Most helpful positive review
68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on 23 September 2008
This is a truly iconic disc, the legendary performance that introduced an eccentric Canadian pianist to the world at large. Gould had made a sensational debut in New York with a programme that included Beethoven's Op 109 sonate, a Sweelinck fantasia and the Webern variations. Snapped up by a CBS talent scout, he requested his first release should be Bach's Goldberg Variations, a seldom performed work the Leipzig cantor wrote for an aristocratic insomniac. As the recording took place, Gould sat on his pigmy stool, swaying, groaning, humming and playing like a god. Inbetween takes he popped pills, donned his overcoat and ate arrowroot biscuits washed down with spring water as the press gathered curiously to see the spectacle. The resulting LP sold 40,000 copies, redefined Bach playing and made Gould an instant star. Today, with many more fine recordings of the work, this is still the one that sets the benchmark. Invest and be dazzled by some of the greatest and most exciting piano playing ever committed to disc.