A musician who loves crossing borders, from bluegrass to pop and folk, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile is about to release a collection of Bach sonatas and partitas. It turns out that a certain Canadian pianist is one of his prime influences:
Bach was my first meaningful experience with—for lack of a better word—classical music. It was the second recording of Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations. Gould plays with the kind of rhythmic integrity that I had previously only associated with non-classical music: music with a groove, with a pocket, that made you move. Gould was playing that music like my heroes play fiddle tunes. It humanized the whole thing for me and the heavens opened up and Bach came down.
And here’s Thile in action a few years ago, channelling GG on the first variation from the Goldberg, accompanied by Mike Marshall.