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WNYC's Fishko Files: 20 Years After Glenn Gould

From: WNYC
Series: WNYC's Fishko Files
Length: 59:01

A one-hour program of music and interviews, examining the impact of Glenn Gould's Bach recordings, and those of other pianists since Gould's death. Read the full description.

Saraflat_small The supremely gifted and wildly eccentric pianist Glenn Gould died 20 years ago this October 4. To mark the occasion, this special edition of the Fishko Files, "20 years After Glenn Gould," examines Bach as it is played on the modern piano, especially as it has -- or has not -- been influenced by Gould's style. Distinguished pianists Murray Perahia, Vladimir Feltsman, Angela Hewitt, Edward Aldwell, Maria Tipo and Sergei Schepkin are among the participants. The program traces the rise and fall and rise of Bach on the piano, from the years of Wanda Landowska and Rosalyn Tureck, through the Gould years to the present. Ample excerpts of performances by the pianists, as well as by Gould himself, illustrate the commentary. Glenn Gould's arresting version of the Bach Goldberg Variations, first released in the mid-1950's, brought worldwide attention to both the pianist and the composition. More recordings and performances of Bach followed, in a style so distinctive as to have all but eclipsed other Bach players of his generation. Gould famously chose the recording studio over the concert stage early in his career, declaring, "the concert is dead." Known for his peculiar work habits (most notably his obsession with temperature in the studios) and a contrarian's approach to music in general (he dismissed many of Beethoven's greatest works while becoming fascinated by Petula Clark) Gould was one of the rare classical musicians to cross over into popular consciousness. But before the world knew about the oddities of his behavior, they knew about his Bach playing. It is his performance of the music of Bach and its effect that is examined in 20 Years after Glenn Gould.

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Piece Description

The supremely gifted and wildly eccentric pianist Glenn Gould died 20 years ago this October 4. To mark the occasion, this special edition of the Fishko Files, "20 years After Glenn Gould," examines Bach as it is played on the modern piano, especially as it has -- or has not -- been influenced by Gould's style. Distinguished pianists Murray Perahia, Vladimir Feltsman, Angela Hewitt, Edward Aldwell, Maria Tipo and Sergei Schepkin are among the participants. The program traces the rise and fall and rise of Bach on the piano, from the years of Wanda Landowska and Rosalyn Tureck, through the Gould years to the present. Ample excerpts of performances by the pianists, as well as by Gould himself, illustrate the commentary. Glenn Gould's arresting version of the Bach Goldberg Variations, first released in the mid-1950's, brought worldwide attention to both the pianist and the composition. More recordings and performances of Bach followed, in a style so distinctive as to have all but eclipsed other Bach players of his generation. Gould famously chose the recording studio over the concert stage early in his career, declaring, "the concert is dead." Known for his peculiar work habits (most notably his obsession with temperature in the studios) and a contrarian's approach to music in general (he dismissed many of Beethoven's greatest works while becoming fascinated by Petula Clark) Gould was one of the rare classical musicians to cross over into popular consciousness. But before the world knew about the oddities of his behavior, they knew about his Bach playing. It is his performance of the music of Bach and its effect that is examined in 20 Years after Glenn Gould.

2 Comments Atom Feed

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This is fantastic.

First time I'm coming across this piece. I've been a Gould fanatic for a long time and he never gets old. Something new to discover on every listen.

Great presentation - thanks!

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Beautiful

This survey of the modern approach to interpreting Bach, whose music was written without notation, is inclusive and beautiful. It keys off of Glenn Gould, and includes his playing and interviews with him, and also interviews and music by many other 20th century interpreters.

Timing and Cues

Length: 59 minutes

Open: harpsichord music
"This first ever recording..."

Break: one minute with music at 30:27, cue: "after a break..."

End: music ends, then dry voice credits, final out: "I was producer and host. I'm Sara Fishko."

Musical Works

The program features Bach recordings by Glenn Gould as well as a variety of artists, living and dead. Here's a complete list:

Wanda Landowska

Bach Goldberg Variations and other works
EMI Classics "References" 67200

Glenn Gould

Bach: Goldberg Variations
Glenn Gould's 1955 Debut Recording
CBS Great Performances MYK 38479

Bach: English Suites
The Glenn Gould Edition (BWV 806-811)
Sony Classical SM2K 52606

Bach: French Suites (BWV 812-817)
CBS Masterworks MK 42267

Bach: Partitas
CBS Masterworks MK 42402

Bach-Busoni
Goldberg Variations
David Buechner, pianist
Connoisseur Society CD 4212

Murray Perahia

Bach: Goldberg Variations
Sony SK 89243

Angela Hewitt

Bach: French Overture, Italian Concerto, Four Duets, Two Capriccios
Hyperion CVA 67310

Bach: The Toccatas
Hyperion CDA 67310

Bach: French Suites
Hyperion CDA 67121/2

Rosalyn Tureck

Collection II, The Young Visionary, Bach recital New York, 1948
VAI Audio VAIA-1085

Andras Schiff

Bach/Mozart/Schubert
Great Pianists of the 20th Century, Philips 456 925

Sviatoslav Richter

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book #1 (BWV 846-869)
Le Chant Du Monde LDC 278 525 26

Break: Bach Toccata & Fugue in D minor (BWV 565)
Arranged by Leopold Stokowski
Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor
Sony Classical 89012

Vladimir Feltsman

Bach: Goldberg Variations
Recrded Live at the Moscow Conservatory
MHS 513250T

Bach: Six Partitas
Urtext JBCC 054/055

Edward Aidwell

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2
Elektra/Nonesuch 79200

Maria Tipo

Bach: Goldberg Variations
EMI 7475462

Bach: Partitas 3, 5, 6
EMI Classics D102344

Sergei Schepkin

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2
Ongaku Records 024-115

Glenn Gould

Bach: Partita No. 4
CVS Masterworks MK 42402

Related Website

http://www.wnyc.org/music/articles/5525