Another new Goldbergs set, from another young pianist? Yes, and a really remarkable one too. Her interpretation of the familiar work is fresh, fun, and reflective in turn.
For her second Warner Classics release, young Italian pianist Beatrice Rana turns to a pinnacle of the solo keyboard repertoire and a composer she has described as “my first love”: Johann Sebastian Bach.
Her interpretation of his epic Goldberg Variations bears out Le Monde’s judgement that “Beatrice Rana certainly has nothing left to prove when it comes to technique, but what makes an impression are her calm maturity and her sense of architecture,” and Gramophone’s that she is “a fully developed artist of a stature that belies her tender years.” Bach was the composer who most obsessed Beatrice Rana as a child, and in a recent interview with Pianist magazine, she confessed that it would be his music, and above all the Goldberg Variations, that she would choose if she had to devote her life to a single composer. As she said: “I’m very happy to be going back to Bach … It’s best to avoid Bach in competitions … you can’t expose yourself to be totally killed by the jury! But Bach is my first love; now I am allowed to play it in public and I’m really looking forward to that.”
This is a remarkable document for so young a pianist. Her detailing is one of the aspects that makes this performance so compelling. She takes her time in the opening, before we're thrust suddenly into a new world with Variation 1, a world full of bubbling energy and sunlight. Dynamics are used to reinforce the drama, and her use of ornaments is also wonderfully fresh.