Glenn Gould

"The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity."

Glenn Gould, 1962

"[Gould] delivers the music to us as someone might place in our hands a fragile and priceless object which he loved beyond anything else."

Nicholas Spice, London Review of Books, 1992


Bach

Glenn Gould played with the same mystical communion whether he was alone at home or, as he was that day in May 1957, on the stage of the Moscow Conservatory. A few curious onlookers had come to hear him, for he was the very first Western musician to be invited to Soviet Russia. At the intermission, the delirious listeners put out the word like drums in the street. When Gould returned to the stage, the hall was jammed. 

A young Sviatoslav Richter, considered by many the greatest living pianist, watched in awe. “I could play Bach that well," Richter later said to a friend, “but [you know why i don't play that well? Because] I would have to practice very [work so] hard. That is the [key to the] genius of Glenn Gould."

From Glenn Gould, the Solitary Genius, The Canadian Encyclopedia
Corrections transcribed from the documentary film The Russian Journey 


As much as I dislike superlatives, I think that Shakespeare was the greatest writer and that Beethoven was the greatest composer...except when I see Gould playing Bach.

-Me


 

Bach Keyboard Concerto in D minor 
1st Movement
with New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein Conducting

Leonard Bernstein Introduces Glenn Gould to the American Audience (See Complete Broadcast Below)

 

  2nd Movement with Ottawa Philharmonic, Thomas Mayer Conducting

 

  Third movement with Ottawa Philharmonic, Thomas Mayer Conducting

 

 
Leonard Bernstein Introduces Glenn Gould to the American Audience, complete broadcast, retro-ads & all. There's a jaw-dropping segment at the end.

 

   
 

“Isolation is the indispensable component of human happiness."

-Glenn Gould