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on 10 December 2000
This is Gould's second recording of the Goldbergs, made about a year before his death in 1982. His original 1955 recording (which first brought worldwide fame to his name) was brilliant, astonishing, scintillating... but this second recording is, to my mind, even better. The whole piece - the two arias and thrty variations - seem to hang together as a single entity, profound and moving in their changing moods and styles. Yes, Gould can be heard humming to the music as was his habit, but this is not disturbing; it gives his music a curiously personal feel. And the clarity of the playing is stunning. This is truly a great recording.
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Every time I listen to this recording, it never fails to fill me with a sense of awe. I can not help thinking that the fate had ordained that the recording itself became the concluding aria to his short yet fulfilled life. It will surly remain as the pinnacle of art of piano playing as long as mankind lives on this planet.

Gavrilov tried to out do this performance (in fact he plays some variations even faster), but does not come even close in terms of technical ease and the transcendental quality of the music making. I will strongly recommend the DVD of this amazing recording too. This performance must be watched as well as listened to, to be fully appreciated - Glenn Gould - The Goldberg Variations [1981]
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on 7 January 2008
To my mind, this is the deluxe, master version of the Goldberg Variations. I possess several different renditions of this keyboard work, performed by various artists on several different instruments, so I am trying to be objective in my assessment.

Gould surpassess his earlier recording of the work and transcends anything I have ever heard recorded for piano by JS Bach. He gives the listener the entire lexicon of musical expression, running through all emotions and states of energy. Quite simply, a must - this is truly a desert island disc.
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on 26 August 2003
Crystalline thought abound in Gould's imaginative version of the variations. His interpretation is by turns dark and obsessive, light and playful. Some might find his way of humming very annoying, but once you get used to it, the stark and witty resonance of his playing lasts long after hearing it. This really is a perceptive and mindful classic - a treasure for everybody keen on Bach.
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The sensitivity of expression in this performance is unbeatable, and the sound is lovely, but alas Mr Gould relentlessly sings along to the music, which I for one could do without... But the loveliness of the piano overcomes the drone of the voice... just.
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on 11 September 2014
Beautiful interpretation but for me the Gould's habit of singing along is very irritating.
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on 28 June 2013
For the price these are magic recordings. Far from perfect but Gould was a real master and if you ignore the sonic and technical imperfections inherent in these old recordings they are a very satisfying listen.
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on 26 March 2016
Gould is magnificent but the recording itself seems maimed, with tracks ending too abruptly, as if someone's yanked a needle off a record.
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on 4 September 2002
This is a wonderful recording. An 'at one sitting' piece with all the mathematics of bach fiddling with one tune linked together with enormous variety and passion.
Glen Gould's humming, prominant throughout, is both funny and moving, listen to how he provides his own counterpoint at times...!
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on 29 September 2015
Every bit as good as expected.Thank you.
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