Top positive review
on 11 June 2011
Interviewing a musician on my blog recently (Steve Poltz) about his musical influences threw up some great new music for me to try. I promptly bought a selection of the music he suggested and Glen Gould playing Bach: The Goldberg Variations was one of the of these.
This is a pared back recording of Gould playing each short piece in turn and the sound of just Gould and a piano is especially soothing. The playing is technically proficient and showcases Gould's skill and nuanced touch to full effect.
This has a selection of outtakes at the end as well where you can hear Gould recording some tracks and receiving some guidance from the producer. You can also hear Gould (who has Aspergers syndrome) humming along in the background, which to my mind actually adds to the recording. Some people don't like this, but I feel it adds a human touch to what could be quite a clinical piece otherwise.
This is the remastered 1955 recording which launched Gould's talents to the wider world and whilst there isn't much new for those who have the existing performance, the sound here is clear and crisp and the outtakes add a certain element, even if just for curiosity.
Poltz recommended this as his ideal dinner party background music and I am inclined to agree. It is subtle, but with enough depth to reflect upon if you so wish. It is unobtrusive and meticulously played and if you wish to give this a try I can heartily recommend it. I have enjoyed it immensely since I bought it and anticipate continuing to do so over the coming years.
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