The Goldberg Variations – Glenn Gould Plays Bach

A Film by Bruno Monsaingeon

Pianist Glenn Gould made his New York debut on January 11, 1955. His first recording, Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” took place that June. The record won instant acclaim. In 1981 Gould departed from his custom of not re-recording a work and, 26 years after his first recording of the “Goldberg Variations,” went into the same New York studio for his second recording of the work. Gould viewed the two interpretations as substantially different. This new recording won two Grammy Awards.

The Glenn Gould Collection:

Prepared, shot and edited over a period of five years from 1976 to 1981, the three-part series Glenn Gould Plays Bach has so far only been seen via the limited parameters of television transmission. Now, for the first time, this testament is made available with a sound and picture reproduction faithful to the original conception.

Glenn Gould’s first recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in 1955 had made his name legendary. This film, shot in New York in April 1981, marks his life – as if interpolated between the two peaceful Arias and the two recordings, the one opening, the other closing his career – with a symbol of cyclic perfections (Bruno Monsaingeon)

Introduction: Glenn Gould in conversation with Bruno Monsaingeon

Goldberg Variations, BW 988
. Aria with Divers Variation for the Harpsichord with Two Manuals

Glenn Gould, Piano
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