Glenn Gould, the legendary Canadian pianist, composer, and writer, was born 80 years ago today.
If you're not familiar with his work, or you're wondering why he's such a big deal, check out this video of him performing at his piano. It offers a taste of the intensity, power - and yes, strangeness - of his genius:
Glenn's legacy lives on today at the CBC building in Toronto, where the Glenn Gould Studio features a performance space and recording facilities to help today's musicians create and display their work.
You can also check out this CBC page dedicated to Glenn's life and work.
Here's a roundup of what's happening online today around the anniversary of his birth.
CBC News On Glenn Gould Celebrations Around The World
Classical enthusiasts the world over are celebrating the life, music and genius of Canadian legend Glenn Gould on the 80th anniversary of his birth.
Tuesday marks 80 years since Gould's birth. Concerts, seminars, exhibitions and film presentations about the idiosyncratic musical virtuoso have already begun and will continue through the fall.
"He's one of the most unique pianists that I've ever heard in recordings. His personality is so incredibly strong and everything that [he produced]," famed pianist Lang Lang, who is taking part in the Gould celebrations, told CBC News."
Read the rest of the piece here.
NPR Shares Some Of Glenn's Lesser-Known Works
"Today, Sept. 25, 2012, would have marked the 80th birthday of Glenn Gould, and Oct. 4 is the 30th anniversary of his death. One can only wonder what Gould might have done had he lived a full life -- he had many plans and spoke of them with customary enthusiasm -- but I have no doubt that he would have loved the internet above all. Can you imagine an unfettered Gould finally able to remove the middlemen and record whatever he wanted, as often as he wanted to, and immediately share the results with his audience?
Gould is most famous, now and likely always, for his two studio recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations, which served as alpha and omega for his career (it was the first work he recorded for Columbia Masterworks in 1955 and a second version came out the week he died in 1982). But there is more to Gould than the "Gouldbergs" -- indeed, more to him than Bach -- and this seems a logical time to explore some of his other great recordings."
Check out NPR's picks right here.
The Ottawa Citizen Reviews 'Glenn Gould: The Acoustic Orchestrations'
"Glenn Gould was a world class pianist, that is well known.
Perhaps less well recognized is the fact that he was a creative and thoughtful sound engineer who was unafraid to experiment in the recording studio with new ways of laying down a track. [...]
Gould would have turned 80 on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and in honour, Sony Classical is releasing a raft of Gould recordings, including one that offers a look and listen inside Gould's vision for recording. The disc was assembled by Théberge."
Read the rest of the review here.
CBC Music Captures Chilly Gonzales' Tribute To Glenn Gould
The Montreal Gazette Digs Into the 'Super-Slow Brahms Performance' Controversy
"Yes, another column on Glenn Gould [...] I have been egged on by alcides lanza, the retired McGill professor with a fondness for lower case, who has written to remind me that the infamous super-slow 1962 performance of Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1 (as I called it last week) with the New York Philharmonic was not as slow as all that.
Prof. lanza has done his homework, or at least did some a few years ago. He found Claudio Arrau to be the slo-mo champ in this majestic score at 53:35, finishing a few seconds behind Gould at 53:21. Maurizio Pollini was fastest among pianists he surveyed at 46:10. Arthur Rubinstein represented a characteristic middle way at 50:21."
Read the whole thing here.
CBC Books On The Best Glenn Gould Reads
Glenn Gould, the legendary pianist whose likeness sits on a bench outside the CBC's Toronto headquarters, would have been 80 years old next week, and to celebrate, The Sunday Edition's music expert Robert Harris spoke about the genius and his legacy with host Michael Enright.
Robert was also kind enough to share his suggestions for further reading about Gould with CBC Books. Check them out right here.