Bach's Goldberg Variations

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#61
There are some good reviews of it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Gould-R...dp/B00UOFCNOC?tag=smarturl-20#customerReviews

Seems like the consensus is that its fidelity is above just about all the previous releases.
yes, i read the ones on Amazon.co.uk, .com, .fr and my wife translated .co.jp and i did a google translation of .de and .es. As you say, generally positive and in a number of cases, significantly improved/'in the room' were indicated. Very excited and will let you know how it goes...
 

egidius

Member Sponsor
Feb 13, 2011
428
2
18
Switzerland
#64
Oh, some of us would think it sounds less mechanical than Gould himself ;)
..to elaborate on that one: I do understand, that a remastering might make sense if you have an original mastering that was problematic, but lets look at the issues here:

Glenn Gould actually worked closely with his technician and recorded continually, often linking up separate recording of different days into one piece (I believe his Eroica Variations takes were extremely far apart!), which naturally leeds to more mastering work. Then came the first reeditions on Sony. They were abviously remastered, because they sounded completely different from CBS. From then onwards things began to get better, like the reissue of the complete Goldbergs with the use of the analogue tapes for the later Goldberg.
It would be interesting to hear, if this complete "remastering" follows the original Gould aesthetics and goes back to a more centered sound, as opposed to the Sony versions: bright treble and enhanced bass. (it might have been his technicians/sound producers abilities, we'll never know..)


What I am trying to say, that should interest us all: You can make everything sound different. But better? And why?

And for me personally (I own most of his CBS LP's): Do I need to buy this version on CD?
 
#65
Hi egidius, I said that tongue in cheek. You may have missed earlier replies in this thread.

The Zenph "re-performance" is actually a robot playing Gould. They used a computer to make a map of how his fingers struck they keyboard - how fast, how hard, how long - and fed that information to a robot which recreates Gould's performance.

Do you need to buy this version? Not if you are already happy with the 1955 Gould. But for me, it was released on SACD so curiosity got the better of me.
 

egidius

Member Sponsor
Feb 13, 2011
428
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#66
.. Oh sorry: I actually replied to post 61.. "Gould - remastered" - thought you had replied to that, which would also have made sense..

The Zenph version is a worthwhile exercise, and comes - in theory - close to the Welte Mignon Idea I refer to in post 57..
(with the difference that the Zenph process is in fact far more more precise even though the Welte invention (1904!!) was a wondermachine in its time)

BTW here is a reference to the Serkin version:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzostVsB6js
 
May 25, 2010
971
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SF Bay Area
#67
I have organised an exhibition on Rudolf Serkin, Adolf Busch and Max Reger this summer as part of my festival www.klangraum-riehen.net during which we staged several performances of Serkin's 1928 Goldberg "recording" for Welte-Mignon on a fabulous Welte-Steinway of 1911. This early rendering of legendary Serkin repertoire shows, where Gould's early interpretation comes from: Inspired by the reinvention of baroque musique interpretation by giants like Wanda Landowska and Adolf Busch. The later Gould recording in fact shows a lot of respect to Rosalyn Tuareck with added time and grace as opposed to strictest rhytms as known from early Gould and - unknown, hence my post - early Serkin.

Egidius
I heard a story about Serkin, that as a brash young man on his first concert tour of the United States, as the encore to his first recital, he played the Goldberg Variations!

I was fortunate to hear Serkin several times in the '60's when he visited Boston (IIRC annually) while I was in college (19663-67). I also heard his then 16 year old son Peter playing with the Budapest String Quartet during that same period. The Budapest were older than Rudolf at that time.

My mother went to a Serkin recital in Chicago once with tickets quite close to the stage. She was quite annoyed in the first half of the concert when the man next to her kept on humming quietly during the performance. To her surprise, in the second half, when the man left, the humming continued. It was Serkin! Maybe another role model for Glenn Gould. :)

Larry
 

egidius

Member Sponsor
Feb 13, 2011
428
2
18
Switzerland
#68
I heard a story about Serkin, that as a brash young man on his first concert tour of the United States, as the encore to his first recital, he played the Goldberg Variations!

I was fortunate to hear Serkin several times in the '60's when he visited Boston (IIRC annually) while I was in college (19663-67). I also heard his then 16 year old son Peter playing with the Budapest String Quartet during that same period. The Budapest were older than Rudolf at that time.

My mother went to a Serkin recital in Chicago once with tickets quite close to the stage. She was quite annoyed in the first half of the concert when the man next to her kept on humming quietly during the performance. To her surprise, in the second half, when the man left, the humming continued. It was Serkin! Maybe another role model for Glenn Gould. :)

Larry
..I never knew he hummed. But then he did play heavenly. Me being a violinist, I liked Serkin long before i knew Adolf Busch, who was his mentor and later father in law. Those two have an interesting way with music.

I think the Welte Mignon performance tells us as much about the technical possibilities and failures as about the art of Serkin..
I actually introduced the performances with a "careful, Machines at work!"
The same should probably go for the Zenph renditions, as good as they might appear.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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#69
So it arrived...its stunning. HUGE...10" x 10" x 7". 81 CDs and a 10"x10"x1.5" book on his life. But how does it sound?

For me, a far superior sound (to my taste) than the 1981 and 1955 CDs!!! To me it is a at least as great a leap of improvement than even the best MFSL/Analogue Productions Hybrid SACD Remasters vs the original CDs. It is remarkable...in some cases, they feel [almost] like a Chandos recording.

For example, the Beethoven Concerto 1 feels as natural, effortless, spacious (and almost as dynamic/detailed) as a wonderful Chandos Recording I enjoy of Massenet's works conducted by Neeme Jarvi which was recorded and produced in 2014. Bach.jpg
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#72
I will get them. Thanks for the recommendation.
Good gracious...a professional musician taking my recommendation! I hope you enjoy them! i have heard 5 so far, and will be listening to more tonite and will weigh in again. Beethoven's Concerto 1 was great last nite to close the 'evening's concert'.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#73

Qobuz has the 24-bit/44.1 Khz but I can't so far find that at other sites open to US purchasers....
i agree with what the interviewee says around 2:50-3:00 so far in what i have heard...
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#74
Now listened to 9 CDs...1 feels older for sure but well balanced (ie, not too bright/tinny, nor too fat/bassy but has that old recording lack of instrumental body)...4 are GREAT (Chandos/good Hyperion)...3 i would compare with 'slightly lesser Hyperion recordings'..and 1 was probably more like 'Decca 1970' CD.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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#75
For me, no regrets, as having listened to the original 1955 Goldberg Variations CD...NOTHING has been as bad as that one. And again, the same version remastered is actually wonderful as a remastering.
 

marslo

VIP/Donor
May 2, 2014
604
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Poland
#76
I bought today the 24/96 kHz version with hdtracks with 15 % discount .
Is this which egidius mentioned as "worthwile exercise"?
 

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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,932
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#77
Hi Marslo,

Yes i believe that is the one he meant...quite a good one.
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
10,932
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#78
...now hit around 16 CDs of the 81. I would say some of them are solid but not as 'Chandos-like'. I also have now compared the Well-Tempered Clavier special remastering from Japan and the Sony. The Sony Japan Green CD Remastering has a slightly greater dynamic range for the power-strike of piano keys which i prefer. The Sony Remastering Gould Collection (81-CDs) has a slightly softer strike (just as clear but without the weight/power of the key strike). I'd say it feels like 7% less...but i do prefer the Sony Japan Green Remastering edition for some reason.

but its still much better than the original Well Tempered CDs. so again, good news...
 

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