Thursday, May 10

GPB strives to be your source for both great music and NPR News. Now, in general that's great. But the dual mission does make for the occasional constraint. Bach's Goldberg Variations, for example, are too long to fit tidily between hourly newscasts. Today I plead guilty to cutting several variations from the middle so as to squeeze the rest of Bach's masterpiece into one hour. In exchange for those omissions, I'm tacking on two short pieecs that take off from there: a Goldberg-based piano improv, and a Goldberg-based rag. It's not a tradeoff that will win any "historically informed broadcast" awards, but that's just the price we pay for trying to do it all.

(In defense of tampering with Bach, though, I should point out that Glenn Gould - the Canadian pianist whose records turned the Goldberg Variations into a classical cult hit - made judicious cuts of his own. Compare: Whereas Murray Perahia's recording of the piece totals over 73 minutes, Glenn Gould clocked in once at 51 minutes, another time at a mere 38. Gould's tempos are idiosyncratic but not that idiosyncratic!)

11 AM

  • Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988. Murray Perahia (Sony 89243)
  • Montero: Improvisation on the Theme from Bach's Goldberg Variations. Gabriela Montero (EMI 58039)
  • Gladd: The Red Bach Book: The Goldberg Rag. Orlandi, Mazzonetto, Bosio (Naxos 8.577999)
12 N
  • Tchaikovsky: Pezzo Capriccioso. Sol Gabetta, Munich Orch, Rasilainen (RCA 82878 75912)
  • Feuillet: Chaconne. Andrew Lawrence-King (Harmonia Mundi 907335)
  • Holst: Brook Green Suite. English Sinfonia, Griffiths
  • Saint-Saens: Cello Concerto No. 1. Sol Gabetta, Munich Orch, Rasilainen (RCA 82876 75912)
  • Ives: Variations on "America." Simon Preston (Argo 421 731)
1 PM
  • Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Laubin brothers, Preston (DG 419 245)
  • Rota: Godfather Suite. La Scala Phil, Muti (Sony 63359)
  • Reinecke: Violin Concerto in G minor. Ingolf Turban, Bern Sym, Moesus (CPO 777 105)