Glenn Gould
Bach: Goldberg Variations


4.5
superb

Review

by thebhoy EMERITUS
October 13th, 2009 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1956 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 22 Short Sentences About Glenn Gould

George Orwell’s 1984 is the type of novel that makes you feel smarter for reading it. It’s intellectually stimulating, both in its investigation of authority as well as its exploration of humanity. Glenn Gould’s performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations reminds me of 1984. Not thematically– Bach was not exploring the effects of totalitarianism– but rather it’s a piece of art that makes you feel smarter. Don’t take this as pretentious preaching on my part, no that is not what I intend at all. Instead, I merely wish to display this album as a cultured work. It’s not the most complicated piece of music, nor is it the most important. Rather, this is an album that showcases an incredibly talented pianist performing beautiful and technically challenging music. Glenn Gould’s performance of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations stands as one of the best contemporary recordings of classical music in general.

Glenn Gould is an iconic figure in Canadian culture as many claim him to be the best musician to ever hail from the Great White North. In his prime, he was also widely considered to be the best Bach musician in the world. An eccentric man, he was known for playing the piano as if he was conducting an orchestra. One criticism that was continuously launched at him was the noticeable humming of different orchestral parts in Gould’s recordings. These eccentricities aside, the one indisputable fact about Gould is that he is an impeccable pianist. Through all 31 variations of the Goldberg Variations, Gould’s playing is never average, always perfect. Whether in the pretty and languid opening of “Aria” or the lively, left hand dominating “Variation 10 - Fughetta”, Gould doesn’t misstep once. Through each dizzying sixteenth note run, fluttering grace note or octave jumping staccato pulses, the playing is nothing short of mesmerizing. As for the music itself, it’s classic Bach with its stately baroque melodies and contrapuntal harmonic and rhythmic techniques.

Unless you’re a Bach or baroque fanatic, the likely hood of pulling out the Goldberg Variations are not high. But whether you are appreciative of classical music, an aspiring pianist or simply an open minded music lover, then Glenn Gould’s take on Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations should be in your canon. It’s an excellent example of baroque period composition and technique. There is also enough beauty and accessibility to be listened to be enjoyed on occasion, or heck– all the time!



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user ratings (27)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
WatchItExplode (5)
Like a sunday drive acid trip......


Comments:Add a Comment 
thebhoy
Emeritus
October 13th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I almost came when the review was literally 22 sentences and I could make my summary literal.



Short review, just felt like doing. It's classical, it's awesome. Yep.

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 13th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ps.



Unless you’re a Bach or baroque fanatic




Unless you're The Human Language.

WatchItExplode
October 20th 2009


6443 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

guess you and I alone recognize the brilliance of this...totally gets me hyped up for a sunday drive

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 20th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

pretty much its one of the most flawless performances of classical piano ever recorded, so yeah.

WatchItExplode
October 20th 2009


6443 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you stole my thunder...fluttering grace note or octave jumping staccato pulses



my review is devoid of technicality



I can't believe I add this album and you just drop a review...random my friend

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 20th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

indeed, actually I noticed it probably after you just put it on. Made me want to go review it.

WatchItExplode
October 20th 2009


6443 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I consider this to be psychedelic

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 20th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't see how. It's just baroque. I mean, I guess if we're to equate any decade from the 20th century with it, it would be the 70's.

WatchItExplode
October 20th 2009


6443 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think you're being overly literal.......when i listen this to this at times my thoughts swirl around and make me happy



Means "mind manifesting." It is used to describe the state of consciousness typically experienced while under drugs such as LSD, mushrooms, mescaline and cannabis - consisting of various stages of ego-release and an often startling alteration of perceptions. its a descriptive term as well as a musical genre

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 20th 2009


4463 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yes, I know that it's also more then just a musical genre. But so is baroque. There's a big difference between this- which is baroque- and psychedelic. Early forms of "mind manifesting" was found in the modernist period with the likes of Huxley and Dali and other various artists. This is baroque because its pure pomp. Everything about it is overblown and stuffed with decoration. Let me put it to you this way: compare baroque era architecture with say, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim. While Gehry is not psychedelic (the term doesn't really apply to architecture but whatever) you could say his buildings are "mind manifesting" and explorative. The Palace of Versailles on the other hand, is rather basic in structural design, but is stuffed to the brim with decorations and frilly little edges. Bach, being baroque, fits well into the Palace of Versaille where, say, Kayo Dot or The Beach Boys (c. Pet Sounds) would fit well into the Guggenheim.

FR33L0RD
November 24th 2009


1474 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Glenn Gould is the Grand-Master of masters concerning pianoforte interpretation of Bach keyboard compositions.

Doctuses
September 11th 2018


1915 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bump

WatchItExplode
September 11th 2018


6443 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

good bump



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