Glenn Gould and William Walton? You got it

Glenn Gould and William Walton? You got it


norman lebrecht

March 13, 2021

Very unusual performance of the celebrated pianist in the British composer’s early success.

With ‘new words by Miss Shitwell’, apparently.



  • Wise Guy says:

    Brilliant! Thank you, Norman!

  • E says:

    They’re wonderful, and this is totally unexpected.
    You made my day, NL. Thank you.

  • M McAlpine says:

    Why did GG do so many things he wasn’t any good at instead of spending more time playing the piano in public – which he was very good at?

  • E says:

    Isn’t Glenn gould also playing the role of the old
    gent who comes in for tea with a lady, near the end?

  • Alexander T says:

    Huge fun !!

  • Craig in LA says:

    Sharp-eyed Gould fans will note the reference to “Nigel Twitt-Thornwaite” as one of the speaker-performers on the program placard at about 2:58 of the video. Sir Nigel was one of Gould’s many alter egos, usually an impossibly stuffy old English musicologist or conductor, who appears in several of Gould’s radio dramas and faux documentaries, such as at about :25 of this video:

    Back to the “Facade” video. It’s hard to hear, but the conductor, a youngish Boris Brott, refers to the Gould character as “Mr. Thornwaite” at about :33, and addresses the woman performer as “Miss Shallcross” a couple of times. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to identify the actress.

    It would be fun to see the rest of this.

    • John Ockeghem says:

      Where do you hear the reference to “Miss Shallcross”? I can only hear the reference to Mr. Thornwaite.

      • Craig in LA says:

        They fly by pretty quickly, but the conductor addresses her as “Miss Shallcross” at 2:32 and 2:48.

  • William Evans says:

    It’s good to see Gould in light mood for a change – quite unlike anything I’ve seen before!

  • Hilary says:

    A pianist who could deliver this kind of thing with panache was Alexis Weissenberg (who GG greatly admired as it happens) : (from 5:40)

  • Hilary says:

    by contrast Gould is awkward beyond words but he’d have been a lesser talent without all of this.