Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981 Digital Recording)
by Glenn Gould
Released: May 1996
Label: Sony Classical
From the opening statement of the melancholy theme of Bach's Goldberg Variations, pianist Glenn Gould is in his own territory on this album. His hands move like knives, cutting melodic lines ever so near one another yet unfolding each work as a delicate snowflake. This is the 1981 re-recording of the variations, an answer to Gould's own classic 1955 recording. The intriguing interview at the conclusion of the album includes a question about whether Gould listened to his famous '55 recordings before making this spartan, determined new version. He said, "I listened to it three or four days … I found that it was a rather spooky experience."