere Schiff, and overall, this may be the best choice for the Goldbergs on piano...fanciers of Bach on the piano will surely enjoy this generous offering."

-- Peter Burwasser, FANFARE

The Partitas

"I have many versions of this sublime work and love several, very different, renditions. Glenn Gould’s is my favorite for architecture, Rosalyn Tureck perhaps for warmth and classic intimacy. But Rangell has opened up whole dimensions in these works. Listen especially for a hint of rubato near the beginning of first partita, the confident mastery of the sublime 6th partita. Sublime is an overused word, but Rangell’s performance is nothing if not sublime."

-- Roger Kimball, THE NEW CRITERION
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Works on This Recording

1.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741-1742; Nuremberg, Germany 
2.
Toccata in F sharp minor, BWV 910 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: circa 1710 ; Weimar, Germany 
3.
Musikalisches Opfer, BWV 1079: no 1, Ricercar a 3 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Musikalisches Opfer, BWV 1079: no 5, Ricercar a 6 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1747; Leipzig, Germany 
5.
Partita for Keyboard no 1 in B flat major, BWV 825 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
6.
Partita for Keyboard no 2 in C minor, BWV 826 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Germany 
7.
Partita for Keyboard no 4 in D major, BWV 828 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Germany 
8.
Partita for Keyboard no 3 in A minor, BWV 827 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
9.
Partita for Keyboard no 5 in G major, BWV 829 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 
10.
Partita for Keyboard no 6 in E minor, BWV 830 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Andrew Rangell (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726-1731; Leipzig, Germany 

Featured Sound Samples

Goldberg Variations: Variation 1
Partita No. 1 in B flat major: VII. Gigue
Partita No. 3 in A minor: Burlesca
Partita No. 4 in D major: VII. Gigue

Sound Samples

Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 1. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 2. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 3. Canone all'Unisuono a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 4. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 5. a 1 o vero 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 6. Canone alla Seconda. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 7. a 1 o vero 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 8. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 9. Canone alla Terza. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 10. Fughetta. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 11. a Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 12. Canone alla Quarta. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 13. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 14. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 15. Canone alla Quinta. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 16. Ouverture. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 17. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 18. Canone alla Sexta. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 19. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 20. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 21. Canone alla Settima. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 22. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 23. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 24. Canone all'Ottava. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 25. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 26. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 27. Canone alla Nona. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 28. a 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 29. a 1 o vero 2 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Variatio 30. Quodlibet. a 1 Clav.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988: Aria da capo
Toccata in F-Sharp Minor, BWV 910
Musical Offering, BWV 1079: Ricercar a 3
Musical Offering, BWV 1079: Ricercar a 6
Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: I. Prelude
Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: II. Allemande
Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: III. Corrente
Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: IV. Sarabande
Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: V. Minuet I -
Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: V. Minuet II -
Partita No. 1 in B-Flat Major, BWV 825: VI. Gigue
Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: I. Sinfonia
Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: II. Allemande
Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: III. Courante
Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: IV. Sarabande
Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: V. Rondeaux
Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826: VI. Capriccio
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: I. Ouverture
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: II. Allemande
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: III. Courante
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: IV. Aria
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: V. Sarabande
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: VI. Menuet
Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV 828: VII. Gigue

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 music to purify the mind March 5, 2014 By Carol Caldwell-Edmonds (Belvidere Center, VT) See All My Reviews "received this when I subscribed to "Listen"; absolutely love this collection; this quickly became my "music to listen to to clear the mind;" Andrew Rangell invites repeated listens with interpretations that make Bach's music a vehicle to bring order to chaos" Report Abuse
 The perfect gift! January 17, 2014 By Richard C. (Lancaster, PA) See All My Reviews "This CD set was sent as a gift to friends and they LOVED it! On Christmas Day they just sat around and played the discs all day long. I think they liked it!" Report Abuse
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