Most helpful positive review
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2012
I picked up a copy of these in my local charity shop for an outrageous 50p. It felt like such a steal that I ended up giving the lady an extra fiver towards her 'Stop Human Trafficking' charity. Genuine relaxation doesn't come easily to me but these, over the course of two evenings, took me very, very close. I already owned three version of these famous works; two from Naxos for piano and harpsichord respectively, and another harpsichord set that was included with my Brilliant Classics Bach boxset. But Gould quite simply knocks all those into the compost. It is very rarely that pieces of such duration can hold my attention so absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Gould doesn't just play the works, but enters into a personal dialogue with you the listener, walking ahead, pointing out each tiny detail worthy of note, slowing down the moment he sees you are tiring, speeding up when he sees your attention wavering. What he does seems more like calairvoyance than piano playing. These are such absolute treasures that I am even willing to put up with the donkey heard braying in the background. (Of course those familiar with Gould will know I am making a humorous reference to his idiosyncratic habit of humming along quite tunelessly when the inspiration gets the better of him. This may sound off-putting to the newcomer, but all who know him will assure you that this occurs at the threshold of liminality and, such as Gould's genius, does nothing to inerfere with the absolute revelatory pleasure of his performances).