J​.​S. Bach / Karlheinz Essl: Gold​.​Berg​.​Werk

by Xenia Pestova Bennett & Ed Bennett

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about

Ergodos is proud to release "Gold.Berg.Werk", a radical re-interpretation of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Austrian composer Karlheinz Essl, performed by pianist Xenia Pestova Bennett, with live electronic diffusion by Ed Bennett. The Goldberg Variations form a cornerstone of keyboard repertoire, yet we rarely question the mode of presentation for this work. Here, Essl offers a refreshing glimpse of a new performance practice: gorgeous time-stretched harmonies are manipulated in real time and played back through spatialised loudspeakers in between the piano variations, bringing together Baroque and contemporary sound worlds.

Pianist Xenia Pestova Bennett reflects on her engagement with this transformative project: “The very idea of tackling the Goldberg Variations, places an enormous psychological “weight” of tradition on any keyboard player brave or foolish enough to do so. However, rather than presenting this work as a fixed artefact behind dusty museum glass, or trying to match existing interpretations, I find that it helps to view it as a living and evolving organism. Karlheinz Essl’s "Gold.Berg.Werk" (“gold mine work”), a new piece in its own right, takes Bach’s music as a point of departure and offers a fresh perspective.”

An additional binaural version of the album is available to download as a bonus item.

credits

released November 12, 2021

Xenia Pestova Bennett, piano
Ed Bennett, live electronic spatialisation

Produced by Ed Bennett, Michael Keeney, and Xenia Pestova Bennett
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Michael Keeney
Additional engineering by Kris Stronge
Binaural rendering by Karlheinz Essl (Vienna), August 2021

Artwork by Damian Wojcik (Diptych Window)
Design by Benedict Schlepper-Connolly

Recorded at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast, September 2020
Steinway D piano provided by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

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Ergodos Dublin, Ireland

Ergodos is a record label based in Dublin, Ireland. info@ergodos.ie

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