Februar 05
International Record review
  • CD Variations Goldberg de Bach (Claves Records)
The booklet notes accompanying Cédric Pescia´s solo début disc featuring Bach´s Goldberg Variations extensively quotes the young pianist´s explanations and justifications for his interpretative choices, such as why he elects not to play the repeats and his quest for unity by linking certain variations together.
Certainly a pianist blessed with his genuine musicality, rock-solid technique and beautiful tone (abetted by Claves´s excellent engineering) should feel secure enough to let his interpretation speak for itself. Indeed, much of Pescia´s playing is quite lovely and freshly conceived. He approaches certain sections from an unabashedly pianistic angle, such as the tapered phrasings and dynamic fluctuations in the lyrical variation 13, or the Quodlibet grandiloquently arpeggiated chords. By contrast, the minor key canon at the Fifth and “black pearl” Twenty-fifth Variations provide a rounder, gentler spin upon Gould´s more starkly projected 1982 reference recording. Pescia´s effortless virtuosity shines in the rapid cross-handed variations, if not consistently matching the incisiveness of Perahia´s textural differentiations (nor his imaginative ornament), nor Gould´s mesmerizing rhythm. At the same time, his more measured, softer-edged approach to No. 26´s whirling keyboard deployment pays revealing melodic dividends, as does his attractively varied voicings in Variations 18 and 19.
Among recent “repeat-less” piano Goldberg editions, I lean towards the expressive economy and austere depth distinguishing Peter Serkin´s most recent recording. But all told, Pescia´s Goldberg Variations add up to an impressive début.
Jed Distler