Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1955 mono recording)
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1955 mono recording)
Released: 1956
The Birth of a Legend: Gould’s first recording for Columbia, playing Bach as if someone had parted the curtains and thrown open the windows in a dark, stuffy room. The critics were ecstatic; the release broke all records and is still considered one of the ten most significant and successful classical recordings of all time.
View Album
Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos. 30-32
Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos. 30-32
Released: 1956
Sensation yields to scandal: Gould’s feisty and headstrong treatment of the final triptych in Beethoven’s pianistic “New Testament” outraged the critics no less than his sleeve notes, in which he claimed of op. 111 that “the piece is weak in spots; it needs greater speed. Especially the first movement is such a bad piece that I wanted to get on to the finale.”
View Album
Bach: Concerto No. 1 in D Minor BWV 1052 & Beethoven: Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major Op.19
Bach: Concerto No. 1 in D Minor BWV 1052 & Beethoven: Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major Op.19
Released: 1957
Gould’s first recording with orchestra, and his first studio collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, fourteen years his senior. “During the first portion of the concerto, Mr. Gould slid out from behind the piano and loped casually about the hall. He shook his head, waved his arms, beat time, and acted generally in a manner that any conductor less accustomed to the ways of genius might have found trying in the extreme. Bernstein took no notice.”
View Album
Bach: Partitas Nos. 5 & 6; Fugues in F-Sharp Minor and E Major
Bach: Partitas Nos. 5 & 6; Fugues in F-Sharp Minor and E Major
Released: 1957
The Fifth Partita was “the worst Bach recording I’ve ever made. It was also the most pianistic. It was perhaps the one that the connoisseur of the piano would like best. It’s the one I like least because it’s least Bach, it’s least me vis-à-vis Bach in any case; it’s full of all sorts of dynamic hang-ups, it’s full of crescendi and diminuendi that have no part in the structure, in the skeleton of that music.” Serious or tongue-in-cheek, who can tell?
View Album
Haydn: Sonata No. 3 in E-Flat Major; Mozart: Sonata No. 10 in C Major, K.330; Fantasia and Fugue in C Major, K.394
Haydn: Sonata No. 3 in E-Flat Major; Mozart: Sonata No. 10 in C Major, K.330; Fantasia and Fugue in C Major, K.394
Released: 1958
Gould later re-recorded both sonatas (see Nos. 40 and 64a). The comparison is shocking, especially in the case of K. 330: the earlier recording is almost five minutes longer! “I think the two versions simply reflect the different pulse rates I had when I played them at the sessions.” Mozart’s Fantasy and Fugue, in contrast, remained unique: Gould never turned to it again.
View Album
Berg: Sonata for Piano, Op. 1; Schoenberg: Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11; Krenek: Sonata No. 3 for Piano, Op. 92, No. 4
Berg: Sonata for Piano, Op. 1; Schoenberg: Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11; Krenek: Sonata No. 3 for Piano, Op. 92, No. 4
Released: 1959
Gould's first Columbia recording of twentieth-century music, though he had already recorded the Berg Sonata for the Canadian Hallmark label in 1951 – his very first commercial recording. Krenek’s obscure Third Sonata cropped up time and again in Gould’s recitals, including his last public appearance on 10 April 1964 in Los Angeles.
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Released: 1960
By now the critics had evidently made their peace with Gould’s wayward readings of Beethoven. His recording of the C-minor Concerto, again with Leonard Bernstein, met with general approval, even if Gould “yields more to his own nature than he should in the Largo” and “meanders and rhapsodizes without thinking that this movement, too, is by Beethoven.“
View Album
Gould: String Quartet No. 1
Gould: String Quartet No. 1
Released: 1960
Gould’s posthumous “legacy” in the National Library of Canada includes seven boxes of compositions. Apart from this great Opus 1, most are brief and usually unfinished essays: “They exhibit attempts at every style from Palestrina (which was done to please my teachers) to Schoenberg (which was done to annoy them).” The style of the quartet reflects Gould’s love for Bruckner, Wagner, and Richard Strauss.
View Album
Bach: Italian Concerto in F Major & Partita Nos. 1 & 2
Bach: Italian Concerto in F Major & Partita Nos. 1 & 2
Released: 1960
Gould’s tenth recording for Columbia was accompanied by a two-part film portrait entitled Off the Record / On the Record – a sure indication of the star status he had by now attained. He was considered “music’s most successful hipster” and “the object of a sort of James Dean cult” – perhaps classical music’s first pop star. For the time being he still played along with the media hype …
View Album
Brahms: 10 Intermezzi
Brahms: 10 Intermezzi
Released: 1961
Gould was prouder of this recording than almost any other: “It’s the sexiest interpretation of Brahms’s Intermezzi you’ve ever heard—and I really think it is perhaps the best piano playing I have done. You know what an incurable romantic I am anyway.”
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Released: 1961
This was the concerto with which Gould gave his orchestral début, playing its first movement on 8 May 1946. “Who does the kid think he is, Artur Schnabel?” snorted one critic, while another touted the thirteen-year-old boy as a “genius.” Whatever the case, this was the Beethoven concerto he played most frequently in public—twenty-nine times.
View Album
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491 & Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491 & Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42
Released: 1962
The very combination of these two concertos was willful, still more Gould’s playing of Mozart, with its extra embellishments and even new counter-melodies in the piano part. What seemed revolutionary at the time has become a matter of course in today’s age of “historical performance practice.” In contrast, the Schoenberg Concerto sounded, in Gould's hands, almost as familiar as Mozart …
View Album
Bach: The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 Volume I Fugues 1-9
Bach: The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 Volume I Fugues 1-9
Released: 1962
“Gould’s approach seems downright unmusical, and the image it evokes for me is of the trained seal who beeps out God Save the Queen on a set of car horns.” Thus the miffed critic John Beckwith. It was to remain Gould’s only commercial recording on the organ; the remaining items in The Art of the Fugue are absent from his discography, as are the six Mendelssohn organ sonatas he intended to record afterwards.
View Album
Strauss: Enoch Arden (Tennyson), Op. 38
Strauss: Enoch Arden (Tennyson), Op. 38
Released: 1962
The third new recording released on the same day, as if Columbia wanted to demonstrate the full breadth of Gould’s musical spectrum. Strauss’s musical melodrama, written to a blank-verse narrative of 1864 by Alfred Lord Tennyson, was recorded almost by accident for a mere $1,500 and issued in a single limited edition of 2,000 copies. Small wonder that the LPs soon became coveted collector’s items …
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846-853
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846-853
Released: 1963
Gould launched his complete recording of the “Pianists’ Old Testament” on 10 January 1962. It would eventually occupy him for more than nine years. “We recorded ten or even fifteen different versions of some of the preludes and fugues. Nearly every one was perfect, note for note, yet still completely different. It was an amazing experience to witness how each version became something completely new in Gould’s hands.”
