21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Overtaken by events...,
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This review is from: Bach: The Goldberg Variations 1955 (Audio CD)
...namely, many, many better versions. The one good thing about this one in comparison with his later version is that he had not yet brought moaning along to the fine art he was later to achieve. The bad is everything else. Gould's dazzling virtuosity is certainly on show, but there's more to great music than playing a lot of notes very quickly. Gould simply plays some of this far, far too fast. He gives the music no time to breathe. As a result, you get a tinny, mechanical rendition as it it were a musical box (or an LP played at 45 rpm), devoid of phrasing and emotion. I guess this received such a reception because it was the first time that anyone had recorded it on a piano.
There are so many better piano versions than this (his own later version, moaning notwithstanding, Hewitt, Perahia), and this is only worth acquiring for historical interest. I have the feeling I may never play it again. As another reviewer says, the price is about right.