To this day, Glenn Gould remains a classical music icon, one of the best-known and most accomplished pianists of all time. This is not a conventional biography of a musician, but the story of one great event in Gould class... more »ical music icon, one of the best-known and most accomplished pianists of all time. This is not a conventional biography of a musician, but the story of one great event in Gould?s life?his 1957 trip to Russia?an event that had a long-lasting effect on the performer and his audiences, and would influence future generations of Russian musicians. Along with new facts and details about Gould?s visit, this program features original Moscow and Leningrad recordings of Gould?s concerts, including the unreleased recording of Gould?s lecture/recital at the Leningrad Conservatory. Also featured are previously unknown, unreleased documents and photographs of Gould?s trip, many from his ?confidential? file in the Department of Foreign Affairs. The impact of his visit is also recaptured through the words of celebrated contemporary musicians Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and other prominent musicians, musicologists, film and theater directors. OVER 30-MINUTES OF BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE: ? Extra interview with Gould after his return from Russia ? Extended interview with Walter Homburger, Gould?s manager. NTSC - Region 1 ? Gould performing Beethoven?s Bagatelle, Op. 126 No. 3« less
Pure Inspiration From A Musician From Another Realm!
Yoga Dad | 01/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a Pianist/Composer who has been teaching piano as my full time profession for well over 23 years, so needless to say, music and the piano is a huge part of my life.
Though I must admit that was not a big fan of Gould's before seeing this DVD, I am a fan now! Though there's much about his approach to playing that isn't always my cup of tea, nor do I appreciate his attitude toward's Mozart (of whom he said something to the effect that "Mozart was a very bad composer who died to old rather than too young" which I thought was uncalled for, not only from a musical standpoint but as a human being).
Still, after seeing this documentary about his Russian trip one can't help but be taken in by his pure musical and emotional intensity, humanity, courage (in terms of boldly exposing his fellow musicians in the Soviet Union to music that was forbidden by the Government) and by his unbelievable playing as well.
In fact, I was completely mesmerized by his playing on this DVD. In spite of my previous feelings about Gould's playing, I put aside any prejudices I had previous to seeing this DVD and I was swept away by what I heard.
Beyond the musical side, you could see the sincere bond he made with the Russian people that he came into contact with, the real friendships that were forged (which were ongoing after his trip) and the way he inspired his fellow musicians. Music once again transcended all boundaries and he was a masterful musician.!
I was also impressed by the way he spoke out (on his Television Program) against the oppressive way the Soviet musicians were treated.
I can't say enough good things about this, all I can say is that this is a program I will watch over and over again for inspiration both as a musician but more importantly for inspiration as a human being."
In a word: essential!
Yoga Dad | 06/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Essential for Gould fanatics, among whose numbers I proudly count myself, but recommended for those who enjoy attempts to expose the phenomenon of genius, in any form. I have read about the Russians' response to Gould's visit, the first visit by any Western pianist after the advent of the Cold War, but to watch Russian audiences embrace him, in all his idiosyncratic splendor, was a beautiful thing, as was his acceptance of their approval. All of Gould's behavioral hit parade is on display: the hunching, the humming, the conducting hands, as well as his mufflered, mittened, behatted self. Western critics decried such tics, and were endlessly inventive in finding ways to say "weird" in more journalistic, less pedestrian terms, but the Russians apparently understood that such genius (again, I use the word, there is nothing else for it) does not invite explanation, only wonder, and accepted him without question. Bittersweet, however, were the reminiscences of those who knew him, watched him develop, accompanied him during the trip (in particular, his Russian translator and his longtime manager)--none of whom truly embodied the word "elderly" at the time of taping--because it raises the question of why he died when he was only 50... not the physiological determinants of his demise, but rather the reason we were deprived of him so early. One caution, however: ignore the absurd re-enactments, which feature a brooding Gould lookalike loping along the Moscow streets. Historic in nature, illuminating in scope, this DVD is a must."
Interesting documentary, but one big problem
S. Edwards | Berkeley, CA | 10/23/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The topic of this documentary about Glenn Gould's trip to Russia is definitely a fascinating one, but I was disappointed to discover that there are no uninterrupted segments of Gould's playing. When they do show such footage, it is brief and people talk over it. I know that there are other DVDs that feature his playing, and it is one of these others that I wish I had purchased in the first place."
Welcome to Russia Mr. Gould.
Josef Majaess | Halifax, NS CANADA | 12/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Canadian pianist Glenn Gould was much more than another artist, he was a genius in every sense of the word. His inhuman clockwork, divine trills, and ability to pronounce passages with unbelievable clarity lead prominent professors and pianists to claim he was an alien! Throughout the video top musicians like Ashkenazy and Rostropovich are singing his praises. Richter and Nikoleyva were enchanted by his performances. My imagination falls well short of understanding the atmosphere in the Leningrad Conservatory on a given day in 1957 as Bach's Concerto BWV 1052 flowed throughout the hall."
Music from Heaven
J. Ryan | Vancouver | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To quote John Keats:
"Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold"
For many years I had heard of Glenn Gould, but really had no idea of his music until I saw "Glenn Gould Hereafter" by Bruno Monsangeon on TV in November, 2006. It was spellbinding. (Substitute Gould for Homer and Monsangeon for Chapman above and you will understand how I felt)
I immediately ordered a number of DVDs and CDs of Gould ... all of them amazing.
At times listening to his music is a spiritual experience: Goldberg Variation 30 (1982), for example. But this note is about Beethoven's Opus 126, Number 3, as performed by Glenn Gould on the DVD, "The Russian Journey."
Gould personalizes the music of Bach and Beethoven, etc, but does so in the most respectful way. He honors the composers with his interpretations, and I am sure they would be honored also.
Gould's playing of Beethoven's Bagatelle Opus 126, Number 3 is almost astonishing in its depth and sensitivity. One feels at one with the universe watching it and listening to it. What an experience. As amazing as Gould's performance is, he almost underdoes it. He never goes for cheap showmanship, but his rapture? trance? ecstasy? transcendence? is there for all the world to see.