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Goldberg Variations / Variations

Dan Tepfer & Johann Sebastian Bach

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Customer Reviews

Brilliant, but stop humming, Dan!

This is a fine album by a young talent who interweaves the various Goldberg variations with his own improvisations. Thus, if you love Bach and modern jazz, you will most likely appreciate this album. BUT, Tepfer has developed the Keith Jarrett syndrome, i.e., he hums along, badly, to his own improviisations (not, thank God, to Bach's). This explains my 3-star rating as I find it detracts from my appreciation of his virtuosity.

Not sure what to make of it.

To the last reviewer, I think his humming is a nod to Gould's contribution. His playing of the written theme and variations is a bit odd, it shoulds as if he's trying to stop himself from swinging though it. He rushes, slows down, makes courious turns of phrases, but otherwise navigates Bach's masterpiece fairly well. The improvised parts are an interesting touch alough it sounds as if he went though a Brad Mehldau marathon before he did the imporvs. It sounds very much influenced by his playing. It would have been nicer to hear it changed up used though his own voice. I'm still mulling over whether or not I still like it. It's interesting I'll grant you that. If you already have a copy of the Goldberg, and are feeling adventerous, there isn't really enough to tell you not to get it, just be prepared for the strange ride that it is. -Bz

Not Your Father’s Glenn Gould

Mr. Tepfer is quite clearly an incredibly skilled pianist. But what he is not, is Glenn Gould. Someone really needs to let him know. Because I don’t think he does. Take the Aria da Capo, for example. This was so obviously not a personal interpretation, but merely a stylized reproduction of the da Capo of the 1981 Gould. It’s remarkable how close the imitation is. One might not realize one is not listening to Gould, at first. But fear not, because the occasional jarring belch of contemporary chords will stab you in the ears and force you back to present day.

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