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Thursday, February 26, 2015

CD Review: Carsten Dahl - Bach Goldberg Variations

Carsten Dahl (prepared piano).
(Review by Lance).
"What?" I hear you ask, "Is a 'prepared piano'?). To quote from the blurb:“Bach Goldberg Variations“ was recorded on a prepared piano, giving it its unique sound. Carsten Dahl placed snare wires on the piano wires to create a distorted sound that’s like a cross between a harpsichord, a sitar, a classical piano, an upright piano, a guitar and a banjo.
Carsten also has this to say: “The reason I flung myself into Bach’s work is partly because it’s the ultimate test of “manhood” for a pianist and partly because I wanted to bring out a side of Bach that you don’t often hear. In my opinion, Bach isn’t music for the posh, it’s music for the masses. So my interpretation grates on the ear and stinks of smelly feet when you hear it. I pull Bach down to the people, rather than letting him waft about on some highbrow cloud."
The album, which was Denmark's top selling classical album of 2014 also charted in the top 30 pop albums.
What do I think? An interesting experiment, although personally I'd sooner hear it played on a piano that didn't have snare wires across the strings!
Dahl is a fine pianist both classical and jazz although there's none of the latter genre here unless you class the snare wires as a form of improvisation.
The album is available on vinyl for a fiver or on CD for 3GBP from your nearest Tiger store which where I live is probably Edinburgh or the Faroe Islands it can also be downloaded from www.tiger-music.com/carstendahl.com.
Lance.

5 comments :

Patti D. said...

Hmmm - as you say Lance, an interesting experiment ..... Bach's music is so often interpreted in different styles. I can remember liking the Jacques Loussier Play Bach albums when I was an impressionable 15 year old .....

Lance said...

Yes Patti, I almost started smoking cigars after Loussier's version of Air on a G String was used in the Hamlet advert!

Anonymous said...

Well, Carsten Dahls version of Goldberg is a fake! He simply picked up the midi files from Open Goldberg - and he never would be able to survive playing even one of the variations...check the michinegun thrills...actually one of the biggest not yet discovered classical music recording scandals i modern time!

Lance said...

I wish you'd been more open rather than using the anonymous button. More credibility with a name. If you care to email me privately, and confidentially, I'd be interested to hear from you.

forza said...

To the Anonymous

What a terrible thing to write and absolutely not true. I worked for ten years non stop to be able to play these variations in these tempi. There was never any midi files used on this recording but I did work on the diffrent voices very freely and rerecorded again and again also using cuts and editing. You are - an angry pissed off jalous idiot trying to destroy my work and reputation. Shame on you.

Carsten Dahl

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