Gould-berg Variations Madness

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Ted Quanrud
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Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by Ted Quanrud » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:14 pm

Sony has issued a deluxe set of Glenn Gould's 1955 recording of the Goldbergs. Five CDs are devoted to every single session take of each variation (18 takes of Variation 12). One CD is devoted to the final result and another CD to an interview of Gould with critic Tim Page.The original LP is reproduced on premium vinyl enclosed in the original jacket. Finally, there is a 280-page coffee table book, the complete score and a full-size poster.

Goodness knows, I have enough bats in my belfry when it comes to record collecting (anyone with 50-plus recordings of the Four Last Songs and a dozen Rings should probably be under some sort of federal security watch), but in my opinion this release really stretches the boundaries.

I'll be interested to hear what others have to say.

Here's a link to the Amazon listing with a detailed description of the set.

https://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Gould-Vari ... variations

Lance
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by Lance » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:53 pm

Well, I'm all for Glenn Gould, especially his Bach. It was this very recording (1955) that brought entirely new meaning to me of the piece and his has stuck ever since. I've even had the pleasure of discussing the making of this recording with the late producer, Howard H. Scott. The price is steep for this at almost $115/USD, but I imagine that considerable work went into placing all the edits into proper order in order to make this set mean something. No doubt it will appeal to pianists involved with the Goldbergs on a high level musically. While I collect anything and everything of Mr. Gould, this one I probably will not procure it though it could come to me as a gift. I shall not be holding my breath, however.
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John F
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by John F » Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:01 pm

Good heavens! For Glenn Gould obsessives only, and I'm definitely not one of them.
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:31 pm

Yes, well, what others have to say is to wonder if Goldberg himself could play the Goldberg Variations adequately . The end point of them is widely considered the most difficult keyboard music prior to late Beethoven. I couldn't care less about umpteen versions by Glenn Gould.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by jserraglio » Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:53 pm

Why should listeners not be obsessed with the Gouldbergs since the artist clearly was mad about the Goldbergs?

jbuck919
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:43 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:53 pm
Why should listeners not be obsessed with the Gouldbergs since the artist clearly was mad about the Goldbergs?
I call you j, incidentally, because it is presumably your first initial, when unlike me you have never divulged your true name here. That is entirely your privilege. The rest is the Italian word for harem, from which I will go no further. In comparison, I am free with my real name and have frequently posted about the origin of my screen name.

The rest of your comment is immaterial.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by jserraglio » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:26 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:43 am
The rest of your comment is immaterial.
As is, sad to say, all of your comment, sir. Still harping on people's names, when it's NOYdamnB.
Last edited by jserraglio on Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:16 am, edited 6 times in total.

John F
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by John F » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:30 am

jserraglio wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:53 pm
Why should listeners not be obsessed with the Gouldbergs since the artist clearly was mad about the Goldbergs?
Why should listeners be obsessed with Glenn Gould? When he evidently couldn't make up his mind how to play the piece.
John Francis

jserraglio
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by jserraglio » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:15 am

John F wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:30 am
Why should listeners be obsessed with Glenn Gould? When he evidently couldn't make up his mind how to play the piece.
Not privy to his state of mind in 1955, I prefer to believe Gould purposively experimented with different interpretations before making up his mind about how to he wanted this piece to be presented on the recording. I haven't heard the Sony set of outtakes in question, so I'm gonna give this great artist the benefit of the doubt and put the best possible construction on his musical decisions.

maestrob
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by maestrob » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:45 am

The vocalizing still drives me up the wall, and with so many superb realizations on the market and on my shelves, I find I rarely listen to Gould any more. Of course I give him credit for his genius, and for making Bach popular along with Wanda Landowska.

jserraglio
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Re: Gould-berg Variations Madness

Post by jserraglio » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:32 pm

I'm with Lance on this one. I have roughly 55 recordings of the Goldberg Variations but the 1955 Glenn Gould is sui generis and I love it. Gould is the "Bird" Parker of classical pianists. Lots of takes, most all of them I find interesting.

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