View Album
Bach: Partitas Nos. 3 & 4
Bach: Partitas Nos. 3 & 4
Released: 1963
In 1962-3 Bach was the uncontested lodestar of Gould’s concert and recording activities—including those for the CBC television network, for which he produced the programs Glenn Gould on Bach and The Anatomy of Fugue. Although he played the D-major Partita several times in recital before venturing with it into the studio, the “concert drop-out” already loomed on the horizon …
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I  Volume 2, BWV 854-861
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I Volume 2, BWV 854-861
Released: 1964
Gould launched his complete recording of the “Pianists’ Old Testament” on 10 January 1962. It would eventually occupy him for more than nine years. “We recorded ten or even fifteen different versions of some of the preludes and fugues. Nearly every one was perfect, note for note, yet still completely different. It was an amazing experience to witness how each version became something completely new in Gould’s hands.”
View Album
Bach: Two and Three Part Inventions, BWV 772-801 (Inventions & Sinfonias)
Bach: Two and Three Part Inventions, BWV 772-801 (Inventions & Sinfonias)
Released: 1964
Gould's first release after becoming a “concert drop-out.” For years he had put his Steinway CD 318 through myriad “operations” in order “to try to design an instrument [...] which can add to the undeniable resource of the modern piano something of the clarity and tactile facility of the harpsichord.” The result was “a slight nervous tic in the middle register which in the slower passages can be heard emitting a sort of hiccup.” Indeed it can!
View Album
Beethoven: Sonatas No. 5-7, Op. 10, No. 1-3
Beethoven: Sonatas No. 5-7, Op. 10, No. 1-3
Released: 1965
The “scandal” surrounding Beethoven’s final triptych of sonatas (see No. 2) failed to rematerialize, but Gould remained true to his unorthodox interpretative approach and brazenly violated the composer’s instructions, changing the tempo of the F-major sonata at the opening of the firstmovement recapitulation and substituting a fortissimo for a pianissimo in movement 3 of the D-major Sonata.
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Volume 3
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Volume 3
Released: 1965
Ever in search of the ideal sound: for a while Gould apparently planned to record the Well-Tempered Clavier on a “harpsipiano” (“a neurotic piano that thinks it’s a harpsichord”), but Columbia declined. What remained is a level of polyphonic lucidity and contrapuntal rigor that beggars comparison.
View Album
The Music of Arnold Schoenberg
The Music of Arnold Schoenberg
Released: 1966
Volume 1 of Schoenberg’s lieder, recorded between 11 June 1964 and 18 November 1965, marked a watershed in Gould’s career. Following Howard Scott, Joseph Scianni, Paul Myers, and finally Thomas Frost, the young Andrew Kazdin now shouldered the fascinating if awesome responsibility of producing Gould’s recordings—an alliance that was to last almost fifteen years.
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73,
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, "Emperor"
Released: 1966
Gould’s sole collaboration with Leopold Stokowski, to whom he devoted a large radio portrait for the CBC in 1971. This musical “summit meeting” between the thirty-four-year-old Canadian and a maestro nearly half a century his senior caused yet another dream to come true: Gould’s first encounter with his revered Barbra Streisand, who was recording her latest album next door …
View Album
Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano No. 8-10, Op. 13
Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano No. 8-10, Op. 13 "Pathétique", Op. 14, No. 1 & 2
Released: 1967
Amazingly, Gould’s third LP of Beethoven sonatas met with hardly any grumblings from the critics and was, all in all, warmly received. True, one reviewer spoke of “iconoclastic interpretations,” but acknowledged that it enabled listeners to discover a completely new Beethoven. Admittedly Gould’s Appassionata languished in the ice-box …
View Album
Bach: Three Keyboard Concertos, BWV 1054, 1056 & 1058
Bach: Three Keyboard Concertos, BWV 1054, 1056 & 1058
Released: 1967
Ten years after the release of the D-minor Concerto under Leonard Bernstein (see No. 3), Gould now issued Volume 1 of the Bach concertos under Vladimir Golschmann. “I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the recording. Please keep in mind always that if no other conductor will go into the studio with you, I will go!”
View Album
Canadian Music in the XXth Century
Canadian Music in the XXth Century
Released: 1967
“Canada’s a place to live comfortably, amicably, and with reasonable anonymity.” Thus Gould's response to a Toronto Telegram survey on “Canada Day.” The recording of these three works appeared during Canada’s centennial celebrations on 1 July 1967. A fourth piece, Ombres by Barbara Pentland, was recorded but not released until 1992.
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 870-877
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 870-877
Released: 1968
Book II of the Well-Tempered Clavier occupies much more space in Gould’s discography than the first. The interpretative range is all the more striking: Fugue No. 7 in E-flat major, for instance, appears in two early CBC versions lasting 3:19 (1953) and 2:03 (1966) minutes, respectively, while the one here whizzes past in one minute and thirty-eight seconds.
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas Vol. 1
Mozart Piano Sonatas Vol. 1
Released: 1968
After Bach, Beethoven, and Schoenberg, Mozart was the fourth composer to whom, despite his many reservations, Gould devoted a “cycle.” His misgivings did not, however, apply to these early sonatas: “For me, the first half-dozen piano sonatas, which have this purity of voice leading and this calculation of register, are the best of the lot.”
View Album
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Transcribed for Piano by Franz Liszt)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Transcribed for Piano by Franz Liszt)
Released: 1968
Joke, satire, irony, deeper significance: the back cover of Gould’s gripping recording contained four imaginary reviews by an English critic (Sir Humphrey Price-Davies), a Munich musicologist (Dr. Karlheinz Heinkel), an American psychiatrist (Prof. S. F. Lemming), and the American corres pondent to the Journal of the All-Union Musical Workers of Budapest. All were written by Gould himself …
View Album
Glenn Gould: Concert Dropouts - In Conversation with John McClure
Glenn Gould: Concert Dropouts - In Conversation with John McClure
Released: 1968
Four years after his final public appearance Gould, in an interview with journalist John McClure, explained and vindicated his decision to drop out of the concert scene: “Except for a few octogenarians, I’m really the first person who has, short of having a nervous collapse or something, given up the stage. I don’t believe in it and I don’t think most people who do go believe in it.”
View Album
Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 23 & Prokofiev: Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83
Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 23 & Prokofiev: Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83
Released: 1969
Two composers rarely found in the Gould discography, though he temporarily toyed with the notion of recording all ten Skryabin sonatas. The overlap between these two pieces and the recordings of Vladimir Horowitz prompted comparisons from which Gould emerged in fine form: analytic lucidity vs. romantic abandon.
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2
Released: 1969
“Even though ‘shorter is better’ represents my attitude in regard to Mozart generally, I’d have to say that the sonata in D, K. 284, which is probably the longest of the sonatas, is my favorite.” The critics were on the whole benevolent and at most poked fun at some of Gould’s ultra-fast tempos.
View Album
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol. 2
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol. 2
Released: 1969
Gould’s last phonograph recording with orchestra. After the death of Vladimir Golschmann, on 1 March 1972, he declined to complete his Bach series by recording Concerto No. 6 (BWV 1057) and abandoned his plan to re-record the D-minor Concerto (BWV 1052) in stereo.
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven Sonatas Nos. 8, 14 & 23
Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven Sonatas Nos. 8, 14 & 23
Released: 1970
Yet another scandal: Gould played the F-minor Piano Sonata, op. 57, at such a tortuously slow tempo that it seemed to fall into unrelated bits. “There is about the Appassionata – an egoistic pomposity, a defiant ‘let’s just see if I can’t get away with using that once more’ attitude—that on my own private Beethoven poll places this sonata somewhere between the King Stephen Overture and the Wellington’s Victory Symphony.”
