He was particularly fond of listening to the contrast between the two versions of the “Goldberg Variations” that Glenn Gould recorded, the first in 1955 as a twenty-two-year-old little-known pianist and the second in 1981, a year before he died.
“They’re like night and day,” Jobs said after playing them sequentially one afternoon. “The first is an exuberant, young, brilliant piece, played so fast it’s a revelation. The later one is so much more spare and stark. You sense a very deep soul who’s been through a lot in life. It’s deeper and wiser.”
Jobs was on his third medical leave that afternoon when he played both versions, and I asked which he liked better, “Gould liked the later version much better.” he said. “I like the earlier, exuberant one. But now I can see where he was coming from.”
– Walter Isaacson in “Steve Jobs”