on 10 September 2001
Glenn Gould serves up Bach's 24 Preludes & Fugues with all of his customary energy & effortless technique. On hearing the opening prelude the listener could be forgiven for fearing the worst: an odd use of staccato at a ponderous tempo. However matters immediately improve in the fugue & Gould seems not to look back from here. Try the 3rd P&F in C sharp for sheer joie de vivre or no.19 in A with its impossibly fast prelude. Deeply moving is the articulation of prelude 4 but the intensity is most apparent in P&F 22 in B flat minor where the music seems to stand still, sustained by beautiful chord voicing. The piano sound is luminous rather than rich, but with a well judged resonance which Mr. Gould controls, employing the full range of legato & staccato touch. But back to that first famous prelude - even that grows on you with time, such is the power of Gouldian humour!
on 10 September 2014
a recent amazon buy as keen to compare book 1 from the well tempered clavier aka the "48" Glenn Gould is widely known amongst classical keyboard fans of a divisive figure , and here is ample proof of why.
dazzling articulation, wilfull use of own tempi often over fast or over slow to the markings, a brilliant mind but ultimately a tiring and sometimes irritating cd that showcases Gould's technique rather than the grandeuer of Bach's first 24 preludes and fugues. impressive certainly,occasionally marvellous, but overall not a first choice as Gould too often attracts attention to himmself not to the music.
Rosalyn Tureck on EMI ,Angela Hewitt on Hyperion or Jeno Jando on naxos offer far better more even tempered versions and recordings than Gould's shallow 1962 playing here. approach with caution.. 3 stars going on 4.
on 7 January 2009
Glenn Gould showed us what could be done with Bach on the piano with the 1955 Goldberg Variations. Here he tackles on of the master's magnus opus with astonishing pianism. This is not comfortable listening - some fugues are taken beathtakingly fast while others are so slow they are in danger of falling apart. One thing though - nothing is ever boring. I'm sure Bach, the great improviser, would have approved.