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5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting and moving swansong, 24 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven & Wagner (Audio CD)
The five stars are for Gould's conducting of Siegfried Idyll (the original version for 13 instruments) which I find breathtakingly beautiful. The work in its orignal scoring (a wedding and birthday present for Wagner's wife) really brings out its beauty in a way that the version for full orchestra does not. Some have criticised Gould's version for being too slow (24:29 to Solti's 18:25), but I find his conducting brings out wonderfully the scoring of this chamber version. This performance confirms that Gould was a romantic of great heart and great soul: something that those who only know Gould from his marvellous and metronomic Bach and his off beat talks might not always see. This performance stands on its own as a great performance of Siegfied Idyll and deserves as wide an audience as possible.

The current re-issue is coupled with Gould playing Liszt's transcriptions of Beethoven's 5th Symphony and the first movement of the Pastoral Symphony. These and the piano transcription of the oveture to Die Meistersinger are great fun. Gould also plays the Siegfried Idyll and Dawn and Siegfried's Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung in piano transcription. All these are amazing pianism.

Gould conducting Siegfried Idyll was his final recording: There were sessions for the Siegfried Idyll on 27 and 28 July 1982 in Toronto's St. Lawrence Hall. On 1, 2 and 3 September 1982 Gould recorded Richard Strauss' Op. 5 Piano Sonata at RCA Studios in New York, his final sessions for American Columbia and his final piano recording. On 8 September 1982 Gould returned to St. Lawrence Hall, Toronto to compelete the sessions on Siegfired Idyll which was apparently not originally intended for release. In that sense then it was his final recording. On 27 September 1982, two days after his 50th birthday, Gould had a stroke from which he died on 4 October 1982. It is very sad to think that Gould could still be with us: an 80 year old blogging and posting his music on line, but what a marvellous legacy he has left us and what a fitting and moving swansong this recording is.
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Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven & Wagner
Glenn Gould Plays Beethoven & Wagner by Glenn Gould (Audio CD - 2012)
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