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 878-885
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 878-885
Released: 1970
Gould had already recorded Fugue No. 9 in E major (BWV 878) and No.14 in F-sharp minor (BWV 883) in 1957 to fill up an LP with the Fifth and Sixth Partitas (see No. 4). The earlier readings were much slower: 4’17” as opposed to 1’46” for BWV 878, and 3’14” instead of 2’45” for BWV 883. You never cross the same river twice …
View Album
Beethoven: Variations for Piano
Beethoven: Variations for Piano
Released: 1970
Another recording for the Beethoven Centenary, perhaps reconciling many critics to Gould’s reading of the Appassionata. The Eroica Variations op. 35 is another of those works that exist in several recordings with vastly different tempos. This studio production took a grand total of ten years, from June 1960 to July 1970, to reach completion!
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 886-893
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 886-893
Released: 1971
The first recording from Gould’s private studio in Eaton’s Auditorium, where virtually all his recordings would be made until 1980. This put an end to all the delays and cancelled sessions that had marred his work for Columbia over the previous months and years.
View Album
A Consort of Musicke Bye William Byrde and Orlando Gibbons
A Consort of Musicke Bye William Byrde and Orlando Gibbons
Released: 1971
“Orlando Gibbons is my favorite composer—always has been. I can’t think of anybody who represents the end of an era better than Orlando Gibbons does.” This profession of faith in the great English virginalist is more than an act of defiance: it harks back to Gould’s early childhood experiences with Puritanism.
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3
Released: 1972
“The Sonata [No. 12] K. 332 was the first I began to study, I think, and I simply couldn’t understand how my teachers, and other presumably sane adults of my acquaintance, could count this piece among the great musical treasures of Western man.”
View Album
Music from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
Music from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
Released: 1972
Gould was an enthusiastic moviegoer. All the more regrettable, then, that his film work is so meagerly documented. To create the soundtrack for George Roy Hill’s film version of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Gould used his own Bach recordings as well as the Fourth Brandenburg with Pablo Casals conducting the Marlboro Festival Orchestra.
View Album
Schoenberg: Songs for Voice and Piano
Schoenberg: Songs for Voice and Piano
Released: 1972
Another release in Columbia’s grand and courageous attempt to record the complete works of Schoenberg. This release anticipated the onehundredth birthday celebrations of a composer to whom Gould also devoted a book (Arnold Schoenberg—A Perspective) and a ten-part CBC radio series (Music of Today: Arnold Schoenberg).
View Album
Suites for the Harpsichord
Suites for the Harpsichord
Released: 1972
Gould’s only recording on harpsichord owed its existence to a transportation mishap suffered by his Steinway CD 318. Once again the critics’ reactions ranged from rejection to outrage. Gould himself was so satisfied with the results that he once contemplated recording Part 2 of The Art of the Fugue on this instrument—a Wittmayer harpsichord.
View Album
Glenn Gould's First Recording of Grieg and Bizet
Glenn Gould's First Recording of Grieg and Bizet
Released: 1973
Gould as an “incorrigible romantic.” Instead of Schumann, Chopin, or Liszt he selected two unimaginably obscure rarities, referring to Grieg as a personal ancestor (“the composer was a cousin of my maternal great-grandfather”) and to Bizet’s Variations chromatiques as “one of the very few masterpieces for solo piano to emerge from the third quarter of the nineteenth century.”
View Album
Bach: The French Suites Nos. 1-4
Bach: The French Suites Nos. 1-4
Released: 1973
Besides Bach’s French Suites, Gould’s “artist contract cards” list the names of Mozart, Bizet, Skryabin, Wagner, and Hindemith. In short, he worked on six different recording projects in his studio at the same time, five of which were published simultaneously! Revealingly, his self-interview “Glenn Gould Interviews Glenn Gould About Glenn Gould” originated at roughly the same time …
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays Hindemith's Piano Sonatas 1-3
Glenn Gould Plays Hindemith's Piano Sonatas 1-3
Released: 1973
The Schoenberg cycle now completed, Gould turned to another 20thcentury master whom he had warmly revered for years: Paul Hindemith. He had already played Hindemith’s Third Sonata in his very first radio recital (on 24 December 1950), disclosing in this work a quality readily attributable to his own playing: “Repose—which, when properly adduced, is the true amalgam of ecstasy and reason.”
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays His Own Transcriptions of Wagner Orchestral Showpieces
Glenn Gould Plays His Own Transcriptions of Wagner Orchestral Showpieces
Released: 1973
“You know, I’ve always sort of sat down at night and played Wagner for myself, because I’m a total Wagnerite—hopelessly addicted to the later things especially—and I thought it would be fun to make my own transcriptions.” To manage the ending of the Meistersinger Overture without leaving out any of the themes, Gould had to play four-hands with himself—an instance of what he called “creative lying.”
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 4
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 4
Released: 1973
No Gould recording received a more solid thrashing than his reading of the A-major Sonata, K. 331: “The most loathsome record ever made!”—“It all conjures up an image of a tremendously precocious but very nasty little boy trying to put one over on his piano teacher.”—“It is very difficult to see what Gould is out to prove, unless the rumor that he actually hates this music is true.”
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Op. 31 Complete
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Op. 31 Complete
Released: 1973
This was the last of five new recordings released in September 1973, appearing one day after the four others. It marked the end of a long and often convoluted process: the first bars of the op. 31 triptych were recorded in July 1960, the final session took place almost thirteen years later on 15 May 1973! Amazingly, none of this is evident in the sonatas themselves.
View Album
Bach: The French Suites, Vol. 2 & Overture in the French Style
Bach: The French Suites, Vol. 2 & Overture in the French Style
Released: 1974
Back to Bach, the composer of Gould’s two new releases of 1974. The same year was noted for other projects: Gould recorded a Schoenberg set and the first episode of a television series Music in Our Time, both for CBC, and he joined the French director Bruno Monsaingeon to create the fourpart Chemins de la musique for ORTF. The same year witnessed Gould’s only Grammy award—for his sleeve notes to the three Hindemith sonatas.
View Album
Bach: The Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
Bach: The Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
Released: 1974
Gould maintained a longstanding friendship with the cellist Leonard Rose ever since they and the violinist Oscar Shumsky were made musical directors of Canada’s Stratford Festival in 1956. “In this particular case, I was very amenable to trying to please Glenn stylistically. I did not feel that at that time I was as well acquainted with the music as was Glenn.”
View Album
Beethoven: Bagatelles, Op. 33 & Op. 126
Beethoven: Bagatelles, Op. 33 & Op. 126
Released: 1975
If the final sonatas in the Beethoven cycle dragged on for ages, the two sets of Bagatelles were turned out in a trice: the recording was completed in a mere four days. Whether there was ever a plan to record the third set, op. 119, is anybody’s guess.
View Album
Hindemith: The Complete Sonatas for Brass & Piano
Hindemith: The Complete Sonatas for Brass & Piano
Released: 1976
The recording of Hindemith’s sonatas for brass instruments with members of the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble was a brain-child of record producer Andrew Kazdin to which Gould agreed instantaneously and whole-heartedly. In the middle of the recording session, tragedy struck: his mother died on 26 July 1975.
