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The Art of Glenn Gould
Franz Liszt, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach
The Art of Glenn Gould
Genre: Classical
 

      
   
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All Artists: Franz Liszt, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Joseph Haydn, Vladimir Golschmann, Glenn Gould
Title: The Art of Glenn Gould
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 2
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/1992
Re-Release Date: 10/27/1992
Genre: Classical
Styles: Forms & Genres, Concertos, Sonatas, Historical Periods, Baroque (c.1600-1750), Classical (c.1770-1830), Modern, 20th, & 21st Century, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 074645269429, 074645269429

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CD Reviews

A misnomer
ronaldbrian | Quezon City, Philippines | 07/27/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"One should always give five stars to a master. But to this compilation I give three.

The "Art" of Glenn Gould. For a one-disc compilation to carry such a lofty title it must feature pieces that showcase Gould's dazzling (demonic, some say) technical gifts and revelatory artistic vision. This compilation does not.

It's good it carries three tracks from Gould's 1955 recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations. The recording is vital to the Gould legend, how a twentyish pianist stunned the music world by single-handedly changing the way Bach's keyboard compositions are performed forever.

My problem is with the piano concertos. They make up too much of the compilation's playing time - too much when they are hardly representative of Gould's pianism. I've never been a fan of Beethoven's soporific piano concertos, and the excerpt here, the largo from the first piano concerto, runs for over twelve comatose minutes. The choice of Bach's fifth concerto is also uninspired. Simply put, these are not the keyboard warhorses that beg for a pianist of Gould's gifts.

There are pianists whose names will be forever associated with certain composers. Rubinstein's with Chopin. Horowitz's with Scarlatti. Gould's is with Bach. Yet there are only a handful of Gould's Bach performances here. Gould's genius lies in his understanding of the counterpoint. Not enough contrapuntal pieces are here. His affinity is with the Baroque period; he may have occasionally visited the romantic and the classical periods but these are periods where other piano demigods play. It is in the Baroque that Gould's unique pianism reigns uncontested.

And because no celeberated pianist can conquer every composer, Gould's Haydn begs comparison with Alfred Brendel's, whose lucid and restrained touch brings out the sublime and grand in Haydn. As for the Liszt track, transcriptions are always risky. Compared to the original compositions they are bound to be unsatisfying. Very rare exceptions include Busoni's transcription of Bach's chaconne partita. Liszt transcription of Beethoven's 5th symphony is no exception.

Perhaps the compilers could be forgiven had they settled on a less ambitious title with this disc. Because it is difficult to hear the art of Glenn Gould in these boring pieces. The compilers could have done better. If you're looking for Glenn Gould's art, I suggest "The Gould Variations: The Best of Glenn Gould's Bach" instead."
Save Your Money
Giordano Bruno | Wherever I am, I am. | 05/14/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"As the only previous reviewer declares, this is a hodge-podge selection, not likely to satisfy even the most rabid Gould fan. Excerpts from the Goldberg Variations? Keyboard transcriptions of symphonic works? Might the publisher be trying to squeeze the last dollar from the devotees?"