This is easily one of my favourite books on my bookshelf. I have been a fan of Glenn Gould’s Bach ever since I first heard his rendition of the Partita in e minor. His clarity of playing, impeccable voicing and his ability to apparently split his brain into two and play the parts completely separately (like in the Tempo di Gavotta) always fascinated me.
This volume by Jonathan Cott is precisely what the title suggests – the journalists conversations with Glenn Gould. And they are such fun conversations to read. This book often accompanied me on my lonely lunches during the week and I never failed to be immersed in Gould’s world. I nicknamed it “Lunches with Glenn Gould”. It is filled with discussions on various pieces, anecdotes, interpreting Mozart, his preference for pianos etc. It is filled with Gould, and he is such a fun person to get to know. While reading, it feels like you’re right there talking to him about all of this and his humour and love for music come through.
The genius of Gould and his eccentricities as well as unconventional interpretation made him a truly great pianist. And this book offers a lovely insight into the pianist and the person – and he is great fun to hang out with! This is a book that I can return to over and over again, and it will make me smile or give me something new to think about every time.