And still they come – excuse the cliché – Goldberg Variationsthat is, as surely as spring showers. This time it’s Lang Lang, both in live performance and in the studio. In terms of duration, both versions are interminable and imply that most, if not all, repeats are made. The overall result is rather “Tureckian”, after Rosalind Tureck, high priestess or grande dame of the work, whose marmoreal 1957 EMI recording became both the touchstone of later versions and the over reverential (piano) keyboard equivalent of the St Matthew Passion, for decades.

Lang Lang Goldberg Variations

There’s no dreaded “overarching narrative” here: Both Lang Lang’s versions last more than 90’. Comparisons aren’t that easy: the opening aria of the studio version is more...

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