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Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures Hardcover – Sep 17 2002

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Glenn Gould played opening night of his 1957 Soviet Union tour to a half-full audience. During intermission, many listeners, astounded by what they had heard, telephoned their friends. By the performance's second half, the hall was full. One Russian musician in attendance remarked that 40 years later, he was still convinced Gould was an alien, that people couldn't play the piano like that. Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures celebrates the pianist's genius with such fond remembrances, brief critical assessments, and--most significantly--more than 200 photos, many never seen before. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma provides the foreword, describing Gould's mind as a "shimmering prism through which sounds, senses and ideas were magically transfigured." The main body of the book is divided into four chronological sections: "Overture," "Bursting Forth," "New Horizons," and "Envoi." Gould's childhood is the subject of the first section of the book. In his introduction, Washington Post music critic Tim Page paints Gould as a supremely talented boy, already "capable of dazzling professional musicians." The photographs reveal a fairly conventional, if pampered, upbringing. Section two depicts the artist of popular imagination, rich with idiosyncrasies: his piano chair with its sawed-off legs, his penchant for soaking his arms and hands in warm water, the heavy clothing he wore year-round. At the age of 17 he first performed in a studio for the CBC. He discovered "that in the privacy, the solitude of the studio, it was possible to make music in a more direct, more personal manner than any concert hall would ever permit." The studio, where Gould spent the majority of his career, is represented in part three. The final section, "Envoi," is a short series of photos showing the apartment and studio Gould left behind as well as four final moody shots of the artist. Fans will certainly appreciate this veil-lifting look at one of the greatest musical minds of the 20th century. --Moe Berg

From Publishers Weekly

Master cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Pulitzer Prize–winning music critic Page (The Glenn Gould Reader) provide the text for this large-format collection of photographs assembled by publisher Lester, former manager of the Glenn Gould Foundation and current literary adviser to the Glenn Gould Estate. Arranged more or less chronologically, these pictures span the entirety of Gould's brief life (1932–1982) and provide a unique perspective into his creativity as a pianist, composer and recording artist. The book is divided into four sections: in Overture, childhood snapshots reveal the growth of a keyboard prodigy; Bursting Forth soars with early accolades and triumphant tours; New Horizons depicts the mid-1960s, when Gould abandoned concerts to explore the possibilities of the recording studio; and Envoi uses scenes of his silent studio to depict his death, an age 50 finale. As the pictorial parade marches on, the result is like watching an old 16mm documentary film unspool, and Gould's fervor, evident in the photos, is amplified in attractive, appealing layouts. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely wonderful!! June 4 2009
By T. D. Koelmeyer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must for all Glenn Gould fans. Superb photography and the perfect encapsulation of his life
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Great Book about Glenn Gould! March 10 2012
By suezenne fordham - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book, about my dear friend Glenn Gould! This book is beautifully written wuth carefylly researched information about Gould! I wish it would have been longer! Have reread it several times... it isike revisiting times with Glenn.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great Book of my Favorite Professional Pianist: Glenn Gould March 11 2010
By Ophthalmologist Pianist - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book, informative, lots of never seen before photos (to me), excellent information of the greatest interpreter of Johann Sebastian Bach of all time! This man, Glenn Gould, was simply the best, and there will never be another Glenn Gould. Ever! A must read for any Glenn Gould fan!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good enough, only the piano Sound. Sept. 20 2013
By Kohtaro Hayashi - Published on
Format: Paperback
Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures. 2007.

The Greatness of Glenn Gould is that the thing, "He did completely translate his super-ideal-imagination to his own piano sound".

It is difficult to say that this book gives us some pleasure always. Rather than pleasure, it remains sadness.

If there are some people who can enjoy to listen to only the "Sound" in Gould's piano music, this book will be no more necessary.

But Tim Page's detailed and long introduction makes this book more widely for which has revealed Genius' world.

But again, "Good enough, only the piano Sound". "Beauty is in only Beauty itself".
If you are a fan... Aug. 21 2013
By Stephen Deasy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
there is no end to what you will find appealing. Gould was magnetic playing, writing or appearing in front of a camera. He was the first 21st century artist though he died 20 years ahead of the calendar and every chance to watch him, think of his ideas or listen to him play will likely enrich your life. Newcomers will not gain by this book; but those who know of him, will embrace it.