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118 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Late (and Early) Glenn Gould
Sony have done a wonderful job of this triple CD set, coupling Gould's earliest recording of the Goldberg Variations (or "Aria mit verschieden Veraenderungen" as it was originally titled) with his last, made not long before his death. The "trilogy" is completed by a fascinating disc containing out-takes from the 1955 session, and a 1982 interview of Gould by eminent music...
Published on 4 Oct 2002 by Ian D. Fordham

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6 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Wolfman from the North
We are all walking oddities - and some of us have loose wires hanging out the back of our heads. Glenn Ghoul - sorry, Gould was no exception. Perhaps allowances are in order. Even so, why did the Goldberg Variations have to become so entwined in his bid to transform himself into a werewolf?

Both performances are unlistenable. One is deafened by Gould's lupine...
Published on 18 Feb 2012 by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon


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21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars priceless, 20 May 2003
This review is from: Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder - The Complete Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
The first reviewer is mixed up about about the 1981 recordings. The disc we came to know as Gould's remake of the Goldbergs was recorded in digital AND as a backup, in analogue.
What we have in this release is a newly remixed account taken from the analogue backup tapes presumably using the same takes as the digital CBC Album (released Autumn 1982 just before his death). So the new release of the 1981 sessions is the same as the old DDD release except different master tapes were used.
The set is worth it for the priceless interview and out-takes with Gould improvising a quodlibet on God Save the Queen & God Bless America.
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13 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Listened 1,000 times...., 28 Nov 2005
By 
Richard Scott (CND in UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder - The Complete Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
Glenn Gould was raised by his aunt who once, when asked if he had been a naughty child how she had punished him replied, "Glenn was a good little boy, but if I ever needed to correct his behaviour on anything all I had to do was threaten to not let him play the piano..."
Gould may not have played the 'purest' Bach, but he has certainly discovered the sweet narrative in 'Goldberg Variations'. Comparing this to his earlier recording we now find a self-referential quality that is far more profound and assured. This is a piece that is not just played but 'told', it expresses his life, Bach's life and everyman's life.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glenn Gould; A State of Wonder, 20 Nov 2011
By 
Reagan James (Stavanger, Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder - The Complete Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
A superb set of Goldberg Variations played by Glenn Gould. His interpretation of the pieces gave a correct individual character to them resulting in a distinctive selection.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular!, 15 Jan 2010
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Ida Marie Pedersen (Denmark) - See all my reviews
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A stunning edition which make you able to compare these two very different, yet equally superb, recordings.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which is the better? The '55 or the '81?, 27 May 2013
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This review is from: Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder - The Complete Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
Well this is a personal review. So I get to say which is better.
It's the '81 by a mile.
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6 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Wolfman from the North, 18 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder - The Complete Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
We are all walking oddities - and some of us have loose wires hanging out the back of our heads. Glenn Ghoul - sorry, Gould was no exception. Perhaps allowances are in order. Even so, why did the Goldberg Variations have to become so entwined in his bid to transform himself into a werewolf?

Both performances are unlistenable. One is deafened by Gould's lupine ululations, howls, screeches, grunts and indeterminate wails. I imagine the ivories were badly scratched come the end of the recording sessions: may those undead Steinways rest in peace.

Worse still, the Ghoulster makes Bach sound as percussive as Bartok and as perky as Hindemith. If Johann Sebastian Bach would not recognise this mighty creation of his, it's aint Bach.

The shallowness of the recording in each instance only adds to the torment of the listener.

If you seek a performance of the Goldberg Variations that is mystically aligned to the Cantor of St Thomas', go to the Kempff. Bach, J.S.: Goldberg Variations

In closing, check out the photos taken of GG towards the end of his earthly existence: perhaps he succeeded in his aim.

That reminds me to load up on the holy water. Perhaps I should also nail a copy of the Kempff to the frontdoor.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A State of Wonder Goldberg Variations, 5 Oct 2011
This review is from: Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder - The Complete Goldberg Variations (Audio CD)
This was a recommendation, but was not quite what I was expecting. The opening was brilliant and I enjoyed this very much but then it got a bit frantic and I got bored. I found myself walking off to do something else during the rest of the cd and coming back hoping it might have changed a bit or even slowed down a little. However, I will persevere, perhaps when it gets a little more familiar I'll enjoy it more. Can't fault the quality of the cd though. Beautifully clear.
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