It's hard to overstate the importance of Canadian pianist Glen Gould, who is most noted for performing J.S. Bach's keyboard works with unmatched technical and artistic facility, as a modern ambassador of Baroque music. Gould was born in Toronto in 1932 and studied with his mother until he was 10, when he was accepted as a student at the Royal Conservatory of Music. There he took lessons under Alberto Guerrero and Frederick C. Silvester. In 1945 he gave his first recital, and he performed Beethoven's 4th piano concerto that year with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Though his stage career was fairly short -- he gave up public performance in 1964 -- he was the first North American pianist to play in Russia after World War II and gave a number of great performances on the CBC. Between 1964 and '82, Gould made scores of recordings; he taped definitive interpretations of Bach, Beethoven and Schumann, but he is perhaps best known for performing complex contrapuntal passages of Bach with remarkable clarity. His life has been the subject of exhaustive study, as has his eccentric personality, which included an aversion to handshakes and regular trips to a diner for scrambled eggs at 2 A.M.
Glenn Gould Concert Films
The Russian Journey
Runtime: 56 minThe date is May 2nd, 1957. Stalin died only four years before and perestroika is still a long way off. However, the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, who is just 24, arrives in Moscow for an exceptional tour: he is the first North American musician to play behind the iron curtain. This is the story that Glenn Gould in Russia tells by revealing documents from the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that had remained classified for years. Witness accounts from musicians such as Ashkenazy and Rostropovitch, parts of the original recordings of Gould’s concerts in Moscow and Leningrad, as well as a recording that had never been released before of his lecture-recital in Leningrad make this an invaluable documentary revealing an aspect of Glenn Gould’s artistry that few people are aware of.
Glenn Gould Top Tracks
Live in Vienna (Part 1)
Runtime: 1 hrFilmed live in Vienna s legendary Musikverein concert hall, this release represents Lang Lang s second live recorded recital to date after the best-selling Live at Carnegie Hall in 2004, which marked his international breakthrough as a recording artist.
The program for his Sony debut features Lang Lang s first-ever recording of Beethoven sonatas: The famous Appassionata , a milestone in the piano literature, is paired with the composer s youthful C major Sonata op. 2, no. 3. Virtuosity of a different order is displayed in Albéniz s impressionistic memories of his native Spain in Book 1 of Iberia. The program closes with one of Prokofiev s explosive War Sonatas, the revolutionary Seventh Sonata. Finally, to celebrate the Chopin Bicentennial we hear three encores of this Polish genius s most popular works: the Aeolian Harp Etude, the Heroic Polonaise in A flat major, and the sparkling Grande Valse Brillante No. 2.
The Goat Rodeo Sessions Live
Yo Yo Ma
Runtime: 56 minThe Goat Rodeo Sessions Live brings cellist Yo-Yo Ma, fiddler Stuart Duncan, bassist Edgar Meyer and mandolinist Chris Thile together for a one-night only concert filmed at the House Of Blues in Boston, MA.
A Tango Night - Live from Buenos Aires
Runtime: 1 hr 36 minOn December 31, 2006, Daniel Barenboim came to celebrate the New Year in the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires in the country where he was born and where he lived for the first nine years of his life. For the pianist and conductor the tango comes naturally and it was with passion that he conducted a huge concert that evening dedicated to this genre across between dance and song. Created and developed in the poor neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires from 1870, the tango very soon became a part of Argentina’s national heritage.
Not this World
Runtime: 52 minIn February 1977, Murray Perahia made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Mozart’s C minor piano concerto, conducted by Riccardo Muti. “A first-class soloist was introduced to us, with fantastic musicianship and a highly sensitive touch,” as the press wrote. Many wonderful performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker were to follow. And so it was only logical that the orchestra invited him, as Pianist in Residence, to give a series of joint concerts this current season. In this documentary by Holger Preusse and Claus Wischmann, you can now get to know this exceptional artist better.
Perahia’s now legendary status means that he is often regarded as someone who is somewhat removed from normal life – which corresponds to the title of the documentary “Not of this world”. But it is only Perahia’s playing, with its otherworldly beauty, that seems to be beyond all earthly limitations. As this film shows, the artist engages in all facets of life as well as his work. In interviews on tour and in his Swiss vacation home, he talks about the works in his repertoire, and how he develops his interpretations. We experience him as an inspirational teacher, at work in the recording studio and, of course, at rehearsals and in concert. Perahia also discusses the injury to his hand, which has repeatedly forced to stop playing for periods of time – a terrible experience for a pianist. But Perahia has even come to terms with this difficult situation and has reached some surprising insights: “What seemed like a curse actually turned into a blessing, because it gave me a lot of time to think about music and to listen to it more. And so I felt I was actually growing as a musician, even though I was not playing.”
St. Matthew's Passion
Johann Sebastian Bach
Runtime: 1 hr 33 minJohann Sebastian Bach composed the St. John Passion in Cöthen during the winter of 1722/23. The text is drawn from chapters 18 and 19 of the Gospel according to St. John, and includes some excerpts from St. Mathew and additional text from a Passion poem by the Hamburg town councillor Barthold Heinrich Brockes. The composer led the first performance at the Good Friday services on 7 April 1724 at St. Nicholas Church in Leipzig, where he had since become municipal music director and cantor of the Thomasschule. This Passion is heard less often today than the St. Matthew Passion, perhaps because the St. John Passion is in some ways more raw and evokes the anguish of the Passion more painfully than the St. Matthew work. A musician’s musician, an occasional firebrand and a constant paradox – Nikolaus Harnoncourt (born in 1929) is one of the most profound and intriguing conductors of our time. Considered one of the world’s leading specialists of Baroque music, he has long since turned his attention to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and even to Jacques Offenbach and Johann Strauss. He spent many years as a cellist with the Wiener Symphoniker before founding the "Concentus Musicus Wien" with his wife Alice in 1953. It soon became one of the world’s most respected ensembles specializing in the performance of early music on original instruments. In the 1970s, Harnoncourt joined forces with Jean-Pierre Ponnelle to stage a series of Monteverdi operas at the Zurich Opera House. This universally acclaimed cycle contributed to a renaissance of Monteverdi’s music and set standards for early Baroque performance practice. He later began to turn his attention more and more to the music of Mozart, whom he considers "the most romantic of all composers". Harnoncourt did not make his official debut at the Salzburg Festival until 1992. He has been conducting there regularly since then and is a sought-after guest conductor of such reputable ensembles as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.