J. S. Bach: Goldberg Variations
Malcolm Proud – harpsichord
"To record the Goldbergs is not only a technical challenge: the player must also carry the listener through 80 minutes of music of great likeness yet variety. Malcolm Proud succeeds triumphantly on both counts. His account is authoritative rather than idiosyncratic, founded on superb technical control and a sense of every detail's place in the whole. Ornaments and rhythmic placings are subtle, selective and therefore always meaningful. There's a great energy, particularly in the springy bass lines of Variations 1 and 3 or in the sweep of the French Overture; there's a beguiling ease in some of the trickiest movements, e.g. Variation 11. Yet Proud can also smile: Variation 23 captures the almost Lego-like effect of playing with basic musical building-blocks. By the time he reached the closing Quodlibet and reprise of the aria, I was sad that such a performance should be coming to an end. Strongly recommended."