HD-Vinyl 96/24 (CBS) Johann Sebastian Bach – Goldberg Variations (Glenn Gould)

And again, the evidence that a digital production on vinyl better sounds than the same work on CD

# Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
# Performer: Glenn Gould
# Vinyls (1982)
# Format: Flac
# Number of discs: 1
# Label: CBS
# DR-Analysis: DR 13
# ASIN CD: B0000025PM
# Size: 1.07 GB
# Scan: yes
# Server: FileFactory

The clear-cut rhythms, riveting articulation, and contrapuntal acumen of Glenn Gould’s 1955 debut Goldberg Variations characterize this 1981 remake to strikingly different results. This later version is more deliberate in pacing, stark in expression, thoughtful with ornamentation, and tightly organized (if a mite theatrical) in terms of tempo relationships. Whereas there are no repeats from 1955, Gould now observes “A” section repeats in the canons, the Fughetta, and other fugue-like variations. The rapid, cross- handed sequences still dazzle with pinpointed fingerwork, yet the slower tempos better serve the music’s dance-like qualities. Unlike Sony Classical’s better sounding Glenn Gould Edition transfer, the original CBS Masterworks CD still has no banding cues. –Jed Distler



Glenn Gould is without a doubt one of the finest pianist of our time, though he was certainly excentric. This second recording of his of the Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach, is his finest work in my opinion.


One thing that is distinctive of Glenn Gould, is the way he manages to play very fast, yet we can still clearly hear every single note. This is apparent in some of the variations here that are played very (too?) fast. But what I thought was extermely good in this recording, is the way Glenn Gould can be soft and touching at times, and hard and fast at other times. We are given the impression that Glenn Gould is telling us a story. The result is very satisfying.


But be warned. This is not Bach as it was intented to be. Lets forget that this is played on a piano for a minute. Glenn Gould’s interpretation of the Goldberg Variations can shock some purists. First, like I said before, it is played extremely fast at times. I doubt this is what Bach had in mind. Also, Glenn Gould has this bad habit of putting stacattos everywhere. This is not as annoying as it can be in his interpretation of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, but still.


Also, another warning for those who do not know of this pianist. Glenn Gould used to sing when he was playing. Not to loud. Just a little hum. But you can hear him on his recordings. If I recall well, he insisted his voice was left on the recordings, because he thought that removing his voice would hurt the quality of the recording.


So anyway, this is still my favourite interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on piano. And it must be the most popular interpretation out there. I still prefer Kenneth Gilbert on the harpsicord, but it is definitely a must-buy if you ask me.




Analyzed folder: /96kJSB_GolVar_Gou/96k JSB – Goldberg Variations – Gould
DR        Peak        RMS        Filename
DR13        -0.39 dB     -18.10 dB     sideA.wav
DR13        -0.79 dB     -18.34 dB     sideB.wav
Number of files:    2
Official DR value:    DR13




Ripping Infos


  • RCM: Okki Nokki (L’art du son, Clearaudio’s Diamond Cleaner)
  • TT: Clearaudio Champion Level II
  • Cartridge: Sumiko Black Bird
  • Phono stage: Pro-Ject Phono Box RS
  • ADC/DAC: RME Fireface UC


  • Pre Amp: Unison Research Unico Pre (Tube)
  • Finals: Opera Consonance 9.9 Mono (Tube)
  • Speakers: Dali Helikon 400
  • Connections: MIT Terminator, Audioquest Emerald, Audioquest Quartz
  • Software: iZotope RX Advanced v2.02, Adobe Audition CS 5.5, Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Light de-Clicking with iZotopes, significant clicks manually removing, no De-Noising

If You hear some clicks and pops here and there, Who cares?
Id rather have a few light anomalies instead of destroying the music. Enjoy the music, not the ticks & pops.

  • DR-Analisys before converting to Flac
  • Converting Wave -> Flac: Twisted Wave 1.9
  • Artwork: Sony Alpha 350, Epson Perfection V750 Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5

If you like what i do, please consider that a little donation would be very appreciate. I reinvest all donations in maintenance of my rig, for purchasing cleaning solutions and, most important of all, purchasing of new vinyls.
Click on the “Donate”-button. Thank you very much !

Download from FileFactory
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PW: LaWally

20 thoughts on “HD-Vinyl 96/24 (CBS) Johann Sebastian Bach – Goldberg Variations (Glenn Gould)”

  1. Analogies help me sense the synthesis of the artist, the piano and Bach: Although I was in Ontario at the time, This is as rich as French Canadian Creme Broulet. I love it!

    The notes also were very interesting. Thanks, Rach.


  2. I have this disk, I think this is probably the best disk ever produced. Your work Rach is like what Marguerite Yourcenar said “The founding of libraries was like constructing more public granaries, amassing reserves against a spiritual winter which by certain signs, in spite of myself, I see ahead…” you save music like a human heritage. Thanks from all mankind.

  3. when i hear the varitionen played by this mad man on an instrument bach so deeply distrusted and misunderstood
    i realise everything must find its place somehow
    pure love

    thank you very much

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