To mark the 336th birthday of one of the greatest composers of Western music — Johann Sebastian Bach, born 31 March 1685 — Universal Music and Classics Direct release the 19th episode of Graham Abbott’s classical music education podcast Classics Unlocked.
The new episode explores one of the mightiest works for the keyboard: Bach’s Goldberg Variations, BWV 988. Today, it stands alongside the St Matthew Passion, the Mass in B minor, The Art of Fugue and the Musical Offering as an eternal musical monument. To illustrate his talk, Graham calls on the recent Deutsche Grammophon recording by Chinese superstar pianist Lang Lang, who’s dual-recording (studio & live) has been hailed by Gramophone magazine as the ‘musical equivalent of a cinematic epic’.
Other recordings referenced by Graham Abbott in this episode on the Goldberg Variations include George Malcolm’s historic recording from 1961, a string trio version featuring Julian Rachlin, Nobuko Imai and Mischa Maisky, and a solo version for harp with Catrin Finch.