Up for auction: newly found marked-up score of Glenn Gould’s 1981 “Goldberg” Variations

Posted on: November 5, 2018

“Few classical recordings have aroused as much fascination as Glenn Gould’s 1981 take on Bach’s ‘Goldberg’ Variations,” writes Michael Cooper in Friday’s (11/2) New York Times. “Gould, whose first major-label recording was a classic 1955 account of the ‘Goldbergs,’ rerecorded them more than 25 years later. He then died … leaving the two Bach statements as bookends to his career. Now the score he used while making the 1981 recording has resurfaced…. The heavily marked-up score—which will be offered at auction on Dec. 5 at Bonhams in New York—shows the nearly obsessive attention to detail Gould was famous for…. ‘I would call this the equivalent of a shooting script of a movie,’ said the critic Tim Page … editor of ‘The Glenn Gould Reader.’ ‘He keeps track of which takes he likes, and how long they are.’… Nicholas Hopkins, whose painstaking transcription of Gould’s 1981 recording was published in 2015, said that he had believed that Gould only used Ralph Kirkpatrick’s edition of the ‘Goldberg’ score…. So when he was told that another score had surfaced—and that it was a different edition, published by C.F. Peters—he was surprised. ‘That’s fascinating,’ he said.”

Posted November 5, 2018

In photograph: The score Glenn Gould used for his 1981 recording of Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations will be sold at auction in December. Photo: Bonhams.