Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Book Review: The Great Gould

Glenn Gould
(1932 –1982)
I really enjoyed reading this Canadian book. Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council, helped fund it. Goddard had support from the Glenn Gould estate, as well. It is important to me to read about Canadian artists. Many are overshadowed by US artists, or our Canucks become US-based. I won't name them, but you get my drift.

There is much to learn about Glenn Gould, aside from books previously written, which cover his recordings, or his performances. He was a quirky genius, to say the least. He spelled Glenn with 3 Ns! He did more than just play piano. He was a germaphobe.

Peter Goddard, a music critic I read frequently in the Toronto Star newspaper, dug up some new information to add to the quirkiness. Gould, Goddard, and I, experienced downtown Toronto as our stomping grounds. I visited the old CBC studio back in the 70s, where Gould did much work.

Known for his Goldberg Variations, Gould was an internationally known, well-travelled pianist. He was an  unsettled man, he began a career as a radio innovator.
During the early 60s, Gould performed and lectured extensively, until, without any fanfare, Gould made his last public appearance as a pianist in Orchestra Hall, Chicago, on March 28, 1964.
The new CBC studio is named the Glenn Gould Studio.
His radio shows were amazing, as demonstrated by excerpts in the book, his interests included Sci-fi, and the Beatles! When his mother died, in 1975, he appeared to demonstrate mental health issues, and was prescribed medications. He had a stroke in September, the first of several, prior to his death in October, 1982.

The book includes a timeline of his life, many credited photos, various tours, concert and recording dates. I really enjoyed reading it!

Other Resources​

There is a Glenn Gould Park in Toronto (St. Clair Ave. & Ave. Rd.) .

Meet Gould's 'altered ego' 

Photograph of Glenn Gould, as Karlheinz Klopweisser, 1980
Glenn Gould as Karlheinz Klopweisser, 1980
Source: Library and Archives Canada/Glenn Gould fonds/MUS 109-1021
© Robert C. Ragsdale. Reproduced with the permission of Robert C. Ragsdale, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Estate of Glenn Gould and Glenn Gould Limited.

Glenn Gould plays 'invaria' by John Oswald - YouTube

Feb 14, 2014 - Uploaded by plunderphonics
The National Ballet of Canada's 'A Disembodied Voice' is based on 'The Idea of This' a score by John ...

About Glenn Gould (CBC)

The left red button on the map is Glenn Gould Park. The one further east, along St. Clair,  is his apartment building back in the 50s. I grew up in the 50s, on Walker Ave.
Glenn Gould Park
110 St. Clair apartment

Glenn's Former Apartment

110 St. Clair Ave West, Suite 902
100StClaireAve_AptHe used it mostly for sleeping and practicing piano. His possessions and private archives were stacked there in heaps. 
From The Gould Rush by Deirdre Kelly (The Globe and Mail, Saturday, September 20, 1997) Section C - C1.
Glenn Gould Statue, Stefan Powell, Wiki

For more information about Glenn Gould, visit Sony Canada's Glenn Gould website.

Young Jenny Jilks
 on Walker Ave., Toronto c. 1950s

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@Barrie Summy


Anvilcloud said...

Sue and her family have quite a connection with the Goulds. Sue took lessons from his mother. Her father occasionally helped to deliver in Mr Goulds furrier business. In the [extended] family is Glenn's first or practice piano, and on the inside nameplate is an inscription to Sue. Apparently, it was the piano that they would port back and forth to and from the cottage.

Barrie said...

Interesting! And I loved all the photos, including the one of you as a child in Toronto. I didn't realize there was a Glenn Gould Park at St. Claire + Avenue Rd. I could visit it the next time I'm up. Thank you for reviewing. Stay warm, Jenn!

Cloudia said...

A great Canadian. Like YOU!

Red said...

Gould certainly attracted my attention. It's unfortunate that his career was cut short.

Linda McLaughlin said...

Interesting review, Jenn. I remember listening to Gould play when I was younger and he was amazing.

William Kendall said...

One of his pianos resides in the NAC, and is still played periodically by solo pianists who have come in for a performance.

Sarah Laurence said...

I love how you included the music video in the review. It would be interesting to learn more about the pianist.

Stacy said...

Aw, the childhood photo of you is just adorable. I'm not familiar with Glenn Gould, but it's always great to find a well-written biography.

Powell River Books said...

Seems like the border is quite fluid for artists and athletes. Does it count that I'm headed in the opposite direction? Just submitted our citizenship applications last month. Hope to get the results in a year. - Margy