Glenn Gould: the archetype of an exceptional talent



Glenn Gould was one of the greatest pianist of the 20th century. I suggest to listen to two short pieces to those, who would like to hear one of best Bach interpretations.

Gould plays the first movement of the piano concerto in d-minor (BWW 1052) with Leonard Bernstein-nel in this recording from 1960. My favorites are the two parts between 8:04-9:26 and 12:24-13:19. Watch his left hand between 10:23 and 10:30. Finally, see how he concludes the movement with his left hand at 14:10.

Even more sensational is this recording of the partita #2 (BWW 1004) from 1959. Glenn Gould was singing through all his recordings. Columbia Records had to develop a special technique to filter out his voice from his piano music. It is worth to listen to the single move of his left hand at 1:22 and as he rushes to the window at 1:57 and continues the piece in his head.

Both recordings show the most intensive state of flow -- which we may also call the special grace of the Spirit. It is very hard to maintain such an intensity for long. 2 to 3 years after these recordings Glenn Gould has never had any more public appearances, and in his age of 50 he died after a stroke. However, his magnificent recordings left to us, and show a key example of genuine originality -- forever.