View Album
Bach: The Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord
Bach: The Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord
Released: 1976
Columbia originally hired the Bolivian-American violinist Jaime Laredo for this recording before asking Gould to play the piano part. The collaboration dovetailed so smoothly that Gould proposed further projects: the Grieg and Strauss sonatas and the two Busoni sonatas. Unfortunately, the recordings never materialized.
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays Sibelius
Glenn Gould Plays Sibelius
Released: 1977
An experimental recording in which Gould looped several microphones at various distances from the piano. It is also a declaration of his love for the great Finnish composer, whom he had met in Berlin in the late 1950s at a performance of Sibelius’s Fifth under Herbert von Karajan—“one of the truly indelible musical-dramatic experiences of my life.”
View Album
Hindemith: Das Marienleben for Soprano & Piano
Hindemith: Das Marienleben for Soprano & Piano
Released: 1978
Whether there really was “an affair” between Gould and the Canadian soprano Roxolana Roslak, as record producer Andrew Kazdin vaguely intimated, is a matter of conjecture. But there can be no doubt that Hindemith’s Rilke cycle, with its blend of religious mystique and subliminal eroticism, was another fin-de-siècle work for which Gould had always felt a secret rapport.
View Album
Bach: The Toccatas, Vol. 1
Bach: The Toccatas, Vol. 1
Released: 1979
On 1 April 1977, immediately after the Sibelius session, Eaton’s Auditorium was temporarily shut down for remodeling. Gould didn’t create another “take” for more than two years, but fortunately there were enough unreleased recordings stored in the ice-box, including these three Bach toccatas. On 25 April 1978 Gould renewed his exclusive contract with Columbia – for one last time …
View Album
Bach: Toccatas Vol. 2
Bach: Toccatas Vol. 2
Released: 1980
In May 1979 Eaton’s Auditorium was hastily reopened for recording purposes. “Basically, it looked as if a bomb had hit the place. Walls were missing, doors were boarded up. There were no lights. There was no heat. Thick layers of dust covered everything. Luckily, the freight elevator still functioned so the piano could be brought in.” The result was the completion of the series of Bach toccatas.
View Album
Bach: Prelude, Fughettas & Fugues
Bach: Prelude, Fughettas & Fugues
Released: 1980
In December 1979 Gould’s longstanding producer Andrew Kazdin left Columbia. Gould produced his final recordings himself, beginning with this Bach album in January and February 1980. The cover shows Gould in the corner of a bare dilapidated room – more like the snapshot of a vagrant than the portrait of a pianistic genius. A doomsday scenario …
View Album
Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981 Digital Recording)
Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981 Digital Recording)
Released: 1982
The last recording to appear in Gould’s lifetime, completing the discographical circle that had begun so spectacularly with the same work in 1955. “I would like to think that there is a kind of autumnal repose in what I’m doing, so that much of the music becomes a tranquilizing experience. It would be nice if what we do in the recorded state could involve the possibility of some degree of perfection, not purely of a technical order, but also of a spiritual order.”
View Album
Brahms Op. 10
Brahms Op. 10
Released: 1983
The first of three piano recordings to appear after Gould’s death. As in his early recording of the Intermezzi (see no. 11), Gould’s playing of Brahms exudes an introverted tranquillity and transfiguration that seems to emerge from another, distant world.
View Album
Beethoven Sonatas No. 12, Op. 26 & No. 13, Op. 27, No. 1
Beethoven Sonatas No. 12, Op. 26 & No. 13, Op. 27, No. 1
Released: 1983
Another Beethoven album. With this, Gould had turned out of a total of twenty-one of the thirty-two Beethoven sonatas—or perhaps twentytwo, for the “artist contract cards” of 1979-80 refer to a recording of the B-flat major Sonata, op. 22, that has never resurfaced. Several of the missing sonatas (the Largo from op. 7, the G-minor Sonata op. 49, no. 1, the A-major Sonata op. 101, the Hammerklavier op. 106) at least exist in the form of live CBC recordings.
View Album
Glenn Gould discusses his performances of the Goldberg Variations with Tim Page - Bonus Disc 1
Glenn Gould discusses his performances of the Goldberg Variations with Tim Page - Bonus Disc 1
Released: 1984
This re-release of Gould’s two studio recordings of the Goldberg Variations was accompanied by a bonus LP with a long interview he had conducted with the American journalist Tim Page in connection with the 1981 version. “Gould looked older than his forty-nine years—a stooped, paunchy, rumpled, balding man. His tiny hotel studio was cell-like—the windows blocked, the curtains drawn. His desk was covered with bills, unanswered letters, and penciled first drafts. The bathroom was littered with empty Valium bottles. ‘These are the happiest days of my life,’ Gould said suddenly.”
View Album
Richard Strauss: Sonata, Op. 5; 5 Piano Pieces, Op. 3
Richard Strauss: Sonata, Op. 5; 5 Piano Pieces, Op. 3
Released: 1984
Two items of juvenilia marking Gould’s swan song. This album, made in RCA’s Studio A in New York on 3 September 1982, is Gould’s final recording on the piano. Three-and-a-half weeks later, on 27 September, he suffered a stroke and was taken to Toronto General Hospital, where he died on 4 October 1982 at 11:30 in the morning.
View Album
A Consort of Musicke Bye William Byrde and Orlando Gibbons
A Consort of Musicke Bye William Byrde and Orlando Gibbons
Released: 1971
“Orlando Gibbons is my favorite composer—always has been. I can’t think of anybody who represents the end of an era better than Orlando Gibbons does.” This profession of faith in the great English virginalist is more than an act of defiance: it harks back to Gould’s early childhood experiences with Puritanism.
View Album
Bach: Concerto No. 1 in D Minor BWV 1052 & Beethoven: Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major Op.19
Bach: Concerto No. 1 in D Minor BWV 1052 & Beethoven: Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major Op.19
Released: 1957
Gould’s first recording with orchestra, and his first studio collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, fourteen years his senior. “During the first portion of the concerto, Mr. Gould slid out from behind the piano and loped casually about the hall. He shook his head, waved his arms, beat time, and acted generally in a manner that any conductor less accustomed to the ways of genius might have found trying in the extreme. Bernstein took no notice.”
View Album
Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981 Digital Recording)
Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981 Digital Recording)
Released: 1982
The last recording to appear in Gould’s lifetime, completing the discographical circle that had begun so spectacularly with the same work in 1955. “I would like to think that there is a kind of autumnal repose in what I’m doing, so that much of the music becomes a tranquilizing experience. It would be nice if what we do in the recorded state could involve the possibility of some degree of perfection, not purely of a technical order, but also of a spiritual order.”
View Album
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1955 mono recording)
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1955 mono recording)
Released: 1956
The Birth of a Legend: Gould’s first recording for Columbia, playing Bach as if someone had parted the curtains and thrown open the windows in a dark, stuffy room. The critics were ecstatic; the release broke all records and is still considered one of the ten most significant and successful classical recordings of all time.
