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Bach: Goldberg Variations

About this Album

The Russian-born violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky, who founded the New European Strings Chamber Orchestra in 1990, has enthusiastically practiced the art of transcription for many years, producing more than 25 new string arrangements of chamber and keyboard works. This is Sitkovetsky’s first project for Nonesuch, a creative adaptation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for strings, cast a fresh light on that formidable monument of keyboard music. The New York Times called it “robust, joyous and full of insight.”

The abundance of superbly-trained string players in Russia, the longstanding Russian tradition of encouraging such ensembles, and Sitkovetsky’s great interest in studying orchestration led him to found the NES Chamber Orchestra, who proved to be ideal interpreters. The New Yorker, in a review of this recording, wrote: “[T]he New European Strings Chamber Orchestra combines interpretive insight with exemplary playing; even suspicious purists will hear contrapuntal felicities that keyboard players can only suggest.”


New European Strings Chamber Orchestra
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, concertmaster
Yoko Fujita, Winfried Grabe, George Liener, first violin
Boris Garlitsky, principal second violin
Joachim Wendel, Mikhail Rappoport, Yuri Zhislin, second violin
Ron Ephrat, principal viola
Valentin Slobodeniuk, Hardy Wenzel, viola
Leo Winland, principal cello
Kati Raitinen, cello
Jorg Linowitzki, bass
Brigette Dent-Engelhard, harpsichord

Produced by Philip Waldway
Recorded October 1993 at Friedrich Ebert Halle, Hamburg, Germany
Engineered by Kees de Visser
Design by John Heiden
Cover photograph by Fred Valentine

Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach; transcribed for String Orchestra by Dmitry Sitkovetsky

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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