The Open Goldberg Variations

Bach's Goldberg Variations, played by Kimiko Ishizaka

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. I salute her pledge to Digital Independence and have promised myself that I will cough up at least 50 quid for her next project, whatever that may be (even if it shoudl be, haevens forbid, an adaptation of Wagner Ouvertures for piano). Such DIY punk ethics must be supported in days when the music industry has no flipping clue what is going on ! The music industry is changing fast, but this is still proof that you can be “indie” and gain media attention and be credible as an artist at the same time and you pay for something you reallyreallyreally want to see happen. Please cough up a few quid if you can to support her. Google Open Goldberg Project and you will know more.

I for one think her recording is bloody brilliant. Clear, precise, not too fast, no decorations needed or pianistic tricks required but still unique. Dare I say this will hold up with reference recordings of artists like Gould or Tureck ? Yep, I do ! I am going to commit Blashpemy now and say that if I had to choose between Glenn Gould's recording of the Goldbergs from 1982 and the Open Goldbergs I would probably choose the latter. I like the vibe coming from Mrs Ishikaza's Bach somehow more than Gould bragging about how slow HE could suddenly play Bach…..

The Open Goldberg Variations are available for download as MP3 and WAV from Kimiko Ishizaka's music site.