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J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations features Bach's popular masterpiece for keyboard, plus Sarabanda con Partite and Aria Variata, performed by Matthew Halls, one of the brightest talents of the UK early music scene.
Matthew Halls has rapidly established himself as a greatly sought-after keyboard player. His energetic and elegant performances are critically acclaimed: 'his inventive and ebullient playing is a delight' (Daily Telegraph). He has gained the reputation as an exciting and innovative keyboard player and conductor through his work with several esteemed ensembles including Retrospect Ensemble for whom he is Artistic Director.
J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations is Matthew Halls' debut solo release on Linn and the second in the much-anticipated Retrospect series. The Goldberg Variations is a work that continues to astound and fascinate both musicians and listeners alike. Considered to be one of the most important examples of the variation form, the artistry and technique the Goldberg Variations demand is met with virtuosic skill and innate musical understanding by Halls.
J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations presents, in addition to the Goldbergs, two earlier works: Sarabande con Partite and Aria Variata. Halls comments: 'I had always wanted to record the Goldbergs alongside two other great variation sets that I enjoy playing in order to show Bach's extraordinary ability to vary a theme seemingly ad infinitum. The other two works are earlier and therefore show the extent to which Bach had become the true master of this composition technique by the time he came to compose the Goldbergs.'
The comprehensive booklet notes offer the reader a unique insight into the performer's perspective discussing each variation and the demands of performing them.
International Record Review
4 stars - 'I am sure it will be getting a lot of play time at my place.' Audiophile Audition
5 stars - 'Halls reveals...needle-sharp precision, stylistic awareness and suitably restrained flamboyance.' The Scotsman
'...the most convincing and most moving I've ever heard.' Dallas Morning News