If Variations 1-5 are your brain, Variations 25-29 are your brain on drugs. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Variation 17 (excerpt, Glenn Gould, 1955)

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Andreas Staier plays Bach's Goldberg Variations on a copy of this famously grand harpsichord built in 1734 by Hieronymus Albrecht Hass currently housed in Hamburg, Germany. Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Hear Andreas Staier And His Harpsichord

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Glenn Gould's 1955 recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations instantly launched his international career. Don Hunstein/Sony Classical Archive hide caption

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A Glenn Gould 'Goldbergs' Listening Party

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Jeremy Denk performs in Studio 4A. Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

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Bach's 'Goldberg Variations': Infinite Worlds Out Of Eight (Borrowed) Notes

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Lara Downes plays contemporary takes on Bach's iconic Goldberg Variations in NPR's studio 4A. Doriane Raiman/NPR hide caption

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Lara Downes' New Viewpoints On Old Variations

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In pianist Jeremy Denk's world, Silence of the Lambs serial killer Hannibal Lecter has a few Bachian traits. Kobal Collection/Orion hide caption

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Goldberg Variations: Aria (Jeremy Denk in NPR's studio)

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All this week, a look at Bach's Goldberg Variations from many points of view. Guido Bergmann/Getty Images hide caption

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Bach Scholar Christoph Wolff Discusses The 'Goldberg Variations'

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