As for classical music, there were a few recordings of Bach, including the Brandenburg Concertos, and three albums by Yo-Yo Ma. One afternoon we sat in his living room as he scrolled through the songs on his new iPad. Bach, he declared, was his favorite classical composer.
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”