Today's Classical Music Video

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Glenn Gould: A Portrait


After all these years it is still hard for me to believe that Glenn Gould no longer walks among us. He has become a legend. But even in his lifetime he was a legend. He was a a force of nature. It was not just the astonishing musical gifts, it was everything about him that electrified everyone who met him, everyone who heard him play, and everyone who heard him speak. His mind was too quick and too nimble for most of us mere mortals. Even those who found him annoying and exasperating had to admit that there was nobody like him.

This documentary was made in 1985 by Vincent Tovell and Eric Till for the CBC and it is brilliant. It is also Gouldian in its cinematic virtuosity. Tovell and Till knew their subject and they knew that Gould would have expected any successful documentary about him to be multi-layered, intelligent and challenging. For he himself knew a thing or two about documentaries and how to make them mindbendingly original. I think Gould would have approved of what they achieved with Gould himself as a subject.

Paul E. Robinson

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