1981 Digital Recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations!
Glenn Gould was born in Toronto in 1932, and enjoyed a privileged, sheltered upbringing in the quiet Beach neighborhood. His musical gifts became apparent in infancy, and though his parents never pushed him to become a star prodigy, he became a professional concert pianist at age fifteen, and soon gained a national reputation. By his early twenties, he was also earning recognition through radio and television broadcasts, recordings, writings, lectures and compositions.
Early on, Gould's musical proclivities, piano style and independence of mind marked him as a maverick. Favoring structurally intricate music, he disdained the early-Romantic and impressionistic works at the core of the standard piano repertoire, preferring Elizabethan, Baroque, Classical, late-Romantic and early-twentieth-century music; Bach and Schoenberg were central to his aesthetic and repertoire. He was an intellectual performer, with a special gift for clarifying counterpoint and structure, but his playing was also deeply expressive and rhythmically dynamic. He had the technique and tonal palette of a virtuoso, though he upset many pianistic conventions - avoiding the sustaining pedal, using détaché articulation, for example.
Gould's American début, in 1955, and the release, a year later, of his first Columbia recording, of Bach's Goldberg Variations, launched his international concert career. He earned widespread acclaim despite his musical idiosyncrasies.
While Glenn Gould's 1955 debut recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations has attained legendary status, there are many devoted fans who rank the 1981 recording just as highly, even though it offers a dramatically different interpretation. This album was made shortly before the pianist's premature death at age 50, so it is significant for being his last recording; indeed, the opening measures of the Aria are carved on Gould's headstone, in final recognition of the work's importance to him, so these two recordings may be regarded as bookends to the pianist's extraordinary career. Gould's tempos are slower and more measured in the 1981 performance, and the observance of some repeats here also differs from the earlier version. On the whole, the 1981 performance is reflective and carefully considered...
- Numbered, Limited Edition
- Super Audio CD
- SACD Stereo SACD Layer
- This Hybrid SACD contains a 'Red Book' Stereo CD Layer which is playable on most conventional CD Players!
- Hong Kong Import
- Made in the EU
- Total Time: 51'15
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
1-32. Goldberg Variations, BWV 988