Glenn Gould offered to record with Karajan long-distance

Glenn Gould offered to record with Karajan long-distance


norman lebrecht

May 23, 2018

From Tim Page’s fascinating and balanced review of the Herbie monster’s monstrous CD collection:

‘The pianist Glenn Gould, who didn’t play a note in public for the last eighteen years of his life, preferring to work with television and radio, admired Karajan enormously, and the two of them once considered the possibilities of a long-distance recording—Karajan in Berlin or Vienna with Gould at home in Canada.’

Tim calls the set ‘a massive monument to a time when the aspirations of classical music and technical commerce mated fruitfully.’

Read on here.


  • M. says:

    Karajan did just that for his 1980s recording of Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony: he recorded the orchestral parts with the Berlin Philharmonic at the Philharmonie, and Pierre Cochereau recorded the organ parts at Notre-Dame in Paris.
    The result is terrifying.

  • Hermann the German says:

    De mortuis nihil nisi bene, Mr Lebrecht.

  • Daniel Poulin says:

    For the record, Gould never wanted to disclose the actual reason for the failure of the project. Off the record he confided that Karajan found the idea foolish (recording the orchestral part in Berlin and the piano solo in Toronto). Karajan suggested to do the 2 concertos (Bach’s D Minor and Beethoven’s Second) while on a tour in North America but Gould rejected that possibility citing health reasons and time consuming recording sessions. The closest his idea came to seeing the light of day was with Neville Marriner. The two had first met in the late fifties when Gould played four of the five Beethoven Concertos in London under Krips (Marriner was then a violinist in the London Symphony Orchestra). In 1976 Marriner spent an evening with Glenn in his studio at the Inn On The Park (till 4 a.m.) at the end of which they agreed to a plan for the complete Beethoven cycle (5 Concertos) as Gould had originally intended (Orchestra in Europe + Piano in Toronto).Unfortunately Gould died before going ahead with the project.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Yesterday’s news….