Dmitry Sitkovetsky: Bach, Goldberg-VariationsTime and again arrangements of the old masterpieces, prepared by acknowledged giants of the concert platform, make it to the second round, sometimes with completely new interpreters, sometimes only partially recast and, on other occasions, as revivals by tried and tested ensembles. Then the first recording of an arrangement suddenly acquires the status of an original, setting the standard by which its successor is judged. It was in this spirit that Dmitry Sitkovetsky recorded his own arrangement of the Goldberg Variations for string trio with Gérard Caussé and Mischa Maisky for Orfeo (C 138 851 A). In every respect this was an exemplary interpretation. Although issued to mark the tercentenary of Bach’s birth in 1985, the recording was made in digital sound. The sense of creative responsibility towards Bach’s original that had earlier been evinced by composers such as Busoni and Reger was shared by Sitkovetsky
Foto: Archiv Orfeo Internationaland his fellow artists, encouraging them to strive for clarity and ensure that in the part-writing all the voices are treated as equals. The many positive reviews of the recording repeatedly stressed that violin, viola and cello all sound like different registers of a single instrument, with the advantage over the original harpsichord or piano that in the canons each voice can be clearly heard as a result of the tone colour of the different instruments. The fact that the recording was deliberately dedicated to the memory of Glenn Gould underscores not only the pure beauty of the performers’ sound but also the dynamic and agogic subtleties that they bring to the piece. As so often, the simple maxim is true: Bach’s Goldberg Variations can of course be realized in other ways, but it is hard to imagine a better performance of Sitkovetsky’s transcription for string trio than that of Dmitry Sitkovetsky himself in partnership with Gérard Caussé and Mischa Maisky.
Chormusik & Oratorien
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Symphonie & Konzert