Glenn Gould’s funeral march for Beethoven

Glenn Gould’s funeral march for Beethoven


norman lebrecht

March 26, 2020

The composer died on March 26, 1827.

The pianist had a special affinity with the marche funèbre from Sonata No. 12 in A-Flat Major, Op. 26:


  • JubJub says:

    Good innings, then.

  • Gustavo says:

    Is it true that Beethoven’s head (skull) was exchanged?

    I heard this on the radio today:

  • Bart says:

    Lamest article I have read in my entire life. Two sentences long. Pathetic.

  • Arnon Karni says:

    Beautiful music but it is not Beethoven…

  • Delphine1962 says:

    There’s an A natural at the end of bar 5 (at 0.26) I haven’t heard before…It’s quite funky, but really don’t think it’s correct

  • Michael Morrison says:

    As Ricardo notes, Haydn’s head was stolen after his death, and when he was exhumed to be reburied, a headless corpse was in the coffin. The head was replaced, but it turned out to be the wrong one, and the real Haydn head was found years later. The body was exhumed AGAIN and the proper head included.

    Apparently, Haydn’s body is now buried with TWO heads in the coffin.

    • Gustavo says:

      So the new graphic novel about Beethoven’s death and funeral is all fake history?

      The BR radio review states that all of Beethoven’s hair was cut off (for souvenirs) and that the head was replaced more than once.

  • jay says:

    Dull and boring does not begin to describe this pointless

  • Hilary says:

    I listened through to the end.

    My concentration levels have improved since lockdown.

  • David says:

    So much drama. Are you sure about all of this burial & reburial. Maybe musicians really are nuts. (I is one)

  • Piano Fan says:

    “Special affinity”? Hardly. Although this isn’t as ridiculous as his rendition of the opening movements of the Pathetique or Appassionata Sonatas (to say nothing of his Mozart sonatas), this is pretty weak as far as Beethoven playing goes.

    As for the funeral march from the Op. 26 Sonata, Richter is most memorable – as he is with the rest of the work.

  • Edgar Self says:

    I agree on Richter for Sonata No.12 in A-flat, Op. s6, especially the funeral march, particularly those drum ruffles in the trio. ven Even Ste. Wanda Landowska of all people plays it better than Gould on her quite successful piano roll, as she does everything else.