The divinity of Glenn Gould

A while ago, I discovered Bach’s incredible Keyboard Concerto No. 1 (I) in D minor (BWV 1052).

I had listened quite a few interpretations before I stumbled upon Glenn Gould’s iteration that was directed by Leonard Bernstein’s astounding baton.

And that was my Fiat Lux moment. In one instant, I realized that this was how Bach was meant to be played.

Gould is beyond the limits of the human race. His interpretation of Bach is empyrean. He is transported. He operates on a different level than the most of us. To see him play is to witness the demiurge liberate music from its paper prison.

Look how his hands, mere appendages for the most of us who have two left hands most of the time, glide over the keys. Watch how each digit has a mind of its own, as if his mind can simultaneously dictate 10 different musical phrases that work out in unison, in a symphony of beauty.

If only Bach had been alive to witness the moment of transposing his creation into life. Bach merely invented the sounds of his concerto. It was Gould who made the music.

I am against putting people or ideas on pedestals, but I must break my own rule to say this: Gould is divine.

Words fail me. You must listen for yourselves. And you decide if I am wrong. But odds are you will also see Bach’s light by putting on Gould’s lens.

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