View Album
Bach: Italian Concerto in F Major & Partita Nos. 1 & 2
Bach: Italian Concerto in F Major & Partita Nos. 1 & 2
Released: 1960
Gould’s tenth recording for Columbia was accompanied by a two-part film portrait entitled Off the Record / On the Record – a sure indication of the star status he had by now attained. He was considered “music’s most successful hipster” and “the object of a sort of James Dean cult” – perhaps classical music’s first pop star. For the time being he still played along with the media hype …
View Album
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol. 2
Bach: Keyboard Concertos Vol. 2
Released: 1969
Gould’s last phonograph recording with orchestra. After the death of Vladimir Golschmann, on 1 March 1972, he declined to complete his Bach series by recording Concerto No. 6 (BWV 1057) and abandoned his plan to re-record the D-minor Concerto (BWV 1052) in stereo.
View Album
Bach: Partitas Nos. 3 & 4
Bach: Partitas Nos. 3 & 4
Released: 1963
In 1962-3 Bach was the uncontested lodestar of Gould’s concert and recording activities—including those for the CBC television network, for which he produced the programs Glenn Gould on Bach and The Anatomy of Fugue. Although he played the D-major Partita several times in recital before venturing with it into the studio, the “concert drop-out” already loomed on the horizon …
View Album
Bach: Partitas Nos. 5 & 6; Fugues in F-Sharp Minor and E Major
Bach: Partitas Nos. 5 & 6; Fugues in F-Sharp Minor and E Major
Released: 1957
The Fifth Partita was “the worst Bach recording I’ve ever made. It was also the most pianistic. It was perhaps the one that the connoisseur of the piano would like best. It’s the one I like least because it’s least Bach, it’s least me vis-à-vis Bach in any case; it’s full of all sorts of dynamic hang-ups, it’s full of crescendi and diminuendi that have no part in the structure, in the skeleton of that music.” Serious or tongue-in-cheek, who can tell?
View Album
Bach: Prelude, Fughettas & Fugues
Bach: Prelude, Fughettas & Fugues
Released: 1980
In December 1979 Gould’s longstanding producer Andrew Kazdin left Columbia. Gould produced his final recordings himself, beginning with this Bach album in January and February 1980. The cover shows Gould in the corner of a bare dilapidated room – more like the snapshot of a vagrant than the portrait of a pianistic genius. A doomsday scenario …
View Album
Bach: The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 Volume I Fugues 1-9
Bach: The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 Volume I Fugues 1-9
Released: 1962
“Gould’s approach seems downright unmusical, and the image it evokes for me is of the trained seal who beeps out God Save the Queen on a set of car horns.” Thus the miffed critic John Beckwith. It was to remain Gould’s only commercial recording on the organ; the remaining items in The Art of the Fugue are absent from his discography, as are the six Mendelssohn organ sonatas he intended to record afterwards.
View Album
Bach: The French Suites Nos. 1-4
Bach: The French Suites Nos. 1-4
Released: 1973
Besides Bach’s French Suites, Gould’s “artist contract cards” list the names of Mozart, Bizet, Skryabin, Wagner, and Hindemith. In short, he worked on six different recording projects in his studio at the same time, five of which were published simultaneously! Revealingly, his self-interview “Glenn Gould Interviews Glenn Gould About Glenn Gould” originated at roughly the same time …
View Album
Bach: The French Suites, Vol. 2 & Overture in the French Style
Bach: The French Suites, Vol. 2 & Overture in the French Style
Released: 1974
Back to Bach, the composer of Gould’s two new releases of 1974. The same year was noted for other projects: Gould recorded a Schoenberg set and the first episode of a television series Music in Our Time, both for CBC, and he joined the French director Bruno Monsaingeon to create the fourpart Chemins de la musique for ORTF. The same year witnessed Gould’s only Grammy award—for his sleeve notes to the three Hindemith sonatas.
View Album
Bach: The Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord
Bach: The Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord
Released: 1976
Columbia originally hired the Bolivian-American violinist Jaime Laredo for this recording before asking Gould to play the piano part. The collaboration dovetailed so smoothly that Gould proposed further projects: the Grieg and Strauss sonatas and the two Busoni sonatas. Unfortunately, the recordings never materialized.
View Album
Bach: The Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
Bach: The Three Sonatas for Viola da Gamba & Harpsichord
Released: 1974
Gould maintained a longstanding friendship with the cellist Leonard Rose ever since they and the violinist Oscar Shumsky were made musical directors of Canada’s Stratford Festival in 1956. “In this particular case, I was very amenable to trying to please Glenn stylistically. I did not feel that at that time I was as well acquainted with the music as was Glenn.”
View Album
Bach: The Toccatas, Vol. 1
Bach: The Toccatas, Vol. 1
Released: 1979
On 1 April 1977, immediately after the Sibelius session, Eaton’s Auditorium was temporarily shut down for remodeling. Gould didn’t create another “take” for more than two years, but fortunately there were enough unreleased recordings stored in the ice-box, including these three Bach toccatas. On 25 April 1978 Gould renewed his exclusive contract with Columbia – for one last time …
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I  Volume 2, BWV 854-861
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I Volume 2, BWV 854-861
Released: 1964
Gould launched his complete recording of the “Pianists’ Old Testament” on 10 January 1962. It would eventually occupy him for more than nine years. “We recorded ten or even fifteen different versions of some of the preludes and fugues. Nearly every one was perfect, note for note, yet still completely different. It was an amazing experience to witness how each version became something completely new in Gould’s hands.”
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846-853
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846-853
Released: 1963
Gould launched his complete recording of the “Pianists’ Old Testament” on 10 January 1962. It would eventually occupy him for more than nine years. “We recorded ten or even fifteen different versions of some of the preludes and fugues. Nearly every one was perfect, note for note, yet still completely different. It was an amazing experience to witness how each version became something completely new in Gould’s hands.”
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Volume 3
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, Volume 3
Released: 1965
Ever in search of the ideal sound: for a while Gould apparently planned to record the Well-Tempered Clavier on a “harpsipiano” (“a neurotic piano that thinks it’s a harpsichord”), but Columbia declined. What remained is a level of polyphonic lucidity and contrapuntal rigor that beggars comparison.
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 870-877
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 870-877
Released: 1968
Book II of the Well-Tempered Clavier occupies much more space in Gould’s discography than the first. The interpretative range is all the more striking: Fugue No. 7 in E-flat major, for instance, appears in two early CBC versions lasting 3:19 (1953) and 2:03 (1966) minutes, respectively, while the one here whizzes past in one minute and thirty-eight seconds.
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 878-885
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 878-885
Released: 1970
Gould had already recorded Fugue No. 9 in E major (BWV 878) and No.14 in F-sharp minor (BWV 883) in 1957 to fill up an LP with the Fifth and Sixth Partitas (see No. 4). The earlier readings were much slower: 4’17” as opposed to 1’46” for BWV 878, and 3’14” instead of 2’45” for BWV 883. You never cross the same river twice …
View Album
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 886-893
Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, BWV 886-893
Released: 1971
The first recording from Gould’s private studio in Eaton’s Auditorium, where virtually all his recordings would be made until 1980. This put an end to all the delays and cancelled sessions that had marred his work for Columbia over the previous months and years.
View Album
Bach: Three Keyboard Concertos, BWV 1054, 1056 & 1058
Bach: Three Keyboard Concertos, BWV 1054, 1056 & 1058
Released: 1967
Ten years after the release of the D-minor Concerto under Leonard Bernstein (see No. 3), Gould now issued Volume 1 of the Bach concertos under Vladimir Golschmann. “I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the recording. Please keep in mind always that if no other conductor will go into the studio with you, I will go!”
