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Blandine Rannou - Johann Sebastian Bach : Variations Goldberg

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Johann Sebastian Bach : Variations Goldberg

Blandine Rannou

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The novelty contained in this recording goes a good deal deeper than the wacky graphics that seem to have become the norm for French Baroque music releases. French harpsichordist Blandine Rannou, playing a 1988 replica of a powerful Ruckers instrument, puts to rest, perhaps permanently, the idea that harpsichord interpretations of the towering Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, are inherently less dramatic, irregular, and expressive than those played on a modern piano. From the beginning Rannou's performance is unexpected, with the opening aria clocking in at amost seven minutes. It is as if Rannou wanted to open up a huge musical space that could contain the musical experiments on which she is about to embark. And they come fast and furious. Rannou adds heavy ornaments, uses lots of rubato all the way through, and follows one variation with another without pause, except for a few full stops. Dramatic contrasts are the order of the day. There are other very slow variations (the Adagio variation 25 gets nearly ten minutes to unfold its mysteries), but Rannou only rarely resorts to blinding speed, as opposed to ornamentational density. Instead she uses the space to shape each individual variation into a series of quasi-fantastic effects, linking the work to Bach's mighty works in semi-improvisational traditions. This is an unusual way, in the extreme, of hearing the Goldberg Variations. It pretty much disregards the work's elaborate tripartite architecture of melodic, virtuoso, and contrapuntal variations, and it requires disbelief in the (probably untrue) origin story of the variations as written for a Count Goldberg who wanted music to drift off to sleep by. For Rannou, the Goldberg Variations are a supremely public work. Not everyone will love this, but it demands to be heard, and Rannou is supported by superb sound from the Zig Zag Territoires label.

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Johann Sebastian Bach : Variations Goldberg

Blandine Rannou

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DISC 1

1
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: I. Aria 00:06:54

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

2
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: II. Variation 1 à 1 clavier 00:01:58

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

3
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: III. Variation 2 à 1 clavier 00:01:26

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

4
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: IV. Variation 3 à 1 clavier, Canone all'unisuono 00:02:22

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

5
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: V. Variation 4 à 1 clavier 00:01:07

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

6
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: VI. Variation 5 à 1 ovvero 2 claviers 00:01:51

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

7
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: VII. Variation 6 à 1 clavier, Canone alla seconda 00:01:05

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

8
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: VIII. Variation 7 à 1 ovvero 2 claviers, Al tempo di giga 00:01:46

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

9
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: IX. Variation 8 à 2 claviers 00:02:16

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

10
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: X. Variation 9 à 1 clavier, Canone alla terza 00:02:43

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

11
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XI. Variation 10 à 1 clavier, Fughetta 00:01:33

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

12
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XII. Variation 11 à 2 claviers 00:02:05

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

13
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XIII. Variation 12, Canone alla quarta 00:03:03

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

14
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XIV. Variation 13 à 2 claviers 00:06:47

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

15
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XV. Variation 14 à 2 claviers 00:01:56

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

16
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XVI. Variation 15 à 1 clavier, Canone alla quinta 00:05:44

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

DISC 2

1
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XVII. Variation 16 à 1 clavier, Ouverture 00:03:05

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

2
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XVIII. Variation 17 à 2 claviers 00:02:23

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

3
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XIX. Variation 18 à 1 clavier, Canone alla sesta 00:01:23

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

4
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XX. Variation 19 à 1 clavier 00:01:07

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

5
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXI. Variation 20 à 2 claviers 00:02:17

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

6
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXII. Variation 21, Canone alla settima 00:04:15

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

7
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXIII. Variation 22 à 1 clavier, Alla breve 00:01:20

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

8
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXIV. Variation 23 à 2 claviers 00:02:08

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

9
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXV. Variation 24 à 1 clavier, Canone all'ottava 00:02:53

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

10
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXVI. Variation 25 à 2 claviers, Adagio 00:09:38

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

11
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXVII. Variation 26 à 2 claviers 00:02:18

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

12
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXVIII. Variation 27 à 2 claviers, Canone alla nona 00:01:51

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

13
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXIX. Variation 28 à 2 claviers 00:02:43

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

14
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXX. Variation 29 à 1 ovvero 2 claviers 00:02:18

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

15
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXXI. Variation 30 à 1 clavier, Quodlibet 00:01:52

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

16
Variations Goldberg, BWV 988: XXXII. Aria 00:03:22

Blandine Rannou, Performer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer

2010 Zig-Zag Territoires

Album Description

The novelty contained in this recording goes a good deal deeper than the wacky graphics that seem to have become the norm for French Baroque music releases. French harpsichordist Blandine Rannou, playing a 1988 replica of a powerful Ruckers instrument, puts to rest, perhaps permanently, the idea that harpsichord interpretations of the towering Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, are inherently less dramatic, irregular, and expressive than those played on a modern piano. From the beginning Rannou's performance is unexpected, with the opening aria clocking in at amost seven minutes. It is as if Rannou wanted to open up a huge musical space that could contain the musical experiments on which she is about to embark. And they come fast and furious. Rannou adds heavy ornaments, uses lots of rubato all the way through, and follows one variation with another without pause, except for a few full stops. Dramatic contrasts are the order of the day. There are other very slow variations (the Adagio variation 25 gets nearly ten minutes to unfold its mysteries), but Rannou only rarely resorts to blinding speed, as opposed to ornamentational density. Instead she uses the space to shape each individual variation into a series of quasi-fantastic effects, linking the work to Bach's mighty works in semi-improvisational traditions. This is an unusual way, in the extreme, of hearing the Goldberg Variations. It pretty much disregards the work's elaborate tripartite architecture of melodic, virtuoso, and contrapuntal variations, and it requires disbelief in the (probably untrue) origin story of the variations as written for a Count Goldberg who wanted music to drift off to sleep by. For Rannou, the Goldberg Variations are a supremely public work. Not everyone will love this, but it demands to be heard, and Rannou is supported by superb sound from the Zig Zag Territoires label.

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