Perhaps the most famous cinematic Goldberg moment is in Silence of the Lambs: Hannibal Lecter, chewing the face off one of his prison guards to the strains of the Aria. This use of Bach is — depending on your point of view — either a stroke of genius or an act of cultural cannibalism. Admittedly, it’s vivid, certainly one of the best face-chewing scenes I can think of.
But it’s exploitation too.
—Jeremy Denk continues NPR Classical’s “Goldberg Week” with Hannibal Lecter’s Guide To The ‘Goldberg Variations.’