A Young Glenn Gould Plays Bach

Great find by Robert B., who captions this clip: “the teenage Glenn Gould at his Canadian home.” Gould is playing here J.S.Bach’s Partita #2. Give this a minute to get going. It’s a pretty awesome display of Gould’s talents. Thanks for sharing Robert…



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  • Mike

    Beautiful. I needed something like this; thank you.

    . . . I can’t resist pointing out that Gould, like the Beatles, retired from performing and concentrated his creative energies on recording. A fragile and eccentric man, Gould was able to live life on his own terms due to the royalties he earned from his recordings. He got to live with dignity (autonomy, self-ownership) and we got his beautiful recordings. That is what I call a win-win situation.

    (Can anyone imagine Gould hawking t-shirts, or selling himself on MySpace?)

  • Robert Berwin

    This was shot in 1959 (before Gould recorded the Goldberg Variations!) and is part of Bruno Monsaingeon’s documentary “The Art of the Piano,” featuring many of the great 20th Century pianists.

  • Robert Berwin

    Sorry folks- I was in error. This was shot about 4 years after the first Goldberg recording and Gould was about 27 years old.

  • Mike

    Thanks, Robert. I hope to find a copy of “The Art of the Piano.” I also see that Monsaingeon has made a full-length film on Gould which looks very interesting, called “Glenn Gould: Hereafter.”

  • http://mikecap.mp/ Mike Caprio

    Mike, it’s rather easy to imagine someone of Gould’s talent getting donations from fans, fellowships, and grants to continue making his music. Artists of true greatness need not rely on artificial scarcity to make money.

    I wonder how Bach himself made a living without copyright, eh? Riddle me that one.

  • Tom Boldenweck

    Years ago I lived in Detroit and listened to the CBC. Gould did a series of sound portraits of things that interested him. I remember one in particular that was about Grand Banks fisherman with appropriate sounds of old men talking about life on the Grand Banks schooners, folk music, wind noises, etc.
    Could these still be available?I know I would love to hear them again!

  • Bill

    He was a genius pianist. But I’m sorry, any performer/conductor who has the audacity to sing along with their playing ought to be kicked in the tuckus. I came to listen to you PLAY/CONDUCT. Your vocalizing is distracting, annoying and takes away from your virtuosity on the instrument that you are performing on. There was a conducting professor in college who would do the very same thing. Finally, the last dress rehearsal before the signature performance of the Bernstein Mass, one of the orchestra members commented to him about it and he was taken aback and supposedly didn’t realize he was doing it.

    Yeah, I guess. At least he was man enough to STFU during the performance.

  • Mark

    Tom,

    Check out http://www.cbcshop.ca and type Glenn Gould in the search box. There are two box sets (currently on sale) that may interest you, but the one called “The Radio Artist” in particular would probably contain copies of the radio shows you’d like to hear.

  • Vasya

    Faulting arguablynthe highest genius in the entire history of music for his u201cvocalizingu201d is somethingnvery fresh. Iu2019m adding your post to thencollection of the best comments related to music. Right after those:nn#1. Bach isnoutdated and his music is dead. What donyou mean u201cwhyu201d? You canu2019t dance undernhis music! Thatu2019s it! nn#2. Music wasnthought up by Jews. Whatever it takes asnlong as it can protect them from real job.nnYour comment belongnright there, although only #3, sorry.

  • stewartinoz

    Ignore the vocalizing if it offends and concentrate on the Gould genius on the keyboard.

  • Tom Boldenweck

    I found this:

    Glenn Gould: The Latecomers 1
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOooyndutQM

    This should lead you to the others in the series. They are in English even though the written description is in French. I hope you get this message.

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