Glenn Gould: essential recordings

Gramophone Wed 4th October 2017

A brief guide to a few of Gould's most outstanding achievements on record

JS Bach Goldberg Variations (rec 1955)

Glenn Gould pf

Sony

‘As an exposition of the music’s mechanism this is a remarkable performance but, despite occasional intrusions of sing-along and sparing use of the pedals, it says little of Bach’s humanity.’ (4/93)

 

JS Bach Goldberg Variations (rec 1981)

Glenn Gould pf

‘This astonishing performance was recorded 26 years after Gould’s legendary 1955 disc. Gould was not in the habit of re-recording, but a growing unease with that earlier performance made him turn once again to a timeless masterpiece and try, via a radically altered outlook, for a more definitive account.’ (8/93)

 

‘Glenn Gould in Concert: 1951 1960’

Various ensembles / Glenn Gould pf

West Hill Radio Archives

‘This set offers radically different viewpoints of works that are currently available, as well as certain pieces that we don’t have at all. You’re unlikely to be bored or under-stimulated.’ (9/11)

 

‘Glenn Gould: Original Jacket Collection’

Glenn Gould pf

Sony

‘Here is Gould’s more-or-less complete recorded output, from the landmark 1955 Goldberg Variations through Gould’s posthumously published Brahms, Beethoven and Strauss discs. The Original Jacket transfers compare favourably with earlier CD incarnations.’ (12/07)

 

‘The Solitude Trilogy: Three Sound Documentaries’

Glenn Gould

CBC

Includes The Idea of NorthThe Latecomers and The Quiet in the Land. Gould’s pioneering ‘contrapuntal’ editing techniques influenced a generation of radio and television documentary-makers.

 

Wagner Siegfried Idyll. Piano Transcriptions

Toronto SO / Glenn Gould pf

Sony

‘Gould’s piano transcription of the Siegfried Idyll builds to a superbly balanced climax, and achieves a sense of repose at the end which is surpassed only by the ending of the chamber version he also conducts on this album.’ (4/91)

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