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.
is a fine pianist, but more importantly for these purposes she is a supremely
gifed accompanist, a stylish and reliable partner enchancing music in which the
violin is the dominant voice (BR147)."
Clarke Bustard, Music Editor
Richmond Tines- Dispatch
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
"It 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
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.
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).
Joanne Kong Brioso CD's, BR133, BR147 and BR150
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