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Monday, September 19, 2016

Glenn Gould / Handel - "Suites for Harpsichord Nos. 1-4 (Columbia Masterworks, 1972) Vinyl LP

If I'm not mistaken, this is the only music recording of Glenn Gould playing he harpsichord.  Which oddly enough, sounds like his piano playing, including him singing softly with the music he's playing.  The recording is from 1972, and I found this album unopened with a plastic shrinkwrap around it. In other words, it has been untouched by human hands since '72.  

The composer is George Frideric Handel, who like Gould, was a keyboard virtuoso.  The music was written in 1720, and in the hands (and mind) of Gould, it sounds like a modern piece of music.  Well, I guess how one defines 'modern,' but Gould is not a historian in my opinion.  When we hear the word 'harpsichord' we have a sound in mind.  Gould plays the keyboard in a different manner.  At times very minimal and slow.  Then, he sounds like he has twenty fingers going at once.   I can hear an orchestration that is not in place, but only in my mind.  Truly elegant, and it's music that needs one's full attention.  By no means dinner music in a restaurant or at one's home.  Also, I don't think this recording ever made it onto CD.  Only vinyl. Unless there is a Japanese edition of this performance on CD.    Nevertheless, a great album.