The Goldberg Variations cover

The Goldberg Variations


At the risk of repeating one of the many thousands of things that have been said about this album, this is probably one of the main arguments for the defense in the case against re-performing music by old, dead composers. The Bach here is a different entity from the one most of us know, and certainly a world apart from the Bach anyone knew in 1955: shaking, grooving, and singing, contrapuntal complexity be damned. None of the series of technical devices Bach uses — probably his main interest when writing the piece — ever tame Gould’s incredible clarity and palpable gusto. Recognizably a pinnacle of modern piano performance within a few notes.

Sean Wood

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