J.S. Bach

Recommended (or not) Recordings

The Glenn Gould Edition, Vol. 8

Main Performer
or Conductor:
Glenn Gould
Individual Works:Concerto BWV 974
Fugue BWV 951
Fugue BWV 950
Sonatas (by D. Scarlatti): K. 430, 9, & 13.
Sonata (by C.P.E. Bach): Wq. 49/1.
Aria variata, BWV 989
Concerto BWV 971
Fantasy BWV 903
Fantasy BWV 917
Fantasy & Fugue BWV 919
Fantasy BWV 906
Format:Compact Disc
Record Label:Sony Classical
Catalog Number:SMK 52 620
Year Released/Recorded:1959-80
Total Playing Time:78'01"
Comments:T.L. Hubeart Jr. said:

Gould's interpretations of these works range from thought-provoking to blatantly eccentric. He has a lovely way with such comparative rarities as the BWV 974 concerto after A. Marcello; at the other end of the spectrum lies his perverse way with the Fantasy BWV 903 (which the Gould biographies by Friedrich and Ostwald record that the pianist detested). Much the same oddities can be found in the Scarlatti and Emanuel Bach performances (the overly-precious interpretation Gould gives the opening theme of the latter's sonata is particularly maddening!). Two things should be pointed out: first, that the "Italian Concerto" on Sony's disk is the 1959 Gould performance; evidently the 1980s version mentioned in the liner notes as "the last time that Gould recorded any of Bach's works" was such a "failure" (to borrow the annotator's word for it) that Sony did not dare to include it on the album! Also, despite the misleading track listing of "Fantasy (and Fugue), BWV 906," only the fantasy of this piece appears--nothing of the fugue, either incomplete (as Bach left it) or completed by another hand, is given, which disappointed me as the erroneous listing was one reason I bought the CD. Definitely a provocative disk, and something Gould fans will want, but not something that a newcomer to Bach should start out with.

Acknowledgements:Thank you to the following for submitting this recording and for your comments:
  • T.L. Hubeart Jr.
Date First Submitted:01/30/2000