Concert Review: Bach's Golderg Variations

Harpsichordist David Shemer at St. Andrew's Church in Jerusalem.

By URI EPSTEIN
August 26, 2008 09:57
Concert Review: Bach's Golderg Variations

bach goldberg score 88. (photo credit: )

Bach's 'Goldberg Variations' David Shemer - harpsichord St. Andrew's Church August 23 Harpsichordist David Shemer presented Bach's Goldberg Variations, an extremely demanding work that is a veritable tour de force for any harpsichordist or pianist. Shemer rendered an exceptionally well-rehearsed, conscientious, somewhat academic and serious performance. Occasionally slightly too serious, in fact. After starting with an appealingly slow tempo, tastefully savoring each phrase and note, he then settled into a brisker speed that sometimes blurred the transparency and clarity required in the faster passages. This tempo was adhered to for most of the performance, thus avoiding flexibility in the spirit of jeu inégal that was customary at the time and that might have injected some more liveliness and joy into the playing. Glenn-Gould-like temperamental nuances were equally avoided to emphasize the importance of being earnest. The performance was a thoroughly respectable, highly professional and intellectual achievement.


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