Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger



Collection: Glen Gould at the Cinema (music by Bach, Richard Strauss, Sibelius and Scriabin)   SONY SK66532 [76:26]




J S BACH Piano Concertos 3 and 5; movements from Goldberg Variations; Brandenburg Concerto No 4 (Slaughterhouse Five), Prelude and Fugue No. 1; (Aria) Art of the Fugue excerpts; (The Credits) English Suite No. 5 (Gould meets Gould).
RICHARD STRAUSS Funf Klavierstücke Op. 3 No. 3 (The Wars)
BRAHMS Two Intermezzi (The Wars)
SIBELIUS Sonatina No. 2 (Solitude)
SCRIABIN Deux Morceaux Op. 57 No. 1 (Personal Ad)
Glenn Gould (piano and in Art of the Fugue, organ)
with Columbia SO/Valdimir Golschmann in the two concertos

The abiding impression left by Gould's music-making is one of hypnotic concentration pliably and unshakeably commanding the listener's attention. Gould's reputed eccentricities seem distant, irrelevant or are an aspect of his communicative power.

There are many familiar friends here and the two concertos are as fresh as new-mown grass and summer mornings. All is bright, alert and new-minted. If there is one track to sample it is Variation 25 from the Goldberg Variations (Track 5).

Amongst the unfamiliar there is the Sibelius sonatina from a collection released long before Sibelius's piano music attracted recorded intégrales from BIS and Naxos. Also present are two Scriabin pieces and the surprisingly affecting Largo from Richard Strauss's Op. 3 collection. All credit to the much maligned man for turning to the un-considered or 'discredited'. I do recall that one review of the original Sibelius LP condemned Gould for distortions of the score and Kyllikki (not included here) seems to have suffered.

The film music connection (identified in brackets in the headnote) is that these pieces were used in film soundtracks including the 32 short films (1993) about Glenn Gould. However cinematic links are simply a peg on which to hang a newly cross-cut anthology from the Sony-CBS archives.

Whatever the linkage for this anthology much enduring joy can be tapped from this resounding collection of pianism blown along by the fierce flame that was Glenn Gould.

A well documented disc. Sound quality, though always hardy and solid, shows its age but not disagreeably.

A strange confection but one with many rewards to be quarried by a listener open to her or his own judgements rather than the received 'wisdom' of the critical world.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

Return to Index