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Reviews

Turn off the cellphone, dim the lights and get a cold drink. Enough chitchat, time for some Bach!

Reviewed by Landscape Windscreen on July 29, 2012

The music is by Kimiko Ishikaza. Her musical adaption of the GBs was financed via Kickstarter and released to the Public Domain.

This pianist's recording is very different from most that I've listened to over the years

"She has the fleet fingers to speed through the virtuoso variations with compelling clarity and the sensitivity to probe the dramatic potential of the slower, more profound numbers, pleasurably aided by her consistently lovely tone."

Robert Schulslaper, Issue 36:1 (Sept/Oct 2012), Fanfare Magazine
 
 
"... there is always a feeling of spontaneity and life in her performances; if anything, one feels that the pianist sees many of these variations almost like Baroque dance movements ..."
 
"Variation 9, the canon at the third, and Variation 13 are both lovely examples of her style with its

Kimiko Ishizakas Aufnahme kann künstlerisch mit den besten Einspielungen auf modernem Konzertflügel mithalten

Reviewed by Sal Pichireddu on July 23, 2012.

"Im Falle der vorliegenden Einspielung von Kimiko Ishizaka handelt es sich aber nicht nur um eine kostenlose, sondern auch um eine künstlerisch äußerst gelungene Einspielung. Wer lediglich die Fassung von Glenn Gould kennt, der wird sich erst einmal bei dieser Einspielung wundern: Kimiko Ishizaka nimmt sich gemeinhin deutlich mehr Zeit als Gould.

Opening up the Goldberg

Reviewed by Christopher Lim in The Business Times, July 20, 2012.

"Most importantly, the playing is excellent. Taken together with its no-cost availability and its reliance on a new freely available score, the Open Goldberg is now the obvious first stop for anyone approaching the Goldberg Variations for the first time."

"The sound quality of the recording is top notch"

"In fact, the album's an audiophile gem."

La idea se llevó a cabo y el resultado es magnífico

Reviewed by Pablo Tornielli, July 18, 2012.

"Kimiko Ishizaka logró una versión que escapa de la crisis entre las interpretaciones historicistas y las versiones virtuosas pero anacrónicas muy comunes en los grandes pianistas formados en el repertorio del siglo XIX, algunos de ellos capaces de interpretar a Bach con rubati propios de Chopin. Ishizaka en este aspecto transita el camino trazado por el gran Glenn Gould. Ofrece su propia lectura de Bach, sobria y sin excesos románticos; una verdadera traducción de Bach al lenguaje pianístico.

Each voice speaks its own truth, and together they blend in contemplation.

Reviewed by Bob Jones, June 9, 2012

Japanese-German pianist Kimiko Ishizaka has punctuated her lifelong career with a unique turn on the redoubtable Goldberg Variations of J. S. Bach.  Teaming up with the versatile and gifted Canadian sound engineer Anne-Marie Sylvestre, she has made this striking recording available to all of us, for free.  The populists among us will loudly cheer the open-source format.  I liked being able to download it, at an average of about 215 kbps, for nothing at all.  But if access to it were the whole story, it would quickly run its course.

Kimiko Ishizaka does a great job to bring Bach's composition to life

Reviewed by Marc-André Laverdière on June 11, 2012

"The 10th variation makes me feel like stopping whatever I am doing and just listen to it. Variation 15 brought me a feeling of melancholy out of the blue. I felt the joy in the start of the 22nd variation and it brought me a smile. Only real music does that to people."

Sit back, and realize how much better this music sounds once you know that you can share it with your friends.

Reviewed by Craig Maloney on May 29, 2012.

"There’s quite a bit of variety in these recordings, but I have to say my favorite is the Kimiko Ishizaka rendition. First, the recording is top-notch. The soundstage for the piano is amazing. Secondly, the performance is anything but rote. There’s a feeling to the playing that just feels quite alive. With some of these previous albums, I felt quite bored midway, but this recording kept my attention throughout, and (dare i say it) I wanted to hear more when the album finished.

Last night when everyone else in the household went to bed, I stayed up to listen to this with a copy of the public domain score (from MuseScore.com) in front of me.

Reviewed by LugerLA, June 2, 2012.

"Looking at the score, one obvious note is the utter absence of dynamics and tempo markings. Which leaves considerable room for interpretation. The range of the 30 variations (plus the base Aria and final Area da Capoe è Fine) allows the pianist to show her range, and Ishizaka provides something to hear. As expected, she does not make the same choices as Gould. And she does not seem to be in as much of a hurry as Gould was. And the recording became a delight as she worked her way through the variation, each with its own feel, even with each repeat."

Ms. Ishizaka has produced a crisp, informed rendition of the Variations.

Reviewed by The Owl Underground, May 31, 2012.

"Her tempi are steady, and her dynamics remain true to the Baroque interpretation of the term. The aria is pensive and quiet, as are some of the less elaborate, slower variations, delicate in places, yet full of depth and expression. The more elaborate, more up-tempo variations have a restrained exuberance, rippling and sparkling like a brook in the midday sun."

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