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Glenn Gould plays Bach

Author: Clasart Classic

In 1980 and 1981, pianist Glenn Gould made three video recordings devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach's keyboard music.

  • Glenn Gould plays Bach | Copyright: © Clasart Classic

    © Clasart Classic

  • Glenn Gould plays Bach | Copyright: © Clasart Classic

    © Clasart Classic

Whether in conversation with his host, acclaimed French director of musical films Bruno Monsaingeon, or plumbing the depths of Bach's music in performance, Gould offers us, in each and every moment of this trilogy, the fascinating case study of a genius.

This element of showmanship takes on particular prominence in this trilogy, where Gould's relaxed relationship with Monsaingeon bathes the production in a warm yet invigorating and surprisingly humorous atmosphere: Gould's wordplays and unexpected formulations betray a love of language almost as great as his love of music. These three films encapsulate Gould's personal ideas on Bach and his keyboard music, and provide penetrating insights into the mind of an 18th-century master – and his 20th-century interpreter.

Part I is devoted to Bach's "Art of Fugue." Gould's performance is followed by a lively repartee with Monsaingeon, in which the pianist provides dazzling insights illustrated by music examples.

In Part II, Gould concentrates on the fugal form in Bach's works. He performs various fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier and reveals why he feels the "Art of Fugue" is the work that summed up Bach's life.

Part III spotlights Gould recording Bach's "Goldberg Variations" in a sound studio. It was to be his last recording of the "Goldberg Variations" and perhaps the last time he played the work: Glenn Gould died the year after the recording was made.

Duration 3x60'
Director Bruno Monsaingeon
Soloist Glenn Gould
Musical style Piano

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