As one of the house artists of Brilliant Classics, having an association with the label which stretches back over two decades and countless recordings, Pieter-Jan Belder has the luxury here of presenting his third recording of the apex of Baroque keyboard music, the endlessly absorbing Goldberg Variations. It also marks the start of a project to record the entire harpsichord oeuvre of J.S. Bach, mixing older recordings with new ones such as this. ‘I always dream that I can do better,’ says Belder. ‘I suppose this dream will never end because there will always be something to be improved. I promise though, this will be my last recording of the piece!’
Belder is not short of critical acclaim for previous Bach recordings, many of which are contained within the present incarnation of the label’s complete Bach box (BC94940). According to one reviewer of his previous recording (on BC92284) he is ‘an apostle of mainstream common sense and sanity in Bach interpretation… playing intelligibly and expressively so consistently and so well, alternating sorrowful intensity, tenderness, wit and virtuoso dash as required.’
Belder also contributes his own, lively but scholarly booklet note. Although the old story of Bach composing these variations for Count Kaiserling and his young music-servant Goldberg has often been dismissed as apocryphal, Belder gives it credence. He also points out how the cycle of variations was designed by the composer as the apex of his output for the instrument, with as much educational as expressive purpose. Most recently he has released eight CDs dedicated to the works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. He is also working on a complete recording of the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, a double album with ostinato compositions of various composers and C.P.E. Bach's Violin Sonatas with violinist Rie Kimura.
Bach’s Goldberg Variations are the touching stone of a musician’s stature, and no wonder that award-winning Dutch harpsichordist Pieter-Jan Belder considers it a necessary and rewarding task to record it again (having recorded it already 15 years ago), his immense experience and increased knowledge finding new hidden secrets and treasures in this iconic work.
The personal booklet notes by Pieter-Jan Belder show his great insight, knowledge and love for this work, which has been on his music stand for over 30 years.
Belder is one of the world’s foremost keyboard players, with an astonishing number of CD’s to his name: the complete Scarlatti Sonatas, Bach keyboard works, Rameau, Soler, Duphly, Marais, CPE Bach, Corelli, Purcell, Telemann, the complete Fitzwilliam Virginal Book..to be continued…