Concerto for keyboard and orchestra no. 7, by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Here, the second movement is performed by Glenn Gould with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Vladimir Golschmann.
Full performance here.
Some restorative Bach for Sunday afternoon
The late, great Glenn Gould dissects one of my favourite fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Fugue no. 9 from Book II.
As Glenn Gould says, at the conclusion of his discussion with biographer Bruno Monsaingeon:
It’s rudimentary material, but it makes for one of the most gloriously fulfilled codas he [Bach] ever wrote, I think.
True. Unlike the brisk and rather superficial version of this fugue in Gould’s complete recording of the WTC, here he takes it at a funereal pace, allowing each voice to truly sing on its own. The slow, steady accumulative effect of Bach’s ingeniously weaved, achingly unresolved theme makes the incredible catharsis of the final coda all the greater.
Here is the complete performance:
“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Performed on the piano by Dame Myra Hess, whose music did so much to soothe the spirits of Londoners during the Blitz.
Book II of the Well-Tempered Klavier by J.S. Bach, recorded by the incomparable Glenn Gould. I was looking for a specific fugue to share, but decided to serve up the whole lot direct from YouTube. It is well worth 1 hour and 44 minutes of your time.
A little piece of perfection for this Thursday in late March.
Variation XV of “The Goldberg Variations” by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), performed here by Rosalyn Tureck, one of my very favourite Bach interpreters aside from the peerless Glenn Gould:
This recording dates from 1957, which is just after Gould made his historic 1955 recording for Colombia Records. However, you will find no influence of Gould in Rosalyn Tureck’s interpretation here. Very classical, with a smoky, melancholy, romantic, almost Victorian hue. And, of course, played much slower and with all of the repeats.