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A State of Wonder (The Complete Goldberg Variations, 1955 & 1981)

Album Summary

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
>Glenn Gould / Tim Page : Glenn Gould discusses his performances of the Goldberg Variations with Tim Page (Interview)
>Gould, Glenn [Piano] : Studio Outtakes from the 1955 Goldberg Variations Recording Session
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"Little can be added to all the critical accolades heaped upon Glenn Gould's 'Goldberg Variations', be it the pianist's landmark 1955 disc debut or his similarly individual, though strikingly different 1981 remake. Both recordings remain catalogue cornerstones, having been repackaged and remastered a number of times. They are done so again to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Gould's death and what would have been his 70th birthday." ***** - Jed Distler, BBC

Notes & Reviews:

This album was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes.

The career of the singular and idiosyncratic pianist Glenn Gould is probably best defined by his two recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations. The first, his major-label debut recorded in 1955, was Gould's breakthrough. A brashly virtuosic performance, it blew the doors off the established notions of playing Bach and catapulted the pianist into superstardom. The second, recorded shortly before his death in 1982, finds a more deliberate Gould giving a poised, introspective reading of the work that brilliantly articulates its emotional intensity. A STATE OF WONDER offers these legendary recordings in remastered versions along with a third disc of outtakes from the 1955 sessions and Gould's carefully scripted final radio "interview." The side-by-side comparison afforded by this excellent package makes for a fascinating listening experience. The two versions are vastly different but both bear the unmistakable stamp of the iconoclastic pianist's characteristic clarity, precision, and dedication. Each could easily be considered a quintessential performance. The remastering is of particular value to the later recording, rescuing it from the unfavorable sound quality of primitive digital technology. This elegantly produced set is a fitting tribute to a remarkable and individualistic artist. It deserves a place on any music lover's shelf.



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Works Details

>Bach, Johann Sebastian : Goldberg Variations, BWV 988
  • Performer: Glenn Gould (Piano)
  • Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, NY (06/10/1955/06/14/1955)
  • Running Time: 75 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1741

>Glenn Gould / Tim Page : Glenn Gould discusses his performances of the Goldberg Variations with Tim Page (Interview)
  • Running Time: 50 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 08/22/1982

>Gould, Glenn [Piano] : Studio Outtakes from the 1955 Goldberg Variations Recording Session
  • Performer: Glenn Gould (Piano)
  • Notes: Columbia 30th Street Studio, New York, NY (06/10/1955/06/14/1955)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1955