as an artist of exceptional versatility, keyboardist Joanne Kong has received
critical praise for her "great finesse and flexibility," (The Washington Post)
"utmost keyboard sensitivity and variety of tone," (Richmond Times-Dispatch )
"remarkable technical ability," (The Oregonian) and "superb artistry." (San Antonio
BR133 is the first-ever recording
of the Goldberg and Diabelli Variations on the harpsichord and piano, performed
by a single artist. The harpsichord used in the recording was built by Eric Herz
of Cambridge, MA, it is modeled after the instruments of the 18th-century German
builder Hieronymous Hass.
With a specialty
in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Dr. Kong has been a featured soloist in
the Los Angeles Bach Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Abbey Bach Festival, Bach
Aria Festival and Institute, Houston Harpsichord Society Recital Series, Texas
Bach Collegium series, and has received critical acclaim for her interpretations
of the Goldberg Variations and Well-Tempered Clavier.
a Beethoven performer she was designated as a Laureate in the 1983 National Beethoven
Foundation Fellowship Auditions, and won the Grand Prize in the International
Piano Recording Competition for a 1985 performance of the Diabelli Variations.
Kong's concertizing as a soloist has included
orchestral performances under William McGlaughlin, Myung-Whun Chung, Alberto Bolet,
Samuel Baron, and George Manahan, and she is in frequent demand as a chamber keyboardist
at concert venues throughout the country, including recent collaborations with
the Shanghai String Quartet, flutist Eugenia Zukerman, and cellist James Wilson.
Her numerous radio broadcasts across the country have included National Public
Radio, WQXR in New York, and WFMT in Chicago.
has instantly become one of my favorite CDs, and I have hundreds, even just of
baroque music....Kong's CD is a masterpiece, and should be bought without hesitation
by all Bach fans."
Dr Barry D. Steben National University of Singapore
"Novel as this double CD may be, the
real distinction of these recordings is their performances. Her Bach is unusually
lyrical, while it adheres to standard Baroque performance practices. The "Diabelli"
disc is more than a bonus. Kong's songful, soulful and sensitively dynamic treatment
ranks at or (usually) above the levels of the dozen-odd other recordings of the
piece that I've heard."
takes an artist with a great deal of self-confidence, not to mention talent, to
undertake recording another version of Bach's Goldberg Variations. Joanna Kong's
recording of the work on harpsichrd helps to give it a more historically accurate
perspective, and her ability at the keyboard offers reason for contemplating its
addition to your collection....Ms. Kong demonstrates enormous improvisational
ability in rendering these variations....The subtle wit, charm, and inventiveness
she brings to this work allow it to move beyond their status as mere lullabies
and into the realm of pleasurable musical interludes to be savored over and over....If
you're looking for an alternative to the Gould recordings, this one should head
toward the top of your audition list."
Novel as this double CD may be, the real distinction of these recordings
is their performances. Her Bach is unusually lyrical, while it adheres to standard
Baroque performance practices. The Diabelli disc is more than a bonus.
Kongs songful, soulful and sensitively dynamic treatment ranks at or (usually)
above the levels of the dozen-odd other recordings of the piece that I've heard.
Clarke Bustard, Music Editor
if you want to try harpsichord renditions [of the Goldberg Variations] you might
be better off trying Pierre Hantai (the bubbliest and liveliest), Gustav Leonhardt
(the most scholarly), or Joanne Kong (the best sounding/most natural recording
and the most lovingly played). Francisco Carvallao
Joanne Kong Brioso CD's, BR147 and BR150
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