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Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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  • Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
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Product details

  • Performer: Glenn Gould
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (26 July 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Music Classical
  • ASIN: B0002ISFRU
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,944 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. "Goldberg Variations, BWV 988"
  2. Aria
  3. Variation 1 a 1 Clav.
  4. Variation 2 a 1 Clav.
  5. Variation 3 a 1 Clav. Canone all'Unisono
  6. Variation 4 a 1 Clav.
  7. Variation 5 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
  8. Variation 6 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Seconda
  9. Variation 7 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
  10. Variation 8 a 2 Clav.
  11. Variation 9 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Terza
  12. Variation 10 a 1 Clav. Fughetta
  13. Variation 11 a 2 Clav.
  14. Variation 12 Canone alla Quarta
  15. Variation 13 a 2 Clav.
  16. Variation 14 a 2 Clav.
  17. Variation 15 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Quinta. Andante
  18. Variation 16 a 1 Clav. Overture
  19. Variation 17 a 2 Clav.
  20. Variation 18 a 1 Clav. Canone alla Sesta
  21. Variation 19 a 1 Clav.
  22. Variation 20 a 2 Clav.
  23. Variation 21 Canone alla Settima
  24. Variation 22 a 1 Clav. Alla breve
  25. Variation 23 a 2 Clav.
  26. Variation 24 a 1 Clav. Canone all'Ottava
  27. Variation 25 a 2 Clav.
  28. Variation 26 a 2 Clav.
  29. Variation 27 a 2 Clav. Canone alla Nona
  30. Variation 28 a 2 Clav.
  31. Variation 29 a 1 ovvero 2 Clav.
  32. Variation 30 a 1 Clav. Quodlibet
  33. Aria da capo
  34. "Glenn Gould discusses his performances of the ""Goldberg Variations"" with Tim Page"

Product Description

braniascolta 30''1.goldberg variations, bwv 988: ariaascolta2.variation 1 a 1 clav.ascolta3.variation 2 a 1 clav.ascolta4.variation 3 a 1 clav. canone all'unisonoascolta5.variation 4 a 1 clav.ascolta6.variation 5 a 1 ovvero 2 clav.ascolta7.variation 6 a 1 clav. canone alla secondaascolta8.variation 7 a 1 ovvero 2 clav.ascolta9.variation 8 a 2 clav.ascolta10.variation 9 a 1 clav. canone alla terzaascolta11.variation 10 a 1 clav. fughettaascolta12.variation 11 a 2 clav.ascolta13.variation 12 canone alla quartaascolta14.variation 13 a 2 clav.ascolta15.variation 14 a 2 clav.ascolta16.variation 15 a 1 clav. canone alla quinta. andanteascolta17.variation 16 a 1 clav. ouvertureascoltaascolta 30''18.variation 17 a 2 clav.ascolta19.variation 18 a 1 clav. canone alla sestaascolta20.variation 19 a 1 clav.ascolta21.variation 20 a 2 clav.ascolta22.variation 21 canone alla settimaascolta23.variation 22 a 1 clav. alla breveascolta24.variation 23 a 2 clav.ascolta25.variation 24 a 1 clav. canone all'ottavaascolta26.variation 25 a 2 clav.ascolta27.variation 26 a 2 clav.ascolta28.variation 27 a 2 clav. canone alla nonaascolta29.variation 28 a 2 clav.ascolta30.variation 29 a 1 ovvero 2 clav.ascolta31.variation 30 a 1 clav. quodlibetascolta32.aria da capoascolta33.glenn gould discusses his performances of the "goldberg variations" with tim page (excer

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love Bach's music, and generally insist on two things; firstly, that it is played a little slower than we are generally served it; and secondly that it is played on the instruments it was written for. When I first heard Glenn Gould's 1981 recording, I realised how ridiculous that second requirement was, and how important that first requirement was. The music on this album just swept me away. There is no other recording of the Goldberg Variations that I've listened to that even comes close to it.

The technical mastery of Gould goes without saying, but what really struck me with this recording was the spirit with which this music is played - the feeling which Gould breathes into the work. This is most evident in the slower pieces, particularly the opening Aria, which take you on a journey of the most exquisite emotions. In almost every variation, Gould picks you up and takes you where he is going with it.

I lack the words to describe it - words ike "subliminal", "instropective" come to mind, and above all "human". Bach can be played very mechanically, but not here. Complimented by Gould's ghostly humming, occasionally rising to the level of audibility, Aria, and Canone della Quinta sound like they come straight from the soul. This music lifts you into another world.

Not once does he use the pedals.

This is just mind-blowing - buy it!
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Format: Audio CD
Every time I listen to this recording, it never fails to fill me with a sense of awe, and 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 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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Format: Audio CD
I feel compelled to write this review as I think it is slightly unfair to give a one-star review based on his constant humming.

I think the first thing to say is that the Goldberg Variations is a fantastic piece of music, and is pretty much infallable as far as music goes. Goulds playing achives a great depth and variety of tone, whilst maintaining a strong sence of clarity that lets all of Bach's lines sing through, I think Gould has achieved something mind-blowing here!

Whilst at first one could find the performance marred by his constant humming, and it is prevelant, especially when listening on headphones, it is worth listening past. I think it provides a unique insight into how he is shaping the music that we don't often hear. To be honest I find myself humming along (no doubt somewhat encouraged) and its interesting to see where I differ from Gould. I think that without the humming his peformance wouldn't shine as much as it does. There is a reason why it's a favorite on desert island disks!

All in all an amazing CD, at an amazing price!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Goldberg variations are a really atmospheric piece, and Gould's performance is often pointed to as the gold (or Gould?) standard recording.
I've listened to it to unwind and help myself fall asleep (which Bach claimed the piece was written to help his patron do) to focus and deliver my own creative effort, and just to enjoy an excellent piece, played on an excellent instrument by an excellent perfomer.
It can't really be described.
Buy it, hear it...again and again.
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By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Oct. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Before we even get to the performance, this is a rather odd production in two ways. The first oddity is that a short description of each variation goes across the display on one's cd unit, rather like the news and stock-market announcements in Times Square, before settling back to the normal display of cd-number, track-number and time taken. These abbreviated descriptions are only what we can read perfectly well from the back of the box - indeed they're not even that because they get truncated to the right. When it comes to the canons this docks them of the significant distinction among the canons, namely the pitch-intervals at which the canons are set, (4th, 5th, octave etc). Even with the 'normal' variations all that either the box or the display tells us is the number of keyboards that Bach specifies for each, which is relevant only to a harpsichord and not to a piano. The other unusual extra is much more important. After the performance ends the theme starts again but taken much faster. This is Gould himself in his 1955 performance, and it leads in a discussion with the critic Tim Page. I was completely fascinated to hear one of the 20th century's greatest players tell us so much about his thinking. Gould comes across as not only intellectual but as friendly and affable. There are background issues mentioned, and I was more than pleased to find that he shares my own thorough dislike of the minimalist school, but the main topics are central to the work on the disc - the questions of tempo, of expression, and of how to play Bach on the piano.
Gould takes the theme very slowly indeed here, and while I like it to be slow I'm not sure I want it quite this slow.
Read more ›
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