Glenn Gould Offers a Strikingly Unconventional Interpretation of 1806 Beethoven Composition

Here’s a strik­ing­ly uncon­ven­tion­al inter­pre­ta­tion of Lud­wig van Beethoven’s 1806 com­po­si­tion, 32 Vari­a­tions on an Orig­i­nal Theme in C minor, by the Cana­di­an vir­tu­oso pianist Glenn Gould. It was record­ed in Toron­to in March of 1966 for a spe­cial pro­gram, “Con­ver­sa­tions with Glenn Gould,” which fea­tured an in-depth dis­cus­sion between Gould and the BBC arts reporter Humphrey Bur­ton. You can find the com­plete pro­gram bro­ken up into pieces at the CBC Web site. And for an espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing 35-minute seg­ment, in which Gould explains and demon­strates his idio­syn­crat­ic approach to inter­pret­ing Beethoven, see below:

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Video: Glenn Gould Plays the Gold­berg Vari­a­tions by J.S. Bach

Glenn Gould Explains the Genius of Johann Sebas­t­ian Bach (1962)

Glenn Gould Pre­dicts Mash-up Cul­ture in 1969 Doc­u­men­tary

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