Views And Reviews

Touched by greatness

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6946.65 (Published 02 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:65
  1. S Spence

    Glenn Gould, the Canadian virtuoso pianist, died from a stroke in 1982 at the age of 50. He was renowned as much for his eccentricities as his talent. This visually striking film takes a kaleidoscopic approach to Gould's life. He emerges as a genius with crippling flaws that were ultimately to isolate him. The title is a reference to Bach's 32 Goldberg Variations, recorded by Gould when he was 23.

    Even then the seeds of his undoing were apparent. He attended recording sessions in layers of jumpers, gloves, scarves, and a heavy coat. He shunned being touched by others, gave interviews by telephone, and eventually retired from live performance at the age of …

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