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Tuesday, May 28, 2002

One More Time

I don’t have God in my life but I have some really inspiring things created by man. If you had to give up religion for a work of art you could do worse than Bach’s Goldberg Variations performed by the eccentric Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. I only hope that religion makes people feel like I feel when I listen to this piece.

Gould’s interpretation of the Goldberg Variations launched him into instant stardom when his recording was released in 1955. I think what sets this recording apart is the way Gould uses changes in tempo from one variation to the next to alternately demonstrate Bach’s genius with his own virtuosity.

As a struggling pianist I find that this work is a constant source of wonder and inspiration. I return to it again and again when I get in a rut. If I don’t feel like practicing I’ll listen to a few variations and be inspired to sit down and play the ones that I know or perhaps try a new one. Many are beyond my ability, especially at the break-neck speed at which Gould plays. The hope of someday having the skill to play the canons, like Bach’s fugues, is what keeps me practicing.

Like those under the spell of religion I feel the need to preach the word of Bach and to proselytize. Everyone should go out and buy this CD, or better yet, go download it for free at kazaa. Bach and Gould are both dead so there’s no need for the record companies to get any money from them.

The world has nothing to fear from atheists. The people that scare me are those who claim to have God in their hearts but have no art in their lives.

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