Glenn Gould plays Bach and hums

I bought two CDs of Glenn Gould playing Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981) and The Art of the Fugue. He’s a brilliant pianist and he really rocks the Johann Sebastian Bach but I sometimes wish he had shut up during the recording sessions. I don’t hear it during the organ fugues but his off-tune humming comes through on many of the piano tracks. In some places it’s cute but mostly it evokes jittery images of Frankenstein hunched over his work in one of his mad genius fits. Excellent albums.

4 thoughts on “Glenn Gould plays Bach and hums

  1. Ha! Sounds classic! Do you think they meant leave it in or it was him humming as he quietly played? Old recording i am guessing. . .

  2. I don’t classify myself as an expert on Glenn Gould (far from it), but it is pretty much a given that if you buy one of his recordings, you’ll get him humming on it. If you’re interested in him, you might rent “32 Short Films about Glenn Gould”. He was something else.

  3. Yes, many people get weirded out by his singing…but his voice soothes me…I wouldn’t ever separate his voice from the piano recordings!

  4. Yeah, that’s Gould allright. The Gould /Bach stuff is absolutely sublime. I have been listening to it many years. Nobody can touch the phrasing and expression he brings to these works. The humming all but disappears for me.

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