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This new recording of Józef Koffler’s arrangement of J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations has been widely anticipated since Trevor Pinnock conducted the UK premiere at Wigmore Hall in 2019. The Goldberg Variations were still largely unfamiliar to the musical public when Józef Koffler completed his extraordinary arrangement – for flute, oboe, cor anglais, bassoon and strings – in 1938. Sixty years on, the Goldberg Variations are ubiquitous. Bach’s encyclopaedic marvel of digital gymnastics and musical invention is regularly performed and recorded. Koffler’s arrangement cleverly reimagines the work in a naturalistic and compelling way. In its second transatlantic musical collaboration, the Royal Academy of Music is joined by students from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto. The partnership with the Academy has produced five recordings with Trevor Pinnock, one with the late Oliver Knussen and one with Reinhold Friedrich in collaboration with The Juilliard School.
"… beautifully realised by Pinnock and his young players … a revelatory recording of the familiar keyboard work. It is almost impossible to imagine seasoned professionals performing it better."
"A somewhat fanciful recolouring of Bach's ingenious keyboard variations so skilfully and pleasurably done, however, that - ignoring the performance practices we know of today - the outcome is compelling."
"… they play with precision and a fine edge. The Linn label delivers superbly detailed sound … A unique release, fully deserving of thecommercial success it has received"
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist
"A beguiling, kaleidoscopic and intensely personal take on this eternally rewarding sequence."
"Pinnock's affection for the project shies through as does the RAM wind playing."
"… they play with precision and a fine edge. The Linn label delivers superbly detailed sound … A unique release, fully deserving of the commercial success it has received."
"Trevor Pinnock leads a young modern-instrument ensemble here, and the sound is magnificent."
"Linn recordings are highly regarded by those who demand good sound engineering and high sonic qualities, aside from essential artistic integrity. This CD does not disappoint in either category, and excels in the latter. "
"Pinnock, known for his devotion to early music, has turned up a splendid alternative to the composer's original keyboard work that works just about perfectly."
American Record Guide