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Remembering Gould

He adored Arrowroot cookies, Barbra Streisand and animals. He abhorred sunlight, the stage and airplanes. Eccentric, genius, solitary, head-strong, hypochondriac, virtuoso… all describe Glenn Herbert Gould, one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Gould was born on Sept. 25, 1932 in Toronto. His sudden death in 1982 at age 50 stunned the world, but his music and his legacy continue to inspire, delight and fascinate. We would like to thank the Glenn Gould Foundation for its assistance in this archival project.

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(no audio) Everything inside his apartment on St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto is meticulously recorded and stored ensuring his legacy and cult-like adoration. In this silent footage there are shots of CD318, the Steinway piano Gould used for most of his recordings from the early 1960s until the late 1970s.

It also shows the specially designed folding chair which allowed Gould to sit 13 inches off the floor, a portrait of his beloved dog and even the black pens he liked to use.
Each year fans from all over visit his gravesite at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto, where Gould is buried near the woman who perhaps had the greatest influence on his life, his mother.
• Shortly after Glenn Gould's death, CBS Records released his second recording of the Goldberg Variations, completed weeks before his untimely death. Gould's career had gone full circle. His musical career which began with an astounding recording of the Goldbergs ended with another amazing rendition of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations. The latter recording received two Grammy awards and a Juno award in 1983.

• Gould's Steinway CD 318 is on permanent display in the main foyer of the National Library of Canada building in Ottawa.
• Gould often forgot to return the keys to his hotel rooms and over the years he inadvertently developed a huge collection of hotel keys.
• Gould's treasured piano chair was adapted and designed to suit his unconventional posture. His father designed it from a set of folding chairs for playing cards.
Medium: Television
Program: CBC News
Production Date: Nov. 1, 1982
Duration: 7:59

Last updated: January 23, 2012

Page consulted on November 13, 2014

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