Following on from the worldwide success of his Goldberg Variations album, Lang Lang now releases a series of new recordings as part of the Goldberg Variations Extended Deluxe Edition on 12 February 2021. These are some of the works in which the pianist immersed himself during his intensive study of J.S. Bach’s Baroque masterpiece.
“The more time I spent with the Goldberg Variations, the more I wanted to know about Bach, his contemporaries and the composers he later inspired,” explains Lang Lang. “Each of the new pieces I’ve recorded for this project have added to my understanding of his music.”
The Goldberg Variations Extended Edition includes no fewer than seven bonus tracks. First among them are the exquisite “Bist du bei mir”, an aria by Bach’s slightly younger contemporary Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel which appears in transcription in the Anna Magdalena Notebook, and an arrangement of the Sinfonia from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Listeners will also be able to enjoy Wilhelm Kempff’s sublime transcription for solo piano of the Siciliano from Bach’s Second Flute Sonata and the Andante from Bach’s Italian Concerto. In addition, Lang Lang has chosen the Arabesque by Schumann, who looked to his predecessors for inspiration and saw Bach’s music as the purest source of strength for a renewal of the art form. Finally, the new edition features a contemplative arrangement of “Sheep may safely graze”, which Lang Lang has recorded with his wife, the German-Korean pianist Gina Alice, and the Andante from Johann Gottlieb Goldberg’s Sonata in D major – a reflection of the fact that during his long years of exploring Bach’s monumental keyboard work, Lang Lang also studied the surviving music of the talented young harpsichordist and composer who lent the work its name.
This digital project is a companion to the album released in September 2020 featuring Lang Lang’s studio and live recordings of the Goldberg Variations. The new Extended Edition will be accompanied by filmed performances of each work, as well as further videos in which the pianist discusses aspects of his interpretations.
The Goldberg Variations Extended Edition is released today, 12 February 2021.