In the Goldberg Variations Bach answered a modest request – reputedly from an aristocratic patron who wanted music that was ‘soft and somewhat lively’ as a distraction from insomnia – with a work of immense scale and ambition, a great musical journey that traverses a dazzling kaleidoscope of musical styles.
The music’s wit and virtuosity is matched by the exquisite contrapuntal tracery of the canons that form the work’s backbone, and by the tragic grandeur of the minor-key variations, which contain some of the most poignant music Bach ever wrote; the homecoming, as Bach ends by returning to the opening Aria, is one of the most moving passages in all music. Peter Hill here continues his acclaimed series of Bach recordings with a searchingly imaginative performance, capturing the music’s zest and its depth of feeling in a reading that is as profoundly poetic as it is beautifully coloured.
Hill’s 6th recording for Delphian, captures the artist at the very height of his powers.
"He addresses that Everest on the landscape of Bach’s keyboard writing, and with characteristically unshowy yet compelling results. He’s up against stiff opposition of course…But there’s an honesty and intelligence that earns him a place at the top table if not quite at its head. He’s pondered the piece long and hard…overall Hill charts a pre-eminently lucid and illuminating course."
Number of discs: 1
First UK release date: May 18, 2018
Album ID: DCD34200
Recorded: 6-8 November 2017
Recording Venue: University Concert Hall, Cardiff, United Kingdom