In March 2020 Lang Lang gave only his second ever live performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations at Leipzig’s historic St Thomas Church where the composer worked and is now buried. “Playing in St Thomas’ Church, where Bach is buried, was unbelievably emotional for me,” recalled the superstar pianist. “I’ve never felt as close to a composer as I did during that recital.”
Lang Lang has realised his lifelong dream by recording Bach’s Goldberg Variations
Lang Lang studied Bach’s iconic composition for 20 years before finally realising his lifelong dream by recording the Goldberg Variations. He has released two complementary performances of the Goldberg Variations: a studio recording and a live performance recorded at St Thomas’ Church in Leipzig. The two recordings can be purchased together as a super deluxe edition, the first simultaneous live and studio album release for the Goldbergs, offering fascinating insights into the art of interpretation.
Bach’s Goldberg Variations is one of the greatest works ever written for the keyboard and demands total spiritual focus from the performer. The collection was first published in 1741 and consists of 30 variations, introduced and concluded by a single ‘aria’.
Lang Lang’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations has received international acclaim since it was released in September. Gramophone described it as “the musical equivalent of a cinematic epic”, ArtsJournal in the United States declared the release “is easily his finest achievement” and, in London, The Times praised Lang Lang as “a mature and individual performer, fully engaged with Bach’s genius”.