|SONY BMG Masterworks and Zenph Studios release Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations (1955)||
March 20, 2007
|SONY BMG Masterworks and Zenph Studios announce the release of a breakthrough in the history of recorded music. Zenph’s re-performance of pianist Glenn Gould’s renowned 1955 rendition of the Bach Goldberg Variations lets listeners hear this celebrated work like never before and provides for a sonic rediscovery of an iconic recording.
The Goldberg Variations by Gould is one of the jewels of the Masterworks catalogue, continuously in print for over half a century. Zenph’s new technique lets the performance be heard for the first time in state-of-the-art sound on a new SONY BMG Masterworks hybrid multichannel SACD/CD disc, which includes versions tailored for surround sound and headphone listening.
Zenph’s innovative re-performance process takes audio recordings and turns them into nuanced live performances that precisely replicate the original recording but offer vastly improved sound quality. Listeners are now able to go back to the moment of creation and experience Gould’s playing as if they were in the room when the original recording was made.
Re-performances replicate the original musician’s touch, timing and sound – including glitches in the original performance. "We've preserved every single note, including the mistakes,” said John Q. Walker, president of Zenph Studios. “The improvements are all related to the sound quality. This is something that needs to be heard to be fully appreciated.”
Zenph captures the musical nuances of the original piano recording’s every note, with details about the pedal actions, volume and articulations – all with millisecond timings. The digital data is transcribed into high-resolution MIDI files and played back on a state-of-the-art Yamaha Disklavier Pro™ concert grand piano. The process allows for the production of new recordings that transcend the limitations of the original recording process.
SONY BMG assembled its top producers and engineers for the Gould project, including Steven Epstein, five-time Grammy® Award winner for “Producer of the Year,” and Richard King, senior recording engineer for Sony Music Studios in New York and a three-time Grammy® winner.
Hailed worldwide, Zenph’s work was named one of the Best Ideas of 2006 by The New York Times Magazine. “The re-creations are uncanny,” wrote Paul D. Lehrman in Insider Audio magazine. “The timings and variations in the keystrokes are so subtle, it’s easy to imagine the pianist is in the room, his fingers pushing the keys down.”
Last year, at a live re-performance of the Goldberg Variations held at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, members of the Glenn Gould Foundation stood and applauded after the last note faded.