View Album
Bach: Toccatas Vol. 2
Bach: Toccatas Vol. 2
Released: 1980
In May 1979 Eaton’s Auditorium was hastily reopened for recording purposes. “Basically, it looked as if a bomb had hit the place. Walls were missing, doors were boarded up. There were no lights. There was no heat. Thick layers of dust covered everything. Luckily, the freight elevator still functioned so the piano could be brought in.” The result was the completion of the series of Bach toccatas.
View Album
Bach: Two and Three Part Inventions, BWV 772-801 (Inventions & Sinfonias)
Bach: Two and Three Part Inventions, BWV 772-801 (Inventions & Sinfonias)
Released: 1964
Gould's first release after becoming a “concert drop-out.” For years he had put his Steinway CD 318 through myriad “operations” in order “to try to design an instrument [...] which can add to the undeniable resource of the modern piano something of the clarity and tactile facility of the harpsichord.” The result was “a slight nervous tic in the middle register which in the slower passages can be heard emitting a sort of hiccup.” Indeed it can!
View Album
Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos. 30-32
Beethoven Piano Sonatas Nos. 30-32
Released: 1956
Sensation yields to scandal: Gould’s feisty and headstrong treatment of the final triptych in Beethoven’s pianistic “New Testament” outraged the critics no less than his sleeve notes, in which he claimed of op. 111 that “the piece is weak in spots; it needs greater speed. Especially the first movement is such a bad piece that I wanted to get on to the finale.”
View Album
Beethoven Sonatas No. 12, Op. 26 & No. 13, Op. 27, No. 1
Beethoven Sonatas No. 12, Op. 26 & No. 13, Op. 27, No. 1
Released: 1983
Another Beethoven album. With this, Gould had turned out of a total of twenty-one of the thirty-two Beethoven sonatas—or perhaps twentytwo, for the “artist contract cards” of 1979-80 refer to a recording of the B-flat major Sonata, op. 22, that has never resurfaced. Several of the missing sonatas (the Largo from op. 7, the G-minor Sonata op. 49, no. 1, the A-major Sonata op. 101, the Hammerklavier op. 106) at least exist in the form of live CBC recordings.
View Album
Beethoven: Bagatelles, Op. 33 & Op. 126
Beethoven: Bagatelles, Op. 33 & Op. 126
Released: 1975
If the final sonatas in the Beethoven cycle dragged on for ages, the two sets of Bagatelles were turned out in a trice: the recording was completed in a mere four days. Whether there was ever a plan to record the third set, op. 119, is anybody’s guess.
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 37
Released: 1960
By now the critics had evidently made their peace with Gould’s wayward readings of Beethoven. His recording of the C-minor Concerto, again with Leonard Bernstein, met with general approval, even if Gould “yields more to his own nature than he should in the Largo” and “meanders and rhapsodizes without thinking that this movement, too, is by Beethoven.“
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
Released: 1961
This was the concerto with which Gould gave his orchestral début, playing its first movement on 8 May 1946. “Who does the kid think he is, Artur Schnabel?” snorted one critic, while another touted the thirteen-year-old boy as a “genius.” Whatever the case, this was the Beethoven concerto he played most frequently in public—twenty-nine times.
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73,
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-Flat Major, Op. 73, "Emperor"
Released: 1966
Gould’s sole collaboration with Leopold Stokowski, to whom he devoted a large radio portrait for the CBC in 1971. This musical “summit meeting” between the thirty-four-year-old Canadian and a maestro nearly half a century his senior caused yet another dream to come true: Gould’s first encounter with his revered Barbra Streisand, who was recording her latest album next door …
View Album
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Op. 31 Complete
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas, Op. 31 Complete
Released: 1973
This was the last of five new recordings released in September 1973, appearing one day after the four others. It marked the end of a long and often convoluted process: the first bars of the op. 31 triptych were recorded in July 1960, the final session took place almost thirteen years later on 15 May 1973! Amazingly, none of this is evident in the sonatas themselves.
View Album
Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano No. 8-10, Op. 13
Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano No. 8-10, Op. 13 "Pathétique", Op. 14, No. 1 & 2
Released: 1967
Amazingly, Gould’s third LP of Beethoven sonatas met with hardly any grumblings from the critics and was, all in all, warmly received. True, one reviewer spoke of “iconoclastic interpretations,” but acknowledged that it enabled listeners to discover a completely new Beethoven. Admittedly Gould’s Appassionata languished in the ice-box …
View Album
Beethoven: Sonatas No. 5-7, Op. 10, No. 1-3
Beethoven: Sonatas No. 5-7, Op. 10, No. 1-3
Released: 1965
The “scandal” surrounding Beethoven’s final triptych of sonatas (see No. 2) failed to rematerialize, but Gould remained true to his unorthodox interpretative approach and brazenly violated the composer’s instructions, changing the tempo of the F-major sonata at the opening of the firstmovement recapitulation and substituting a fortissimo for a pianissimo in movement 3 of the D-major Sonata.
View Album
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Transcribed for Piano by Franz Liszt)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 (Transcribed for Piano by Franz Liszt)
Released: 1968
Joke, satire, irony, deeper significance: the back cover of Gould’s gripping recording contained four imaginary reviews by an English critic (Sir Humphrey Price-Davies), a Munich musicologist (Dr. Karlheinz Heinkel), an American psychiatrist (Prof. S. F. Lemming), and the American corres pondent to the Journal of the All-Union Musical Workers of Budapest. All were written by Gould himself …
View Album
Beethoven: Variations for Piano
Beethoven: Variations for Piano
Released: 1970
Another recording for the Beethoven Centenary, perhaps reconciling many critics to Gould’s reading of the Appassionata. The Eroica Variations op. 35 is another of those works that exist in several recordings with vastly different tempos. This studio production took a grand total of ten years, from June 1960 to July 1970, to reach completion!
View Album
Berg: Sonata for Piano, Op. 1; Schoenberg: Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11; Krenek: Sonata No. 3 for Piano, Op. 92, No. 4
Berg: Sonata for Piano, Op. 1; Schoenberg: Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11; Krenek: Sonata No. 3 for Piano, Op. 92, No. 4
Released: 1959
Gould's first Columbia recording of twentieth-century music, though he had already recorded the Berg Sonata for the Canadian Hallmark label in 1951 – his very first commercial recording. Krenek’s obscure Third Sonata cropped up time and again in Gould’s recitals, including his last public appearance on 10 April 1964 in Los Angeles.
View Album
Brahms Op. 10
Brahms Op. 10
Released: 1983
The first of three piano recordings to appear after Gould’s death. As in his early recording of the Intermezzi (see no. 11), Gould’s playing of Brahms exudes an introverted tranquillity and transfiguration that seems to emerge from another, distant world.
View Album
Brahms: 10 Intermezzi
Brahms: 10 Intermezzi
Released: 1961
Gould was prouder of this recording than almost any other: “It’s the sexiest interpretation of Brahms’s Intermezzi you’ve ever heard—and I really think it is perhaps the best piano playing I have done. You know what an incurable romantic I am anyway.”
