Glenn Gould, “Aria” – from The Goldberg Variations (1981)
This album came out when I was a senior in high school, and it was the first classical recording I really fell in love with, and the first Bach. I’d been listening to classical music throughout my teenage years – but mostly predictable and accessible symphonic music – Holst’s “The Planets,” Beethoven symphonies and things from the movie Fantasia like “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Night on Bald Mountain.” Gould’s recording of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” was something different – denser, more intellectual, prickly and demanding. And it changed my life – or at least the musical part of it.
I can still vividly recall listening to this record the year it came out. My stepfather had an excellent stereo system in the living room. In the late evening, I’d turn off the lights, and light a candle on the mantle next to the stereo, then put the record on and hurry to the couch before the playing began. I’d lie on the couch and listen as Gould’s playing danced and darted in the dim, flickering light.
A pause. This was of course a real record, vinyl, not a CD, so at the end of Side One, I’d have to get up to flip it over. It was like waking from a dream, when you get up briefly and then sink back into it.
When I listen to this recording now, as I do probably once a month, I often feel like I am back on that couch, lying in the candle light, falling in love with Bach all over again.
- Glenn Gould – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Goldberg Variations – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- Glenn Gould Bach- Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1981 Recording) › Torrent.