New recordings of Bach’s Goldberg Variationscertainly aren’t a rarity. For instance, we’ve just recently seen Lang Lang’s surprisingly tasteful set, reviewed in Limelight, so what does Kolesnikov do to set himself apart from the (ever-increasing) pack?

Pavel Kolesnikov

He was invited to collaborate with the extraordinary Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker for a performance of the Goldberg Variationsin 2018, and formed much of his conception of the piece in collaboration with her. Consequently, his approach in this recording celebrates the dance-like feeling so inherent to Bach’s music. Their performances together are electrifying (it’s certainly well worth having a look on YouTube to see them perform), but how does Kolesnikov’s performance hold up without De Keersmaeker’s dance?

Playing on a modern Yamaha...