The Strad's experts evaluate the latest string recordings
Bach: Goldberg Variations BWV988 (arr. Giuranna)
Tuesday, 02 February 2010
THE STRAD RECOMMENDS
Bach (arr. Giuranna)
Velut Luna CVLD 170
This lovely, eminently listenable live recording serves to introduce an outstanding young Italian string trio consisting of the siblings Barbara, Giada and Klaus Broz. In their naturalness, unobtrusive virtuosity and close ensemble they remind me of the original line-up of the Leopold Trio.
It is 23 years since Dmitri Sitkovetsky published his version of the Goldberg Variations for this instrumentation and recorded it with Gérard Caussé and Mischa Maisky. Bruno Giuranna tells me that he started modifying that version but soon found he was making a new one – the score can be downloaded free from his website (www.giuranna.com).
I find the result more convincing than the Sitkovetsky, although some parts are inevitably almost identical. Var.19 is played in pizzicato and, where four voices are involved, Giuranna resorts to double-stops on violin and viola. In var.23 the violin has scales in thirds and sixths.
The playing is so good, so unified and so consistently beautiful in tone, that it is amazing to realise we are listening to a concert performance. The initial statement of the theme is just a little stiff to start with, but the players soon relax. The recording quality is as sympathetic as the musicianship.
From the February 2010 issue. Subscribe to The Strad or download our digital edition as part of a 30-day free trial.