View Album
Canadian Music in the XXth Century
Canadian Music in the XXth Century
Released: 1967
“Canada’s a place to live comfortably, amicably, and with reasonable anonymity.” Thus Gould's response to a Toronto Telegram survey on “Canada Day.” The recording of these three works appeared during Canada’s centennial celebrations on 1 July 1967. A fourth piece, Ombres by Barbara Pentland, was recorded but not released until 1992.
View Album
Glenn Gould discusses his performances of the Goldberg Variations with Tim Page - Bonus Disc 1
Glenn Gould discusses his performances of the Goldberg Variations with Tim Page - Bonus Disc 1
Released: 1984
This re-release of Gould’s two studio recordings of the Goldberg Variations was accompanied by a bonus LP with a long interview he had conducted with the American journalist Tim Page in connection with the 1981 version. “Gould looked older than his forty-nine years—a stooped, paunchy, rumpled, balding man. His tiny hotel studio was cell-like—the windows blocked, the curtains drawn. His desk was covered with bills, unanswered letters, and penciled first drafts. The bathroom was littered with empty Valium bottles. ‘These are the happiest days of my life,’ Gould said suddenly.”
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven Sonatas Nos. 8, 14 & 23
Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven Sonatas Nos. 8, 14 & 23
Released: 1970
Yet another scandal: Gould played the F-minor Piano Sonata, op. 57, at such a tortuously slow tempo that it seemed to fall into unrelated bits. “There is about the Appassionata – an egoistic pomposity, a defiant ‘let’s just see if I can’t get away with using that once more’ attitude—that on my own private Beethoven poll places this sonata somewhere between the King Stephen Overture and the Wellington’s Victory Symphony.”
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays Hindemith's Piano Sonatas 1-3
Glenn Gould Plays Hindemith's Piano Sonatas 1-3
Released: 1973
The Schoenberg cycle now completed, Gould turned to another 20thcentury master whom he had warmly revered for years: Paul Hindemith. He had already played Hindemith’s Third Sonata in his very first radio recital (on 24 December 1950), disclosing in this work a quality readily attributable to his own playing: “Repose—which, when properly adduced, is the true amalgam of ecstasy and reason.”
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays His Own Transcriptions of Wagner Orchestral Showpieces
Glenn Gould Plays His Own Transcriptions of Wagner Orchestral Showpieces
Released: 1973
“You know, I’ve always sort of sat down at night and played Wagner for myself, because I’m a total Wagnerite—hopelessly addicted to the later things especially—and I thought it would be fun to make my own transcriptions.” To manage the ending of the Meistersinger Overture without leaving out any of the themes, Gould had to play four-hands with himself—an instance of what he called “creative lying.”
View Album
Glenn Gould Plays Sibelius
Glenn Gould Plays Sibelius
Released: 1977
An experimental recording in which Gould looped several microphones at various distances from the piano. It is also a declaration of his love for the great Finnish composer, whom he had met in Berlin in the late 1950s at a performance of Sibelius’s Fifth under Herbert von Karajan—“one of the truly indelible musical-dramatic experiences of my life.”
View Album
Glenn Gould's First Recording of Grieg and Bizet
Glenn Gould's First Recording of Grieg and Bizet
Released: 1973
Gould as an “incorrigible romantic.” Instead of Schumann, Chopin, or Liszt he selected two unimaginably obscure rarities, referring to Grieg as a personal ancestor (“the composer was a cousin of my maternal great-grandfather”) and to Bizet’s Variations chromatiques as “one of the very few masterpieces for solo piano to emerge from the third quarter of the nineteenth century.”
View Album
Glenn Gould: Concert Dropouts - In Conversation with John McClure
Glenn Gould: Concert Dropouts - In Conversation with John McClure
Released: 1968
Four years after his final public appearance Gould, in an interview with journalist John McClure, explained and vindicated his decision to drop out of the concert scene: “Except for a few octogenarians, I’m really the first person who has, short of having a nervous collapse or something, given up the stage. I don’t believe in it and I don’t think most people who do go believe in it.”
View Album
Gould: String Quartet No. 1
Gould: String Quartet No. 1
Released: 1960
Gould’s posthumous “legacy” in the National Library of Canada includes seven boxes of compositions. Apart from this great Opus 1, most are brief and usually unfinished essays: “They exhibit attempts at every style from Palestrina (which was done to please my teachers) to Schoenberg (which was done to annoy them).” The style of the quartet reflects Gould’s love for Bruckner, Wagner, and Richard Strauss.
View Album
Haydn: Sonata No. 3 in E-Flat Major; Mozart: Sonata No. 10 in C Major, K.330; Fantasia and Fugue in C Major, K.394
Haydn: Sonata No. 3 in E-Flat Major; Mozart: Sonata No. 10 in C Major, K.330; Fantasia and Fugue in C Major, K.394
Released: 1958
Gould later re-recorded both sonatas (see Nos. 40 and 64a). The comparison is shocking, especially in the case of K. 330: the earlier recording is almost five minutes longer! “I think the two versions simply reflect the different pulse rates I had when I played them at the sessions.” Mozart’s Fantasy and Fugue, in contrast, remained unique: Gould never turned to it again.
View Album
Hindemith: Das Marienleben for Soprano & Piano
Hindemith: Das Marienleben for Soprano & Piano
Released: 1978
Whether there really was “an affair” between Gould and the Canadian soprano Roxolana Roslak, as record producer Andrew Kazdin vaguely intimated, is a matter of conjecture. But there can be no doubt that Hindemith’s Rilke cycle, with its blend of religious mystique and subliminal eroticism, was another fin-de-siècle work for which Gould had always felt a secret rapport.
View Album
Hindemith: The Complete Sonatas for Brass & Piano
Hindemith: The Complete Sonatas for Brass & Piano
Released: 1976
The recording of Hindemith’s sonatas for brass instruments with members of the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble was a brain-child of record producer Andrew Kazdin to which Gould agreed instantaneously and whole-heartedly. In the middle of the recording session, tragedy struck: his mother died on 26 July 1975.
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas Vol. 1
Mozart Piano Sonatas Vol. 1
Released: 1968
After Bach, Beethoven, and Schoenberg, Mozart was the fourth composer to whom, despite his many reservations, Gould devoted a “cycle.” His misgivings did not, however, apply to these early sonatas: “For me, the first half-dozen piano sonatas, which have this purity of voice leading and this calculation of register, are the best of the lot.”
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2
Released: 1969
“Even though ‘shorter is better’ represents my attitude in regard to Mozart generally, I’d have to say that the sonata in D, K. 284, which is probably the longest of the sonatas, is my favorite.” The critics were on the whole benevolent and at most poked fun at some of Gould’s ultra-fast tempos.
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 3
Released: 1972
“The Sonata [No. 12] K. 332 was the first I began to study, I think, and I simply couldn’t understand how my teachers, and other presumably sane adults of my acquaintance, could count this piece among the great musical treasures of Western man.”
View Album
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 4
Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 4
Released: 1973
No Gould recording received a more solid thrashing than his reading of the A-major Sonata, K. 331: “The most loathsome record ever made!”—“It all conjures up an image of a tremendously precocious but very nasty little boy trying to put one over on his piano teacher.”—“It is very difficult to see what Gould is out to prove, unless the rumor that he actually hates this music is true.”
