Performed by Kimiko Ishizaka on a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial in Berlin's Teldex Studio, there's already plenty to love about a new cut of Bach's Goldberg Variations. But this one is also the first fan-funded, open source, and completely free recording of it.
"Every part of it is free for you to use, share, and copy," said Robert Douglass, who launched the successful Kickstarter project behind Werner Schweer's new version of the classic score and its production.
Schweer's modernized and digitized score was itself created with free and open source software from MuseScore.com.
The producers said their goal was to be "precise to Bach’s instruction, yet full of personality and character".
"To help make this recording truly timeless, we need your help. Share it. Give it away. Introduce others to its beauty, and explain to them why you love it," Douglass wrote. "Make yourself responsible for converting another person to being a Bach fan."
The production's website is at opengoldbergvariations.org. Five double CDs of the recording will be given away to listeners who sign up for a promotion. There's also a facebook page for the project and a twitter account to follow.
Wisconsin Public Radio also developed a website to accompany its broadcast of the Open Goldberg Variations, opengoldberg.wpr.org, which will display the score in real-time so listeners can "see" the music there as it plays: "a first-ever event, proving bleeding edge technologies," says Douglass.