Pavel Kolesnikov Goldberg Variations

Pavel Kolesnikov at the Wigmore Hall with a transcendental account of the Goldberg Variations.
A fascinating and uncontaminated interpretation where he looked at each one as though ‘fresh off the page’ indeed.
Of course all the repeats ,as Andras Schiff says :’who are we mere performers to know better than the composer?’
But there was much originality in the ornamentation that he added.
Each variation a cameo,some more beautiful and less capricious than others but each one had a life of its own
This was in the end the reason why I say this was a young man’s Goldberg because it lacked the continuous rhythmic pulse that must bind them together.An undercurrent like a great torrent on which these marvels must float.

There were some truly amazing feats of transcendental playing but as he struck up the great opening flourish of the 16th French overture his playing seemed to become ever more eccentric with playing of outward virtuosity.The glorious 25th variation was so slow that it lost its inner propulsion and profound meaning.The Quodlibet was suddenly bathed in pedal as it rose from the deep to disappear like the Cathédrale engloutie.
Where the pedal could have been left on for the reappearance of the theme there was infinite silence.
An amazing tour de force by a musician of rare sensibility that could indeed risk the path that we followed in Bari last night.
I hope not because originality and freshness of vision is an artists goal but originality without humility is a gigantic risk and a path of great suffering for the true artist.


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