Extraordinary Canadians Glenn Gould
Glenn Gould, one of the twentieth century’s most renowned classical musicians, was also known as an eccentric genius—solitary, headstrong, a hypochondriac virtuoso. Abandoning stage performances in 1964, Gould concentrated instead on mastering various media: recordings, radio, television, and print. His sudden death at age fifty stunned the world, but his music and legacy continue to inspire. Philosopher and critic Mark Kingwell regards Gould as an innovative thinker whose ideas about music governed his life. But those ideas were contradictory, mischievous, and deliberately provocative. Just as Gould played twenty-one “takes” to record the opening aria in the famed 1955 Goldberg Variations, Kingwell offers twenty-one takes on Gould’s life. Each version offers a different interpretation of the man, but in each, Kingwell is sensitive to the complex harmonies and dissonances that sounded throughout the life of the great Gould.