Johann Sebastian Bach
My favorite collection of classical music is The Goldberg Variations. Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and published in 1741 is a collection of 30 variations specific to the harpsichord - The Variations are named after harpsichord virtuoso Johann Gottlieb Goldberg. I listen to this music when I want to relax and be creative - It's soothing, it's exciting, it's beautiuful. Unarguablly, the most well known performance and recording of The Goldberg Variations are by Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould. I have Glenn Gould's 1981 recording as well as his 1955 recording - they are as different as night and day - Gould made his original mark on the world stage by first recording these 30 pieces of music in a NY City recording studio. Gould, died of a stroke at the age of 50, a couple of months after recording his second take on the Variations. It is believed that Glenn Gould suffered from Asperger's Syndrome - a form of high functioning autism. This probably explains Gould's bizarre humming during performances - Sound engineers were driven mad by Gould's inability to stop the humming while recording. If you listen closely, you can hear him methodically humming along as he plays.
Glenn Gould, Rehersal, Toronto - 1974