Friday, May 22, 2015

Glenn Gould - The Chamber Musician

Despite the equanimity with which most people can countenance present-day performances of Bach's solo keyboard music, and even some of his  chamber music (cf. the C minor violin sonata found on this disk), on piano, the  keyboard part of the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto would seem to have become the  domain of the harpsichord. The primary reason for this attitude can be attributed  to the seemingly unassailable assumption that, despite the cadenza for the  keyboard instrument alone in the first movement, the three solo instumments —  violin and flute in addition to the keyboard instrument — are equals and together  form a group that contrasts in texture and function of utterance with the larger  orchestra. From this perspective, the harpsichord is the ideal instrument for the  ensemble, the piano an inappropriate one. If the piano is played in such a way as  not to overbalance its fellow solo instruments, it can end up filling a deferential, “accompanimental” role (as in the 1935 recording by the Adolf Busch Chamber Orchestra, where Rudolf Serkin valiantly subdues the import of the keyboard  writing in an attempt to help the playing of his father-in-law and the flutists  Marcel Moÿse to emerge clearly). If, on the other hand, a pianist freely projects  the thematic and virtuosic substance of his own part, the violin and flute tum into  mere spear carriers and the compositional emphasis on the solo keyboard soon seems overblown in performance. The performance presented here unabashedly adopts this latter point of view: Glenn Gould is a guest soloist, while the flutist and violinist are drawn from the orchestra with which the performance takes  place...
David Breckbill, 1989, from the booklet

Glenn Gould
The Chamber Musician
(Music & Arts CD-298)

Tracks

Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)

Brandenburg Concerto n° 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
1 I. Allegro  12:18
2 II. Affetuoso  6:34
3 III. Allegro  7:01

Sonata n° 4 in C Major, for violin & Clavier, BWV 1017
4 I. Siciliano. Largo  3:13
5 II. Allegro  4:39
6 III. Adagio  3:50
7 IV. Allegro  3:10

Arnold Schoenberg
(1874-1951)

Fantasy for violin & Piano, Op. 47  9:59

Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770-1827)
Sonata n° 10 for violin & piano, Op. 96
9 I. Allegro moderato  7:13
10 II. Adagio espressivo  5:32
11 III. Scherzo/Trio  1:48
12 IV. Poco allegretto. Adagio espressivo  7:57

*

Personnel
[# 1-3]
Glenn Gould - p
Baltimore Chamber Orchestra/Peter H. Adler - cond.
Recorded in 1962 ?
[# 4-11]
Glenn - Gould - p
Yehudi Menuhin - vl
Broadcast Recital ; Recorded in Canada ; 1965 ?

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