The endless variety of Bach’s astounding “Goldberg” Variations continues to amaze. The peace of the aria, complexity of the canons, grandeur of the overture, thorniness of the virtuoso variations, intense expressivity of the g minor variations, and humor of the quodlibet give the performer unlimited opportunities for musical creativity. Variation 13, a beautiful “arioso”, is my personal favorite. As in all variation sets, one tends to group variations together. You see this reflected in my use of 19 tracks for the 31 variations (including the aria da capo). Many of the groupings I play attacca, based on rhythmic and motivic relationships. An example of this is the end of Variation 22 going into 23, where a motif is taken up an octave with dramatic results.
Pianist PETER VINOGRADE is known as an outstanding interpreter of J.S. Bach and contemporary composers. He regularly tours the U.S., Canada, and Asia. As a chamber musician, he has appeared at the Caramoor, Mostly Mozart, and Wolftrap Festivals. As a collaborative artist, he toured throughout Asia with violinist Midori, including her Singapore debut. Vinograde's numerous distinctions began with first prize in the 1971 J.S. Bach Int’l Competition, followed by his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall and an N.E.A.-sponsored Alice Tully Hall recital. His primary teacher was Zenon Fishbein. Dr. Vinograde teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, where he created his “Bach for Pianists” class, and at Lehman College (CUNY).
“Instantly impressed as a pianist with a big technique, a lively mind, and a passionate commitment to the music...an excellent recital.” N.Y. Times
Canadian composer ALFRED FISHER (b. 1942) is recognized as an independent voice in the international new music scene. His work evinces a dedication to musical engagement and to values of coherence and personal expression that audiences around the globe have found compelling and accessible. He has been well supported over the years by commissions from the Canada Council, CBC, and other granting agencies. Fisher’s works have been heard in Europe, the UK, the Middle East, Japan, China, Australia, the U.S., and in Canada, performed and recorded by artists he admires and respects. Dr. Fisher is Professor (Emeritus) at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Since I heard Shura Cherkassky’s exquisitely haunting performance in the late 80’s, Mendelssohn’s F# minor Phantasie has had a special place in my musical consciousness (and recital programs). The effortless improvisatory nature of the Con moto agitato leads to a simple statement of the theme, followed by an impressive buildup to the theme’s return, and a final unearthly echo. The Allegro con moto is a short break in the intensity before the delicate, contrapuntal, and dramatic Presto, with its remarkable, swirling coda. P.V.
Last Dance (2001): “My music is invariably narrative. Here, the outer movements are reminiscences; the brooding reminder of mortality hiding within the dreamy landscape of the Renaissance garden; the poignancy of a fondly remembered Marek Jablonsky playing the mazurkas he loved so dearly. And, within the grave border of the outer movements, Arlecchino riots and romps, spinning forth the intervallic gatherings of the gardens and casting them onto the dark mazurka that follows.” A.F.