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1955 Goldberg Variations - Birth of a Legend / Glenn Gould


Release Date: 11/15/2005 
Label:  Sony Classical Masterworks Catalog #: 74651   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Glenn Gould
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Mono 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

One is either a great fan of Glenn Gould, or not much of a fan at all. But the Canadian pianist’s insights can be so valuable that even if one belongs to the latter category, one puts up with the idiosyncrasies. This is the recording with which Gould made his debut in 1955. Where Schiff takes more than 72 minutes with the music, and Koopman more than 62, Gould gets through it in an astounding 38:25. The fast tempos are breathless, but clearly negotiated. Gould does not bother with the repeats. In the end, in spite of its dryness, his is a Romantic view of the Goldberg Variations. It is instinctive, “pianistic,” a communion of a very subjective sort – and valuable for that. The recording is close-miked, and one gets plenty of noise from Read more Gould himself. There is also heavy tape hiss, but the piano tone is decent. A few tuning anomalies, presumably resulting from fluctuations in tape speed, are noticeable but not disfiguring. The notes are by Gould himself, and they are interesting even if the style is inflated. – Ted Libbey, author of The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection, reviewing the previous issue of this recording on CBS catalog 38479. Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Glenn Gould (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1741-1742; Nuremberg, Germany 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, 
Length: 38 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, New York (06/10/1955 - 06/16/1955)
Composition written: Nuremberg, Germany (1741 - 1742). 
2.
Three-Part Invention no 9 in F minor, BWV 795 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Glenn Gould (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, New York (06/06/1955 - 06/09/1955) 
3.
Three-Part Invention no 8 in F major, BWV 794 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Glenn Gould (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, 
Length: 2 Minutes 13 Secs. 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, New York (06/06/1955 - 06/09/1955) 
4.
Three-Part Invention no 15 in B minor, BWV 801 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Glenn Gould (Piano)
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1723; Cöthen, Germany 
Venue:  Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, 
Length: 5 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studios, New York, New York (06/06/1955 - 06/09/1955) 

Sound Samples

Aria (1955 Version)
Variation 1 a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 2 a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 3 a 1 Clav. Canone all' Unisuono (1955 Version)
Variation 4 a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 6 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Seconda (1955 Version)
Variation 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 8 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 9 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Terza (1955 Version)
Variation 10 a 1 Clav. Fughetta (1955 Version)
Variation 11 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 12 Canone alla Quarta (1955 Version)
Variation 13 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 14 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 15 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quinta. Andante (1955 Version)
Variation 16 Ouverture a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 17 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 18 - Canone alla Sesta a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 19 a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 20 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 21 Canone alla Settima (1955 Version)
Variation 22 Alla breve a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 23 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 24 Canone all' Ottava a 1 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 25 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 26 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 27 Canone alla Nona (1955 Version)
Variation 28 a 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav. (1955 Version)
Variation 30 a 1 Clav. Quodlibet (1955 Version)
Aria da capo (1955 Version)
Studio Outakes from the 1955 Goldberg Variations
Additional Studio Outtakes from the 1955 Goldberg Variations (excerpts from variations 5, 6, 9, 11 & 23)
Sinfonia No. 9 in F Minor, BWV 795 (Unedited Studio Session Takes from June 8, 1955)
Sinfonia No. 8 in F, BWV 794 (Unedited Studio Session Takes from June 8, 1955)
Sinfonia No. 15 in B Minor, BWV 801 (Unedited Studio Session Takes from June 8, 1955)

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