|No. 313 of the ongoing TYWLTMT series of audio montages, which can be found in our archives at https://archive.org/details/pcast313|
This week marks an important milestone in our ongoing survey of piano sonatas, as we complete our entire Mozart cycle with a pair played by the revered late great Canadian pianist, Glenn Gould.
Gould's distinct interpretive style doesn't always please every listener - and the set of sonatas and composers I chose today shows Gould in very different "moods". For example, in the two sonatas (six movements in total) we find Gould in his "exacting mood", dogmatically keeping to the indications on the score, sometimes in a "sporting mood" pushing "presto" to "prestissimo" while distinctly playing every note, sans rubato or ornamentation.
Listen to his Scarlatti set today as a shining example of his "surgical mood". The short Beethoven sonata "à Thérèse" (written for Countess Thérèse von Brunswick) contrasts with his performance of the "quasi una fantasia" sonata - one played almost sportingly, the other in a "respectful mood" on the verge of the :exasperatingly slow mood" he sometimes gets into, transe-like and almost meditative at times.
The contrasting piece here is the closing sonata - obscure to many -by a young Richard Strauss. This recording, one of list last, strikes me particularly by an uncharacteristically :romantic mood". Ine has the sense that Gould shows a great deal of affection for this piece, and it is given a heartfelt rendition which conveys it a sense of grandeur it sometimes doesn't quite deserve.
But - heck - Gould always surprises!
I think you will love this music too.