Tag Archives: Glenn Gould

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 – Glenn Gould (1968/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 – Glenn Gould (1968/2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 39:15 minutes | 368 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records

Joke, satire, irony, deeper significance: the back cover of Gould’s gripping recording contained four imaginary reviews by an English critic (Sir Humphrey Price-Davies), a Munich musicologist (Dr. Karlheinz Heinkel), an American psychiatrist (Prof. S. F. Lemming), and the American corres pondent to the Journal of the All-Union Musical Workers of Budapest. All were written by Gould himself …

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Glenn Gould – Bach: The Toccatas, BWV 910-916 (complete) (2012) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Johann Sebastian Bach – The Toccatas, BWV 910-916 (complete) – Glenn Gould (2012)
FLAC Tracks 24bit/44.1kHz | Time – 01:21:05 minutes | 721MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | ©  Sony Music
Recorded 1976-1979 at Eaton’s Auditorium, Toronto, Canada, and 30th Street Studio, New York City

There is an often-repeated adage that piano recordings of the Bach’s Toccatas, like those of the Goldberg Variations, fall into two categories: Glenn Gould and not Glenn Gould. These recordings embody the elements of Gould’s Bach without necessarily falling under the shadow of his larger-than-life musical persona. The performance style favours smooth legato, reserved ornamentation and an even balance between the hands. He is rarely tempted to emphasise fugal subjects or thematically significant bass lines. His touch is delicate rather than muscular; everything is confident and decisive but nothing is emphatic or overstated. Gould at his finest!

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Glenn Gould Plays His Own Transcriptions of Wagner Orchestral Showpieces (1973/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Glenn Gould Plays His Own Transcriptions of Wagner Orchestral Showpieces (1973/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:46:32 minutes | 406 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records/Sony Music

“You know, I’ve always sort of sat down at night and played Wagner for myself, because I’m a total Wagnerite—hopelessly addicted to the later things especially—and I thought it would be fun to make my own transcriptions.” To manage the ending of the Meistersinger Overture without leaving out any of the themes, Gould had to play four-hands with himself—an instance of what he called “creative lying.”

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Ludwig van Beethoven – Bagatelles, Op. 33 & Op. 126 – Glenn Gould (1975/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Ludwig van Beethoven – Bagatelles, Op. 33 & Op. 126 – Glenn Gould (1975/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 00:41:34 minutes | 360 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records

If the final sonatas in the Beethoven cycle dragged on for ages, the two sets of Bagatelles were turned out in a trice: the recording was completed in a mere four days. Whether there was ever a plan to record the third set, op. 119, is anybody’s guess.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 17-24, BWV 862-869 – Glenn Gould (1965/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 17-24, BWV 862-869 – Glenn Gould (1965/2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 35:25 minutes | 330 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records/Sony Music

Ever in search of the ideal sound: for a while Gould apparently planned to record the Well-Tempered Clavier on a “harpsipiano” (“a neurotic piano that thinks it’s a harpsichord”), but Columbia declined. What remained is a level of polyphonic lucidity and contrapuntal rigor that beggars comparison.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 9-16, BWV 878-885 – Glenn Gould (1970/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 9-16, BWV 878-885 – Glenn Gould (1970/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 34:01 minutes | 328 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records/Sony Music

Gould had already recorded Fugue No. 9 in E major (BWV 878) and No.14 in F-sharp minor (BWV 883) in 1957 to fill up an LP with the Fifth and Sixth Partitas (see No. 4). The earlier readings were much slower: 4’17” as opposed to 1’46” for BWV 878, and 3’14” instead of 2’45” for BWV 883. You never cross the same river twice …

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Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 1-8, BWV 870-877 – Glenn Gould (1968/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Johann Sebastian Bach – The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Preludes & Fugues Nos. 1-8, BWV 870-877 – Glenn Gould (1968/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 36:43 minutes | 356 MB | Genre: Classical
Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records/Sony Music

Book II of the Well-Tempered Clavier occupies much more space in Gould’s discography than the first. The interpretative range is all the more striking: Fugue No. 7 in E-flat major, for instance, appears in two early CBC versions lasting 3:19 (1953) and 2:03 (1966) minutes, respectively, while the one here whizzes past in one minute and thirty-eight seconds.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccatas Vol. 2, BWV 911 & 914-916 – Glenn Gould (1980/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccatas Vol. 2, BWV 911 & 914-916 – Glenn Gould (1980/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 37:32 minutes | 345 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records/Sony Music

In May 1979 Eaton’s Auditorium was hastily reopened for recording purposes. “Basically, it looked as if a bomb had hit the place. Walls were missing, doors were boarded up. There were no lights. There was no heat. Thick layers of dust covered everything. Luckily, the freight elevator still functioned so the piano could be brought in.” The result was the completion of the series of Bach toccatas.

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Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccatas Vol. 1, BWV 910, 912 & 913 – Glenn Gould (1979/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Johann Sebastian Bach – Toccatas Vol. 1, BWV 910, 912 & 913 – Glenn Gould (1979/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 42:44 minutes | 378 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Columbia Records/Sony Music

On 1 April 1977, immediately after the Sibelius session, Eaton’s Auditorium was temporarily shut down for remodeling. Gould didn’t create another “take” for more than two years, but fortunately there were enough unreleased recordings stored in the ice-box, including these three Bach toccatas. On 25 April 1978 Gould renewed his exclusive contract with Columbia – for one last time …

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Johann Sebastian Bach – The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – Glenn Gould (1982/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]

Johann Sebastian Bach – The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – Glenn Gould (1982/2015) 
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 51:03 minutes | 462 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | © Columbia Records/Sony Music

he last recording to appear in Gould’s lifetime, completing the discographical circle that had begun so spectacularly with the same work in 1955. “I would like to think that there is a kind of autumnal repose in what I’m doing, so that much of the music becomes a tranquilizing experience. It would be nice if what we do in the recorded state could involve the possibility of some degree of perfection, not purely of a technical order, but also of a spiritual order.”

Continue reading Johann Sebastian Bach – The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – Glenn Gould (1982/2015) [Qobuz 24-44.1]