on 8 September 2001
Glenn Gould's view of concerto form was largely negative, but the baroque concerto with its less flamboyant solo role was more acceptable to him. Here we have 6 concertos, wonderfully integrated between orchestra & soloist. No.1 is the most substantial & achieves transcendental levels even for Bach. Gould's playing is equal to the greatness of the music, displaying fluidity in the outer movements & intensity in the adagio. The other concertos meet with similar success: try the largo from no.5 where Gould plays a single note melody against plucked string background...who else could achieve such a poignant result? Concertos 3&7 will be familiar as violin concertos but they succeed equally well in Gould's performances. All the orchestral parts come from a time before specialist, smaller groups came into fashion. However the playing is vibrant & committed. So this is not one for the baroque purist, but you won't hear better piano versions of these works.
on 12 June 2011
Glenn Gould is his usual brilliant self. The only less good aspect in this recording is that one of the concertos is in mono.
I have discovered Glenn Gould late in life and wish I had learnt about him earlier, his interpretation of Bach is extraordinary and like no other. He makes every note sharp and matter.
Not especially obvious in this recording but he used to hum through his performances which does get picked up in his recordings and that is a shame.
on 13 February 2011
Gould is the driving force here and everyone else just has to fall in behind him, as Goldschmann happily conceded but Bernstein, of course, did not. It's a pity the mono recording of the first concerto with Bernstein is so constricted but the others more than make up for that. Better to watch the first on YouTube: charisma in spades. The performances of all the concertos are like a series of explosions. It would be difficult to conceive of a more ecstatic approach to Bach.