The Open Goldberg Variations

Bach's Goldberg Variations, played by Kimiko Ishizaka

A very honest and lucid recording which rather showcases the impressive Bösendorfer Imperial 290 CEUS

Review by Andrew Olsen, May 28, 2012.

Ishzaka truly brings the Imperial 290 CEUS to life and gives the piano a voice of its own comparable to a symphony orchestra. From whispering soft pianissimos to thundering fortes, the piano responds perfectly to Ishzaka’s trained hands and is a pleasure to listen to, as well. (I listened to the free version via SoundCloud).

Ishzaka, in my opinion has captured every nuance perfectly – she steers clear of kitsch interpretation and pours her and soul into the music. I think one of the most stunning features of her performance, and which all listeners ought to listen for, is the fact that she allows every note to sing to its heart’s desire – not even one trill or arpeggio comes across as being overly-sentimental, too long or too short – just perfectly placed at the right time and place. Her touch is pleasing to the ear and brings out the perfect balance of technical control, period performance albeit on a modern instrument. One can easily hear that she is at ease with her choice of tempi and she adheres to Bach’s specifications perfectly.

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