View Album
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491 & Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491 & Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, Op. 42
Released: 1962
The very combination of these two concertos was willful, still more Gould’s playing of Mozart, with its extra embellishments and even new counter-melodies in the piano part. What seemed revolutionary at the time has become a matter of course in today’s age of “historical performance practice.” In contrast, the Schoenberg Concerto sounded, in Gould's hands, almost as familiar as Mozart …
View Album
Music from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
Music from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
Released: 1972
Gould was an enthusiastic moviegoer. All the more regrettable, then, that his film work is so meagerly documented. To create the soundtrack for George Roy Hill’s film version of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Gould used his own Bach recordings as well as the Fourth Brandenburg with Pablo Casals conducting the Marlboro Festival Orchestra.
View Album
Richard Strauss: Sonata, Op. 5; 5 Piano Pieces, Op. 3
Richard Strauss: Sonata, Op. 5; 5 Piano Pieces, Op. 3
Released: 1984
Two items of juvenilia marking Gould’s swan song. This album, made in RCA’s Studio A in New York on 3 September 1982, is Gould’s final recording on the piano. Three-and-a-half weeks later, on 27 September, he suffered a stroke and was taken to Toronto General Hospital, where he died on 4 October 1982 at 11:30 in the morning.
View Album
Schoenberg: Songs for Voice and Piano
Schoenberg: Songs for Voice and Piano
Released: 1972
Another release in Columbia’s grand and courageous attempt to record the complete works of Schoenberg. This release anticipated the onehundredth birthday celebrations of a composer to whom Gould also devoted a book (Arnold Schoenberg—A Perspective) and a ten-part CBC radio series (Music of Today: Arnold Schoenberg).
View Album
Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 23 & Prokofiev: Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83
Scriabin: Sonata No. 3 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 23 & Prokofiev: Sonata No. 7 in B-Flat Major, Op. 83
Released: 1969
Two composers rarely found in the Gould discography, though he temporarily toyed with the notion of recording all ten Skryabin sonatas. The overlap between these two pieces and the recordings of Vladimir Horowitz prompted comparisons from which Gould emerged in fine form: analytic lucidity vs. romantic abandon.
View Album
Strauss: Enoch Arden (Tennyson), Op. 38
Strauss: Enoch Arden (Tennyson), Op. 38
Released: 1962
The third new recording released on the same day, as if Columbia wanted to demonstrate the full breadth of Gould’s musical spectrum. Strauss’s musical melodrama, written to a blank-verse narrative of 1864 by Alfred Lord Tennyson, was recorded almost by accident for a mere $1,500 and issued in a single limited edition of 2,000 copies. Small wonder that the LPs soon became coveted collector’s items …
View Album
Suites for the Harpsichord
Suites for the Harpsichord
Released: 1972
Gould’s only recording on harpsichord owed its existence to a transportation mishap suffered by his Steinway CD 318. Once again the critics’ reactions ranged from rejection to outrage. Gould himself was so satisfied with the results that he once contemplated recording Part 2 of The Art of the Fugue on this instrument—a Wittmayer harpsichord.
View Album
The Music of Arnold Schoenberg
The Music of Arnold Schoenberg
Released: 1966
Volume 1 of Schoenberg’s lieder, recorded between 11 June 1964 and 18 November 1965, marked a watershed in Gould’s career. Following Howard Scott, Joseph Scianni, Paul Myers, and finally Thomas Frost, the young Andrew Kazdin now shouldered the fascinating if awesome responsibility of producing Gould’s recordings—an alliance that was to last almost fifteen years.
View Album

THIS IS GLENN GOULD - STORY OF A GENIUS (2 CD+BOOK)

Released: 2012

The Story of a Genius - the title says it all. This 2-CD hard cover limited edition gives a perfect introduction to the life, music and style of Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. This limited edition comes with a biographical essay and a "Glenn Gould dictionary", giving explanations to 32 facts about Glenn Gould, starting with A about his various “Alias” on to C like “car driving” or “Canada” up to R like “recording studio”. The about 60-pages book in English features many unknown photos of Glenn Gould, the 2 CDs contain selections of his Bach and “non-Bach” recordings.

Watch out for this product and don’t forget to have a look in the new interactive timeline here on GlennGould.com: The Story Of A Genius

Tracks

DISC: 1
Song Title Video Lyrics Price Buy It
1 The Idea of North (This is Glenn Gould) Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (1955 Version)
2 Aria (1955 Version)
3 Aria variata alla maniera italiana in A minor, BWV 989
4 Sonata No. 2 in D Major, BWV 1028 (Instrumental) - I. Adagio
5 Sonata No. 2 in D Major, BWV 1028 (Instrumental) - II. Allegro
6 Concerto in D minor after Alessandro Marcello, BWV 974 - I. [ ]
7 Concerto in D minor after Alessandro Marcello, BWV 974 - II. Adagio
8 Concerto in D minor after Alessandro Marcello, BWV 974 - III. Presto
9 Sonata No. 2 in A Major, BWV 1015 (Instrumental) - III. Andante un poco
10 Sonata No. 2 in A Major, BWV 1015 (Instrumental) - IV. Presto
11 Praeludium in C Major, BWV 933
12 Invention No. 1 in C Major, BWV 772
13 Sinfonia No. 1 in C Major, BWV 787
14 Prelude & Fugue No. 1 in C Major, BWV 846 (Instrumental) - Prelude
15 Track Prelude & Fugue No. 1 in C Major, BWV 846 (Instrumental) - Fugue
16 The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 (Excerpts) - Contrapunctus I (Excerpts)
17 The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 - Contrapunctus I
18 Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971 (Version of 1959) - (Version of 1959)
19 Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971 (Version of 1959) - Andante (Version of 1959)
20 Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971 (Version of 1959) - Presto (Version of 1959)
21 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056 (Instrumental) - Allegro
22 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056 (Instrumental) - Largo
23 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056 (Instrumental) - Presto
24 Goldberg Variations; BWV 988 - Aria da capo
DISC: 2
Song Title Video Lyrics Price Buy It
1 The Idea of North (This is Glenn Gould)
2 Fantasy in C Major
3 Concerto No. 1 for Piano and Orchestra in C Major, Op. 15 - Allegro con brio
4 Drei Klavierstücke Op. 11 (Instrumental) - Mässig
5 Suite No. 3 in D minor HWV 428 - Prelude. Presto attacca
6 Suite No. 3 in D minor HWV 428 - Allegro Fugue
7 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 24 in C minor, K.491 (Instrumental) - Allegretto
8 Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande Allegro ma non troppo from Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastoral"
9 Sonata in D Major, Hob.XVI: 51 (Instrumental) - Andante
10 Sonata in D Major, Hob.XVI: 51 (Instrumental) - Finale. Presto
11 Sonata No. 11 in A Major for Piano, K. 331 - Alla Turca: Allegretto
12 Intermezzo No. 6 in E-flat minor, Op. 118 - Andante, largo e mesto
13 Morgen, Op. 27 No. 4
14 Deux Morceaux, Op. 57 - No. 1: Désir
15 Deux Morceaux, Op. 57 - No. 2: Caresse dansée
16 Die Meistersinger, Prelude, Act I (Piano transcription)

United States

  • United States
  • Deutschland