The Sunday Magazine

Robert Harris interprets the outtakes from Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations

Gould’s recording of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations hit the world like a tsunami in 1955. Now, Sony Classic Records has released a 5-CD set containing all of the recordings made over 4 days.
Glenn Gould's J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations is one of the most famous LPs ever produced, in any genre. (The Estate of Jock Carroll, courtesy The Glenn Gould Foundation)

Fascination with Glenn Gould has never really abated since his first recording, J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations, hit the world like a tsunami in 1955. 

The freshness and daring of that recording has made it one of the most famous LPs ever produced, in any genre. 

Gould recorded the Goldbergs over four days in June of 1955 for Columbia Records in New York. To commemorate the twin anniversaries of Gould's birthday and his death, SONY Classics, which took over Columbia Records in the 1980s, has done something unique.

Having re-released the Goldbergs in every possible way imaginable, SONY has decided to release not only the finished product,  but all the outtakes from the sessions — all the versions of the variations that never made it onto the final recording.

The new release contains every note Gould played that went into the making of that famous LP — 5 CDs worth, hours and hours of music. 

So you don't have to listen to it all, Robert Harris has. He joined Michael Enright to talk about the newly-released recordings. 

Click 'listen' above to hear the interview.