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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Comments (11)
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  • Mike says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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.”

  • Mike Caprio says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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.

    • Vasya says:

      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.

  • Mark says:


    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.

  • stewartinoz says:

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

  • Tom Boldenweck says:

    I found this:

    Glenn Gould: The Late­com­ers 1

    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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