“an explosion of simultaneous ideas”

Glenn Gould in rehearsal, Toronto, 1974

Today is Glenn Gould’s birthday.  Gould was born on September 25, 1932.  Here two tracks

is a comparison of Gould’s first recording of the aria of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and his later recording made right before he died on October 4, 1982.  His second interpretation of the Variations is without compare.

At the piano with his dog

What makes Gould so unique is that we can hear everything, every note in its singular beauty, but with every other note simultaneously, all the others equally expressed in their perfect singularity. There is never mush, never indecision, but the access to clarity that seems to by-pass the air and go directly into the nervous system. He reveals not only the truths of Bach, but the radiance of the universe. To hear Gould play is to believe that there is supreme rationality and that one can know and comprehend it.  Happy Birthday, Glenn.

A source of more information, the Gould Archive in Canada, is a repository for the enthusiast or the casual surfer.   I especially like the Bernstein comment to the waiting audience when Gould is about to perform with the Philharmonic.  Enjoy.

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