Fake news hits Glenn Gould

Fake news hits Glenn Gould


norman lebrecht

May 09, 2018

The video below is a fake.

We can state this with reasonable assurance because Gould’s secretary, Ray Roberts, has clarified that Gould never played Beethoven’s 7th Symphony in the Liszt transcription. He once considered doing all nine Beethoven symphonies but changed his mind after recording the fifth (Columbia) and sixth (First movement, Columbia & Full Symphony, CBC).

This rather compelling recording has been viewed one third of a million times.

Does anyone have a clue who the real pianist might be?

The photo is (c) Don Hunstein/Lebrecht Music&Arts.


  • Paul Mann says:

    If you point Shazam at it, it says “Laura Sanz”.

  • Pieter-Jelle de Boer says:

    A quick search lead me to this video of Jean-Claude Pennetier, playing the entire symphony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy3oZ5jmtMw

  • Alistair Hinton says:

    Not Joyce Hatto, then?…

    • Henry says:

      no, she did the whole lot in one sitting In the Scharwenka transcriptions with Brahms as the bottom.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Gould or not Gould, it’s a good performance.

    • Daniel Poulin says:

      True. Some of Gould’s qualities are present: strong left hand, slow tempo, clarity. One very important idiosyncrasy is missing though: no humming!

  • CYM says:

    Perhaps Cyprien Katsaris ??
    Whomever, it is a wonderful performance. Slow tempo maintained throughout the whole movement. The 2nd theme is played more freely in a romantic pianism style, which contrasts marvelously with the more solemn main theme. Bravi !

  • Pieter-Jelle de Boer says:

    Maybe my previous comment wasn’t clear. The pianist is Jean-Claude Pennetier, as can be clearly heard in the YouTube link I provided.

  • DeeAnne Hunstein says:

    Norman, don’t you think you should give Don Hunstein credit for the photo. It really is his and not a fake.


    • norman lebrecht says:

      DeeAnne, You are so right. I’ll do it right away!

    • DeeAnne Hunstein says:

      Thanks, Norman, for the credit for Don. I am very impressed that you answered my query in three minutes. You take good care of this site.

  • Bill Sykes says:

    Gould never played Beethoven’s 7th.