Talk:Bach: The Goldberg Variations (Glenn Gould album)

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obscure and academic[edit]

Currently the article states that before Gould the Variations were "considered a relatively obscure and academic piece." Wanda Landowska's recording was in 1931, so the piece was widely available; I don't think this statement is accurate. Gould undeniably made it much more popular, but that's a very different thing to say. Regardless, verification is needed. Chick Bowen 20:48, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

It is usually presented that way in the context of Gould's life story, but at any rate, I've refined the statement. Note that Bazzana calls it "esoteric". I'm not putting quotes around it in the article—we can still use adjectives, I hope. –Outriggr § 04:59, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
That's an enormous improvement--thanks. Chick Bowen 16:35, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Corrections to recording history[edit]

I would agree that it was considered academic. But let's correct a huge blunder in the recording history. Arrau's recording of 1942, which was known to insiders (c.f. Joseph Horowitz 'Conversations with Arrau' (see article for ref)) for RCA, eventually released in 1988. Also Eunice Norton (I don't personally know this, but there was a 1942 version). Check Discography by Performer.

Jmanooch (talk) 01:12, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Sales were "astonishing"[edit]

In the beginning of the article is claimed that: 'Sales were "astonishing" for a classical album: it was reported to have sold 40,000 copies by 1960, and had sold more than 100,000 by the time of Gould's death in 1982.'

I have serious doubts about these figures. Maybe the figures are for Canada alone or else somebody forgot a to add a zero.

You just need to compare to other other sales figures:

"Glen Gould recorded Bach's Goldberg Variations for Sony in 1981 on the Yamaha C9 piano owned by the pianist. It was to become his most successful recording selling 1.8 million copies to date" (see )

"Nigel Kennedy's celebrated CD has reputedly sold over five million copies..." (see )

"Herbert von Karajan (...). By one estimate he was the top-selling classical music recording artist of all time, having sold an estimated 200 million records." (see — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:15, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

A couple of comments. The information is sourced, as given, from a presumably well-researched Gould biography. Undoubtedly the album has sold many more copies since his death, and those figures are "as of", and times have changed in the music industry. I'm not sure it's meaningful to compare sales of this album in a 20-year span ending before the artist's death with the entire catalog of a top conductor. I agree that the numbers could be wrong, but the answer is to find other information. You are welcome to edit "astonishing" (a quote from the source) to simply "high", for example. Riggr Mortis (talk) 23:11, 3 July 2011 (UTC)


Since the actual title of the album is "Bach: The Goldberg Variations", shouldn't the name of the article follow suit? I suggest moving this article to Bach: The Goldberg Variations (album). LK (talk) 04:20, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

That's basically what it was originally. Someone objected (quite adamantly) that a person searching for the G.V. piece would land here mistakenly. I don't agree, but it's not worth arguing about. It was at Bach: The Goldberg Variations. Until there are more than three articles on classical albums on all of Wikipedia their objection seems academic. Riggr Mortis (talk) 05:05, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Riggr, thanks for the info. I gather that you agree with me that the article should be moved? Let's not allow what someone passionately wanted years ago to make us deviate from the guidelines set out in the Manual of style concerning titles (WP:TITLE). I'll let it sit a few days; unless there are some reasonable policy based objections, I'm going to move the article to Bach: The Goldberg Variations (album). LK (talk) 10:07, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree, but someone has now implemented yet another title. I'm not sure what's so controversial about the concept of having the title of the album as the title of the article (with a parenthetical "album" or "recording" for clarity, even if not technically disambiguation). Riggr Mortis (talk) 02:51, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
This is currently being discussed here. --Kleinzach 03:01, 27 October 2011 (UTC)
I guess the standard format would be: Bach: The Goldberg Variations (Glenn Gould recording). Is there any reason not to move it? LK (talk) 07:33, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Title revisited (May 2015)[edit]

Since there are - famously - not one but two recordings by Gould, the current title is ambiguous. This article is mainly about the 1955 recording, although it does mention the 1981 one. However, Gould rejected the earlier recording in latter years, saying that he "did not recognise the person" who played it. The 1981 recording is surely Gould's last word on the GV, whatever the critics may think.


  • Expand this article to comprehensively cover both recordings, and change the disambiguation tag to (Glenn Gould recordings)
  • Limit it to the 1955 recording, with a link to a new article on the 1981 recording. Change the dab to (Glenn Gould 1955 recording).

Comments? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:41, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Birth of a Legend recording[edit]

You might want to add that Birth Of A Legend has even more 1955 outtakes. (talk) 05:31, 15 August 2012 (UTC)