on 24 March 2011
What a surprise! I wasn't expecting to performances or the recordings to be so good. Gould was a great admirer of the conductor Joseph Krips, and hearing them in the Emperor together you can sense the partnership is a strong one with Gould giving his most convincing performance of the fifth we have on record. He's quicker and leaner than with on the later Studio recording with Stokowski, and Krips is fiery and alert with the excellent Buffalo Symphony.
The Bach concerto is quicker too than the Leningrad live recording and much faster than the stodgy studio recording with Bernstein. Gould is at his most intense and persuasive here. Mitropoulos's musicians are expertly drilled and superbly balanced. Its a stunning performance that looks forwards to the authentic performance revival in its fleet of foot finesse. Gould finds emotional depth in the slow movement, projecting the "vocal" part with true poetry. No other pianist has made Bach performances so moving.
The Schoenberg was a Gould speciality. Gould's powerful playing makes this thorny work a compelling experience.So a fantastic release from Sony of some of Gould's finest live performances. The sound is very acceptable.
Glenn Gould was both a marvel and a maverick.
One of the most extraordinary pianists of the
twentieth century. It is wonderful therefore
to have these live recordings rehabilitated into
the listening world! Sony Classical have done a
great job with these old master tapes; given their
advanced age they sound almost as fresh as a daisy.
The J.S. Bach Piano Concerto No.1 in D minor (BVW1052),
recorded in concert at the 1958 Saltzberg Festival
with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw under Dimitri
Mitropoulos, is an absolute joy. Mr Gould's mercurial
touch and impeccable musicianship is in evidence
throughout, particularly in the fearsome runs of the
final allegro. There is a lean and muscular elegance
informing every note. Effortlessly logical but thrilling!!
The performance of Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto in
E flat minor (Op73), a 1960 recording with the Buffalo
Symphony Orchestra under Josef Krips, is also a delight.
The hair-raising clamour of the piano's opening enslaught
reels in the air like a cloud of fantastic white birds!
Mr Gould's interpretation of the Adagio Un Poco Mosso
is simply sublime. This glorious movement can hardly
ever have been better served. A profoundly poetic view.
The album concludes with a recording of Shoenberg's
Op 42 Piano Concerto, again with Mitropoulos but this
time with The New York Philharmonic. The dark, angular
complexity of the composition is navigated with consummate
insight. Mr Gould doesn't miss a beat nor can he resist
making the most of this challenging work's more lyrical
moments! Both soloist and band give their all!
A great opportunity to hear a true Master at work!