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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

In 1955 a 22-year-old Canadian pianist named Glenn Gould made his major-label debut with Bach's Goldberg Variations, which turned out to be one of classical music's most acclaimed, mulled over, best-selling, and artistically invigorating recorded landmarks. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, Sony Classical re-releases its most recent and finest transfer, which appeared in the 2002 three-disc collection Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder (type Q5663 in Search Reviews). The latter included a 12-minute sequence of session outtakes, supplemented here by seven more previously unreleased minutes. The outtakes essentially are rehearsals and warm-ups, and mainly hold interest for scholars rather than general listeners. However, there's a noticeably Read more slower and more inflected take of the opening Aria that contrasts to the faster, more reserved version Gould approved, plus an impromptu rendition of the British and American national anthems combined and brilliantly reharmonized.

Sony also has unearthed several Bach sinfonias Gould recorded during the Goldberg sessions. Although Gould rejected these for release, they still are fascinating to hear. The F minor Sinfonia in particular gets a broader, more intensely concentrated performance than its faster, leaner counterpart included in Gould's "official" Two- and Three-Part Inventions release. A 165-page multilingual hardcover booklet contains Gould's original annotations, contextual articles and press releases, an interview with producer Howard Scott (who states strong disapproval of Sony issuing outtakes and session rejects), lots of photos, and an essay by Gould scholar Michael Stegemann. If you don't yet own Gould's 1955 Goldbergs, treat yourself to this deluxe edition.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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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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