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Glenn Gould
Edvard Grieg
Jean Sibelius

Glenn Gould Plays Sonatas, Fantasies, Variations

Glenn Gould, piano.
Label Sony Classical
Format 4 CDs
Runtime/Release Date 60'36,64'01,77'10,46'30/2012
UPC 887254137429
Daedalus Item Code 38874
This item is not available.
Concentrating mainly on 20th-century composers, this four-CD set demonstrates Gould's catholic tastes in repertoire. Among the works are Scriabin's Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Sharp Minor ("Etats D'âme"), Op. 23 and Sonata No. 5 in F Sharp Major, Op. 53; Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7 in B Flat Major ("War Sonata 2/Stalingrad"), Op. 83; Grieg's Sonata in E Minor, Op. 7; Sibelius's Three Sonatinas in F Sharp Minor Op. 67 and Three Lyric Pieces Op. 41; Alban Berg's Piano Sonata, Op. 1; Ernst Krenek's Piano Sonata No. 3; István Anhault's Fantasia; Barbara Pentland's Ombres; Jacques Hétu's Variations, Op. 8; Bizet's Premier Nocturne in F Major and Variations chromatique de concert; and Schumann's Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello Op. 47 (with members of the Juilliard Quartet). This disc is part of a series surveying the recordings of Glenn Gould, whose playing ignited reactions ranging from disquiet to awe; seldom was there indifference. The Canadian iconoclast is celebrated for his revelatory Bach interpretations (especially of the Goldberg Variations), yet he cherished the music of the Renaissance, was stupendous in recordings of Beethoven and Brahms, and championed composers of the 20th century like Hindemith, Prokofiev, Berg, Scriabin, and Strauss. These well-annotated editions add to the luster of a reputation that continues to shine, many years after his death.

"The most remarkable performance here is of Bizet's 'Variations Chromatique,' which Gould considered 'one of the very few masterpieces for solo piano to emerge from the third quarter of the 19th century.' He plays it with an intensity, clarity and force of will which should make almost any listener agree with his assessment of the work. Grieg was a distant relative of Gould. His performance of the Grieg Sonata reveals a touching affinity for the composer's genial and beguiling harmonic progressions and the patina of the folk idiom that hovers over the music in many places. The Sibelius works, too, receive cleanly etched performances."—Buffalo News

"This performance of Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet … represents the single work he recorded by the composer. The rendition of the Andante cantabile captured here has been criticized for what some have called motoric pianism; others will find Gould's unsentimental but heartfelt approach an ideal compromise."—Tim Page, NPR

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