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  • Piano Ctos 1 4 & 5 - 70th Anniversary Edition
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Piano Ctos 1 4 & 5 - 70th Anniversary Edition Limited Edition, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, September 3, 2002
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Product Details

  • Performer: Glenn Gould
  • Orchestra: Columbia Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Audio CD (September 3, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00006FI8L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,017 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052: 1. Allegro
2. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052: 2. Adagio
3. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052: 3. Allegro
4. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055: 1. Allegro
5. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055: 2. Larghetto
6. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 4 in A major, BWV 1055: 3. Allegro ma non tanto
7. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056: 1. [Allegro]
8. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056: 2. Largo
9. Concerto for harpsichord, strings & continuo No. 5 in F minor, BWV 1056: 3. Presto

Customer Reviews

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on December 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This disc does not amount to much in terms of playing-time, and the recorded balance is a little unfair to the orchestra, but I can still give it 5 stars at a bargain price. Sviatoslav Richter apparently said that in these performances the youthful Gould was not yet fully inside his own distinctive style. Maybe so, but the fact remains that Gould did more than everyone else combined to restore Bach-playing on the piano to respectability after the over-long ascendancy of the purist school who refused to admit that as even legitimate. Instruments exist for music, not music for instruments, so far as I'm concerned. Moreover Gould was, purely as a player, an out-and-out phenomenon, one that surpassed even Richter in my own opinion. He was a perfectionist to rival Michelangeli, though of course nothing like him in sound, and on this disc you will hear his trademark pearly evenness in the runs and passage-work and that amazing cut-diamond brilliance in the ornamentation. I think I know what Richter meant, but I would ascribe part of the cause at least to the recording, which highlights the solo unduly at the expense of the orchestra.

These three concertos were recorded over the same two days in 1957, with the orchestra under two different conductors for reasons not stated. I wonder whether Gould subsequently got to know the performance, from 1964, of the 5th Brandenburg with Serkin at the piano and his Marlboro festival orchestra conducted by no less than Casals. This has now been reissued on the Sony label, and anyone looking for a model of how to do a Bach concerto with a big piano solo need look no further. Richter himself regretted not being able to take up Serkin's invitation to join the festival, and we will now never now know what might have come out of such a collaboration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon. Yungkans on May 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
From the drama of the D Minor concerto to the songfulness of the A Major and the Machiavellian intrigue of the F Minor, Gould's technical clarity and articulation are consistently phenomenal, the music flows smoothly under his fingertips; his eloquence and lack of idiosyncrasy make his these performances among his most approachable and listener-friendly. Yes, there is Gould's trademark vocalize, most notably in the slow movement of the A Major, but it's a small price to pay for such wonderful performances, not only from Gould but also from the Columbia Symphony Orchestra - in this case, a pick-up ensemble consistently mainly of players from the New York Philharmonic. They, along with Gould and conductors Leonard Bernstein and Vladimir Golschmann, take a chamber music approach, and the resulting interplay between soloist and various members of the orchestra - made all the clearer with Sony's excellent remastering - adds to the joy of the overall proceedings.

Sony has wisely upped the ante by adding two of Gould's finest solo Bach recordings. The 1959 performance of the Italian Concerto is the fleeter-fingered of his two traversals, and it is good to hear the "Concerto after Marcello" paired with it instead of Gould's lumpy remake. The Italian Concerto radiates the same ecstasy in playing that infused the three concertos preceding it - two fireballs of extreme dynamism framing a hushed central movement that keeps you at the edge of your chair with its rapt intensity. The "Concerto after Marcello" adds wit and, again, intrigue to this heady mix and shows there were still moments, even in the year before his untimely death, that Gould did not take himself as ponderously serious as was his wont. This, not the final version of the Goldberg Variations, is Gould's most fitting memorial.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. B Collins Jr. on December 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Glenn Gould recorded the first of three concertos in 1957 with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Then in 1959 he recorded the 4th and 5th concertos, again with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra but with Vladimir Golschmann conducting.

The CD starts with the Concerto Number 1 for Piano and Orchestra in D Minor and even though it was recorded in 1957 it will emerge from your speakers like an overpowering invasion of harmony and complexity.

The first movement is extremely dramatic, building tension from the first notes, not as a tension between the piano and orchestra as some piano concertos are based, but rather on an internal searching tension expressed through the keyboard. The piece offers initial simplicity in early passages, but these quickly build to amazing complexity as canon after canon of variations layer one upon each other, never seeking a resolution, so that the listener's tension and expectation builds. He offers simple scales that quickly become any thing but simple and flow like wave after wave of pattern. It is in the middle of the first movement however that an amazing thing happens - Bach slows the tempo and reduces the piece to single notes of the piano that begin to verge on the atonal, stripping for only a few seconds the Baroque and revealing the minimal. Even in the first of a series of concertos he does not play safe, he pushes the limits. The first movement is wonderfully complimented and resolved in the second and third movements. In the third movement he returns to the atonal passage of the first movement and resolves it completely for the ear of the listener.
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