Glenn Gould

Bach: The French Suites, Vol. 2, Nos. 5 & 6; Overture in the French Style

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"Gould Bach" was a brand name while the Canadian pianist was alive -- and it remains a brand name in this 2007 Sony-BMG CD reissue. Recorded in 1971 and first released by Columbia on LP in 1974 as Vol. 2 of Gould's survey of Bach's French Suites plus the Overture in the French Style, the performances here were considered highly controversial in their time. Gould's fans hailed his flawless technique and intellectuality. But his detractors, while not dismissing his virtuosity, disdained what they called his quirky eccentricities and, of course, his irrepressible humming that was always audible on the recordings. But Gould's fans also included portions of the larger listening audience and the consensus ultimately came down on the side of Gould as the preeminent rugged individualist among Bach players. This 2007 CD reissue duplicates the program and the cover art as well as the translucent stereo sound of the LP original. Through it, listeners unfamiliar with Gould can hear his dry Allemandes, his crisp Gavottes, his détaché Sarabandes, his buoyant Gigues, and his relentless vocalizing and decide for themselves where they stand.

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