Glenn Gould

The Art of Glenn Gould

There are a lot of musicians, including me, who are nuts about pianist Glenn Gould. This 5 – CD album is intended – perhaps – to serve as a potential gift for us nutty folks. Trouble is that the material that was selected is, in my view, only partially satisfying.

The album includes the following:

Bach, J S:

  • Goldberg Variations, BWV988, Recorded in 1955
  • Italian Concerto, BWV971
  • Chromatic Fantasia & Fugue in D minor, BWV903
  • Keyboard Concerto in D minor (after Marcello), BWV974
  • Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV1052
  • Keyboard Concerto No. 5 in F minor, BWV1056


  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 19


  • Intermezzo in E flat major, Op. 117 No. 1
  • Intermezzo in E flat minor, Op. 118 No. 6
  • Intermezzo in C sharp minor, Op. 117 No. 3


  • Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K330

Performed by Glenn Gould (piano)

This 5-CD box set surveys in depth Gould’s recordings from 1955 to 1961, beginning with the Goldberg Variations that remains one of the most celebrated (and best-selling) recordings of the 20th century.

While it is good that the album carries Gould’s 1955 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, I am personally not all that enthusiastic about the other performances. Gould was a very controversial performer of both Beethoven and Mozart because of his decisions on tempos. On the other hand, I do enjoy his performances of the lovely Brahms Intermezzos.

Judge for yourself, as I will demonstrate with the following videos:

First, Glenn Gould playing J. S. Bach’s  Goldberg Variations ( 1955 );
Amazing interpretation, and great music for exhilaration, or for sleep!

And here is Glenn Gould performing Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto; I actually love the somewhat slower opening; it provides more clarity to the grandeur of the music:


And next, here is Glenn Gould playing the “Sarabande” from Partita No.4 (BWV 828) by Johann Sebastian Bach:


Finally, here is Glenn Gould in Mozart’s Piano Sonata No.13 In D Flat Major K.333. Notice how he gives us a harpsichord-like sound on the modern grand piano:


Tags: Glenn Gould, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms

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