Portrait of a genius
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 12/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In two 29 minute documentaries for Canadian TV, we get a rare look at the life of Glenn Gould (1932-82), filmed in 1959, both in New York City and in his home in Uptergrove, which is 90 miles north of Toronto.
The first one focuses on recording sessions at Columbia, the company that gave him a contract after his successful N.Y. debut in 1955, and he plays Bach's Italian Concerto, sitting low with crossed legs on his specially made small piano chair, with a band-aid on his index finger, playing flawlessly and with a remarkable humility for one as young and as famous as he was.
In the second film we see Gould again in N.Y. choosing a piano at Steinway's for a concert, and then home in his cottage by the lake, with his collie dog for companionship, and his fabulous Chickering piano to play on.
Known for his eccentricity, Gould is interviewed at length, and we get the feeling of extraordinary intelligence, the inner fortitude to be at ease with himself and make his own path in the world, and mostly, someone who is immensely likeable.
As one person remarks, "such rare persons enter a very special world", and Gould was a rare diamond in the world of classical music; I have the treasured memory of having heard him with Leonard Bernstein and the N.Y. Philharmonic playing Beethoven's 3rd. The sound he produced from the piano was like no other...a sound of incomparable richness and resonance.
These short documentaries are a blessing to those of us who remember his genius, his music, and his humanity, and hopefully they will be viewed by a younger generation of music lovers, who will also appreciate his greatness.
The DVD features (which are a little clumsy to navigate) include crew bios, and excerpts of recordings of Bach and Webern.
Glenn Gould...our hero!
Carl Hungerford | Foothill Ranch, CA United States | 06/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those who do not know Glenn Gould, this is just one of the fine examples which show who he was, and how wonderful he was... not only in the talent area, but also as a human. Sure, he had some issues, but those who are gifted often do, so it is best not to put him down in any way, shape or form. He was probably the best person in our time for Bach, in addition to other composers, however, Bach is probably the perfection area for him. There is also an example of his Gibbons on another DVD (The Alchemist...EMI Classics) which is simply stunning!"