Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johann Sebastian Bach, Vladimir Golschmann, Columbia Symphony Orchestra|
Original Jacket Collection - Glenn Gould Plays Bach
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A rip-off, possibly, but a sumptuous rip-off
lexo-2 | 06/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You'd be dead right in suspecting that this set doesn't contain the complete Bach recordings of Glenn Gould. What it does contain is ten discs, representing the original album releases of ten Gould/Bach performances, in facsimiles of the original sleeves. It doesn't include the English and French Suites, Book 2 of The Well-Tempered Clavier or any number of fugues that have since been scattered around the enormous Glenn Gould Edition. (And for all I know, there are other things it doesn't include either.)Still, I've worked it out, and it would cost you slightly more to buy all these recordings in the Edition format than it would to buy this set. At least, it would in Ireland, and if you were to buy them all individually from an online shop the packing costs would go through the roof. Here, you have them in a compact enough cardboard box (teeny bit flimsy, perhaps) and with the benefit of the _deeply_ moody original sleeves. They've also been remastered, not that it makes much difference with a recording like the legendary 1955 Mono version of the Goldberg Variations, which for all its performative verve and dash is always going to sound woody and faintly muffled compared to the far more crisp (but entirely differently-interpreted) 1981 digital version. But with Gould, the King of Annoying Crooning, crystalline audio fidelity has always to be weighed against interpretive genius. I took one star away because I'm still not entirely convinced of the economic values of this set. But if you're a Gould fan who wants a whole lot in one go without being a total completist, and you've got a hundred bucks burning a hole in your pocket, this really is what you should get.And it's not like there aren't some brilliant performances on here. The late version of the Toccata in C Minor is ravishing; the 2- and 3-Part Inventions are sprightly and fun, even if the piano has a weird wobble in the mid-range (urbanely apologised for by Gould in a sleevenote). Also, the Art of the Fugue CD is enhanced, and includes half an hour of some great video of Gould playing and talking. It's up to you: either proceed with caution and accumulate your Gould in a responsible manner, or go mad for a moment and forfeit your dog's dental bills for this really rather luxurious 400-odd minutes of sublime music."
Only for the Glenn Gould Die Hards
the_drone | 04/30/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Prospective buyers beware: this set is neither"complete" nor cheap. The number of CDs included in this setand the retail price can lead some buyers to believe that this set contains a comprehensive survey of Gould's interpretations of the Bach repertoire at the mid-price range. Nothing farther from the truth. The actual premise of this set is that it offers you repreductions of the original LPs. Each disc contains no more than 40 minutes of music. While it elicits wonder to look at the miniature facsimiles of the original LP jackets (it makes you feel as if you are holding a toy LP), jacket design can't possibly be a sound consideration for buying a set that is ultimately more expensive than the discs released under the "Glenn Gould Edition" series... The "original jacket" premise is absurd in this case, what is the point of spreading the Well Tempered Clavier Book I over 3 CDs when it actually fits in two, with room to spare? ...All of this recordings can be obtained in CDs of full length at reasonable prices. Those coming new to this repertoire should stay away from this set altogether... These performances are neither "precise" nor the "best recorded" (the Goldberg Variations, for instance, is a Mono recording). Actually, the opposite is true: Gould is a characterful pianist with a unique style of performance who was also a control freak. His recordings are unlike any other piano recordings: he avoids warmth in exchange for clarity. I give this CD 1 star for the performances, which are by Glenn Gould, after all."
What's the reason for this box set?
Tony Rowat | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 10/03/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I can't understand the rationale for this box set: or more precisely, I can't understand the criteria for putting it together. It is a box set- 12 cds, with original covers in tiny versions. But what exactly were the criteria? If it's Glenn Gould's Bach, then it's incomplete. It contains 12 cds, but a second volume with another 14 cds (by my count) would be required to complete it- if it is meant to be GG's 'complete' Bach. What's missing?
1. WTC, Volume 2: [3 cds].(according to the "original cover" Lp release criteria).
2. KYBD. CTI, Vol. 2: [1 cd]
3. English Suites: [2 cds; the original Lp was a double album, but won't fit on 1 cd, so 2 "little lps" would be required]
4. French Suites: [ 2 cds: threse would fit on 1 cd, but, according to the set's criteria, 2 little lp covers would have to be reproduced, so: 2 cds]
5. Goldbergs 1982: [1cd]
6. Violin Cti.: [2 cds: originally, a double album, but won't fit on 1 cd, so: 2 little lps]
7. Viola cti.: [1 cd]
8. Preludes, Fugues and Fuguettas:[1 cd]
9. Unreleased (until 1997) "Italian" works and fugues:[ 1 cd]: At Gould's death, he had recorded half of 2 Bach albums: together, they would make one cd: an imaginary, "what if" LP cover would have to be designed- if this was going to be the "complete" Gould's Bach. Or does this stretch the criteria?
10. "Tim Page interviews Glenn Gould" on the Goldbergs: [1 cd]: This was an Lp orginally included with the first issue of the 1982 Goldbergs: It would make a nice "bonus disc", but a little Lp cover would have to be designed.
So: IF this is going to be a complete Gould's Bach, and even if one doesn't count the Page interview, then a second volume would have to have, by the above count, another 14 discs. Which is do-able. But then one is forced to ask: what was the original reason for the box set, if it wasn't to be a complete Gould's Bach? I thought that perhaps it was possibly to collect only the wonderful portrait covers of Gould's original Lps, but then why would it not include the 1982 Goldbergs,the English Suites, the Preludes,Fuguettas and fugues album,the WTC vol. 2, or the violin and viola da gamba Lps, all of which have wonderful portraits, not to mention many other non-Bach Gould albums. Was the idea for the box to only include solo recordings of Bach by Gould? Well, it can't be that either, because it contains Vol. 1 of the Keyboard Cti with orchestra, and doesn't contain many other of Gould's solo Bach. No, the theme seems to be: Gould's Bach, with originals covers. So finally, one can only hope that Sony plans to release a 14 or 15 cd box set sometime in the future- but this box has been out for seveal years now.
One is forced to conclude that the reason for ths box is a mystery. One star subtracted for mystery aspect."