An excellent set
I think this is an excellent set. Its centrepiece is the Goldberg variations; there are a lot of truly great recordings of the Goldbergs now, but for me this is among them.
Since he made this in 2009, Matthew Halls has rightly achieved international recognition as an instrumentalist and as director of the Retrospect Ensemble. You can see why here. He brings real thought and sensibility to the Goldberg Variations, as well as immaculate technique. The Aria is beautifully judged, the dances really dance, Variation 15 has that wonderful sense of searching and mystery, Variation 29 is stately and powerful without the crashing clunkiness of some recordings, and so on. The whole thing is an absolute pleasure, as are the Aria Variata and the Sarabanda con Partita.
The overall sound is just fabulous. Halls plays a beautiful sounding instrument, from which he brings the full, rich resonance and Linn, as always, capture it superbly in the recording. With intelligent, thoughtful and readable notes and very attractive presentation, this is a really fine set all round and very warmly recommended.