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Glenn Gould - Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1981) - Gould Remastered

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Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1981) - Gould Remastered

Glenn Gould

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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, in contrast with the technical brilliance and impulsive energy of the first. Gould's background humming is common to both Goldbergs, and even though the technology existed at the time of this recording to remove it, Gould kept it in, for fear of losing the piano's full sound. This eccentricity may be off-putting to some listeners, but there are so many fine points in Gould's playing that it must be overlooked to appreciate the true value of his playing and his understanding of Bach, which is original by any standard. Columbia's reproduction is crisp and clear, in keeping with Gould's wishes.

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Bach: The Goldberg Variations (1981) - Gould Remastered

Glenn Gould

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Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (Johann Sebastian Bach)

1
Aria : Sarabande (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:03:04

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

2
I. Variation 1 a 1 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:10

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

3
II. Variation 2 a 1 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:49

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

4
III. Variation 3 a 1 Clav. Canone all'Unisuono (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:30

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

5
IV. Variation 4 a 1 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:50

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

6
V. Variation 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:37

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

7
VI. Variation 6 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Seconda (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:40

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

8
VII. Variation 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. Al tempo di giga (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:16

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

9
VIII. Variation 8 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:53

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

10
IX. Variation 9 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Terza (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:59

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

11
X. Variation 10 a 1 Clav. : Fughetta (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:04

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

12
XI. Variation 11 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:53

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

13
XII. Variation 12 : Canone alla Quarta (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:37

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

14
XIII. Variation 13 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:02:38

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

15
XIV. Variation 14 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:04

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

16
XV. Variation 15 a 1 Clav. : Canone alla Quinta, "Andante" (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:05:01

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

17
XVI. Variation 16 a 1 Clav. : Overture (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:38

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

18
XVII. Variation 17 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:54

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

19
XVIII. Variation 18 a 1 Clav. : Canone alla Sesta (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:03

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

20
XIX. Variation 19 a 1 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:02

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

21
XX. Variation 20 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:50

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

22
XXI. Variation 21 : Canone alla Settima (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:02:12

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

23
XXII. Variation 22 a 1 Clav. : Alla breve (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:03

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

24
XXIII. Variation 23 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:57

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

25
XXIV. Variation 24 : Canone all' Ottava a 1 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:44

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

26
XXV. Variation 25 a 2 Clav. : Adagio (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:06:02

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

27
XXVI. Variation 26 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:00:51

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

28
XXVII. Variation 27 a 2 Clav. : Canone alla Nona (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:21

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

29
XXVIII. Variation 28 a 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:03

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

30
XXIX. Variation 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:01

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

31
XXX. Variation 30 a 1 Clav. : Quodlibet (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:01:30

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

32
Aria da capo (Remastered) (Remastered) 00:03:47

Glenn Gould, Piano, Producer - Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer - (Samuel H. Carter, Producer - Stan Tonkel, Recording Engineer - Martin Greenblatt, Recording Engineer - Ray Moore, Recording Engineer - John Johnson, Recording Engineer)

(P) 1982 Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

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, in contrast with the technical brilliance and impulsive energy of the first. Gould's background humming is common to both Goldbergs, and even though the technology existed at the time of this recording to remove it, Gould kept it in, for fear of losing the piano's full sound. This eccentricity may be off-putting to some listeners, but there are so many fine points in Gould's playing that it must be overlooked to appreciate the true value of his playing and his understanding of Bach, which is original by any standard. Columbia's reproduction is crisp and clear, in keeping with Gould's wishes.

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