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Glenn Gould

September 25, 2012

Glenn Gould

Few of us are straight arrows, maintaining a predictable arc throughout our lives. We veer off course, careening at times, before coming to rest at the end of our days. Pianist Glenn Gould's 1955 recording of Bach's Goldberg Variations was the hallmark of a young man, shot from a tightly-strung bow. Insanely fast tempos, wild energy. You could almost call it reckless. But his trajectory changed over the years. His 1981 re-recording of the piece bears little resemblance to the earlier one. We'll sample both recordings today, on what would have been Gould's 80th birthday.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for thirty days following broadcast.

hour 1

hour 2

  • Zoltan Kodaly
    Three Hungarian Dances
    David Oistrakh, violin, Naum Walter, piano
  • Carl Maria von Weber
    Overture to Euryanthe
    The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Juraj Valcuha, conductor
    The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Traditional (Arranged by Hankus Netsky)
    Kol Nidrei (All Vows)
    Itzhak Perlman, violin, Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, cantor
  • Chen Yi
    Romance of Hsiao and Ch'in
    Jorja Fleezanis, violin, Jeffrey Kahane, piano
    Music@Menlo, Atherton, California
  • Chen Yi
    Written on a Rainy Night, from Tang Poems
  • Zoltan Kodaly
    Summer Evening
    The River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Robert Moody, conductor
    Church of St. John the Divine, Houston
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