Sitting comfortably in my living room, I had every intention of listening to the boxed set that had recently landed with a thud in my mailbox. For Bach lovers, Glenn Gould fans and pianists (I’m all three), here was perhaps the ultimate find of recording history, finally available: the nearly five hours of Gould’s complete recording sessions for his momentous debut album, Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations.”
Glenn Gould recording Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations in 1955. The complete sessions have been recently released on disc.CreditCreditFred Plaut, via Sony Music Entertainment
But I couldn’t make it through, not even close. Let me explain.
In four intense sessions in a Manhattan studio in June 1955, the 22-year-old Gould recorded his breathless, uncannily clear account of the “Goldbergs.” The release turned what had previously been considered a lengthy piece for harpsichord, of interest only to Bach specialists, into a runaway hit. It also made the gangly, eccentric Gould an unlikely classical superstar. Full story.
Anthony Tommasini (The New York Times) / February 2, 2018
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