Classical CD Reviews

“The Art of Instrumentation: Homage to Glenn Gould” – Kremerata Baltica/ Gidon Kremer, violin & leader – Nonesuch

Pieces for chamber ensembles inspired by Glenn Gould's recordings of Bach.

Published on January 20, 2013

“The Art of Instrumentation: Homage to Glenn Gould” [TrackList follows] Kremerata Baltica/ Gidon Kremer, violin & leader – Nonesuch 528982-2 *****:

Kremer says in his note booklet that the idea for this project came from producer Robert Hurwitz, who also contributes an essay in the booklet on his meetings with Glenn Gould. He suggested that Kremer arrange and play some of the Bach-centered works Gould had created for strings. It sent Kremer off on an effort to get a variety of composers to submit short works patterned after Bach, and in fact Kremer’s festival Chamber Music Connects the World commissioned ten of the 11 works here.

There are none entirely by Gould, but the last track does include a short excerpt from Gould’s 1981 recording of the Goldberg Variations.  All the works are inspired by or incorporate Bach works which Gould had recorded during his lifetime.  No. 10 includes two intermezzi by Schoenberg which Gould also recorded.  Kremer saw the project as a sort of bridge to Bach, and in fact the piece submitted by the famed composer Giya Kancheli, heard here, is Bridges to Bach.  Some of the pieces include instruments such as marimba and vibes into the usual strings, and two use percussion.

The works are all interesting and enjoyable, and of course both the performances and sonics are on the very highest level.

TrackList:

1. Dedication to J.S.B. – By Valentin Silvestrov
2. Aria from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – By Georgs Pelecis
3. Prelude and Fugue in D minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 851 – By Alexander Raskatov
4. Three Voice Invention in F minor, BWV 795 – By Alexander Wustin
5. Slow Movement from Cembalo Concerto in F minor, BWV 1056 – By Carl Vine
6. Prelude and Fugue in A minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 889 – By Raminta Serksnyte
7. Bridges to Bach – By Giya Kancheli
8. Sarabande in E minor from Partita No. 6, BWV 830 – By Leonid Desyatnikov
9. Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 883 – By Victoria Vita Poleva
10. After Gould: Goldberg Variations Nos. 30, 19, 4, 18, 22, 26 and Intermezzi from Arnold Schönberg’s O – By Stevan Kovacs Tickmayer
11. Aria from Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – By Victor Kissine

 —John Sunier

 

 




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