The Great Gould

Overview

A startling new portrait of Gould, including never-before-seen material.

Glenn Gould’s astonishing recordings deliver that unmistakable jolt of genius to each generation newly discovering the great Canadian pianist. With the support of the Glenn Gould Estate, Peter Goddard draws on his own interviews with Gould and on new, and in some cases overlooked, sources to present a freshly revealing portrait of Gould’s unsettled life, his radical decision to quit concertizing, his career as a radio innovator, and his deep response to the Canadian environment. Sci-fi and hi-fi, hockey and Petula Clark, Elvis, jazz, chess, the Beatles, and sex — all these inform this exploration of the pianist’s far-reaching imagination. There is even a touching account of the only piano lesson Gould ever gave.

This is the perfect gift for anyone new to classical music and those already immersed in it, for those with an interest in Canadian music, in Glenn Gould himself, and in what led to The Goldberg Variations, one of the greatest recordings in music history.

Reviews

Goddard has drawn a comprehensive portrait of the many faces of Gould, from dude to icon, and given us a tour of a life of such protean productivity that one can only be in awe.

Literary Review of Canada

Goddard’s portrait is informative, engaging and full of entertaining nuggets about our country’s classical music genius.

Winnipeg Free Press (September, 2017)

About the Author

Peter Goddard

Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 27, 2015
Peter Goddard photo

Peter Goddard

Peter Goddard, music, film, and visual arts critic for the Toronto Star (and a winner of a National Newspaper Award), has written for radio and TV and a good many magazines. He is the author of The Sounding, a novel, and multiple musical biographies, including those on Ronnie Hawkins, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie, and the Rolling Stones. Trained as an ethnomusicologist, Peter played piano for rock and blues bands.