For Glenn Gould

For Glenn Gould


Artist: Stewart Goodyear

Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach, Alban Berg, Johannes Brahms, Orlando Gibbons, Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

Format: 1 CD


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It was the year Glenn Gould died when I first heard his legendary name. It was his Bach that introduced me to his playing. His sound struck me immediately...a sound that was compelling and uncompromising. It was not designed to speak words of mere prettiness, but of an individual truth. 

Was Gould cerebral or emotional? One heard in his interpretations a mind passionately fierce in its convictions. His concert programs were striking. To the concertgoer used to seeing a program of Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt, Gould’s programs of Gibbons, Sweelinck, Bach, Webern, and Berg must have seemed daunting on paper.

I had the great honour of performing that exact program, the same program with which Gould presented his US debut at the Phillips Collection, and his debut at the Ladies Morning Music Club in Montreal. Never before had a concert program made so much sense to me. I hope the audience would say the same...I know my spirits were lifted playing this program.

Orlando Gibbons and Jan Sweelinck were composers I knew from singing their motets at a choir school I attended in downtown Toronto. I had no idea until I started learning Gould’s program that these two composers had works for solo keyboard! Their harmonies, melodic structure, and ornamentation were just how I remembered them back in the choir school days.

Bach’s Sinfonias also brought me back to my childhood, when I would sing the middle line in each three-part invention, while playing the other two voices on the piano. The 5th Partita took me back to a dance class I took in school, learning the steps to an Allemande, Courante, and Sarabande.

Alban Berg was introduced to me by way of Wozzeck, and ever since, I have always felt the composer as operatic. Berg’s Piano Sonata, to me, was as potent as Isolde’s Liebestod.

My favourite recording of Glenn Gould is his album of Brahms’ Intermezzi. I felt, through that recording, that I got closer to understanding who Gould was as an artist. In the composers discussed before, I heard Gould the passionate theorist, dancer, and singer. In Brahms, I finally heard Gould, the salon artist, the homebody cozying up in his summer home in Lake Simcoe.

My decision to record Glenn Gould’s program came right after performing it in Montreal. While paying homage to one of the great Canadian legends, I was being transported to childhood memories of growing up in Toronto, Gould’s home town, studying at the Royal Conservatory, Gould’s home alma mater, and being an artist from Canada, Gould’s country.

—Stewart Goodyear


Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished pianist as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and composer. Mr. Goodyear has performed with major orchestras of the world including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bournemouth Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, MDR Symphony Orchestra (Leipzig),  Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony , Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and NHK Symphony Orchestra.

Known as an improviser and composer, he has been commissioned by orchestras and chamber music organizations, and performs his own solo works. This year, Mr. Goodyear premiered his suite for piano and orchestra, “Callaloo”, with Kristjan Jarvi and MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, and in July of this year, the Clarosa Quartet will premiere his Piano Quartet commissioned by the Kingston Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Goodyear performed all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas in one day at Koerner Hall, McCarter Theatre, the Mondavi Center, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas.

Stewart received Juno nomination for Best Classical Album for Soloist and Large Ensemble Accompaniment. Also for Steinway and Sons is Mr. Goodyear’s recording of his own transcription of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker (Complete Ballet)”, which was released October 2015 and was chosen by the New York Times as one of the best classical music recordings of 2015.

Track List

Orlando Gibbons
1 Lord Salisbury's Pavan and Galliard, for keyboard, MB18/19

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
2 Fantasia in D

Johann Sebastian Bach
3 Sinfonia No. 7 in E minor, BWV 793
4 Sinfonia No. 8 in F major, BWV 794
5 Sinfonia No. 14 in B-flat major, BWV 800
6 Sinfonia No. 11 in G minor, BWV 797
7 Sinfonia No. 4 in D minor, BWV 790

Partita No. 5 in G major, BWV 829:
8 I. Praeambulum
9 II. Allemande
10 III. Courante
11 IV. Sarabande
12 V. Tempo di Minuetto
13 VI. Passepied
14 VII. Gigue

Johannes Brahms
15 Intermezzo, Op. 118, No. 2 in A major
16 Intermezzo, Op. 117, No. 3 in C-sharp minor

Alban Berg
17 Piano Sonata, Op. 1

Johann Sebastian Bach
18 Aria, from "Goldberg Variations" BWV 988

Total time: 66:08
Release date: March 23, 2018
UPC: 053479222022

Quotes & Reviews

Goodyear’s profoundly respectful approach to all of this music makes us marvel at the honesty and integrity of this artist…the Canadian pianist imbues his music-making with an ideally even mix of a cool head and a warm heart.

Rafael de Acha, Rafael’s Music Notes

Somehow, he delivers all the voices in the keyboard score like a perfectly balanced choir.

John Terauds, Toronto Star

Music ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Sonics ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Goodyear doesn’t attempt to mimic Gould’s style but demonstrates the same sort of technical assurance and clarifying intelligence.

Andrew Quint, The Absolute Sound

Stewart Goodyear, one of the most respected pianists in the world today, pays tribute to a giant of the piano.

Lisa Flynn, WFMT

…aside from the repertoire, nothing about Goodyear’s playing strikes me as particularly “Gould”… — so it’s clear that Goodyear is imitating Gould by not imitating him at all. Instead, he leans into the qualities that make him indelibly “Goodyear.” And playing like Goodyear is certainly nothing to be ashamed of.

Zee Kane, WQXR

For Glenn Gould is a unique, creative project, and played brilliantly.

Alex Baran, The WholeNote

His bristling touch mimics the sprung action of historic instruments, enhanced by discreet dynamic nuance of which the historic keyboards were incapable. The sensibility seems at the same time antique and up-to-the-minute.

Matthew Gurewitsch, Beyond Criticism

Goodyear’s tribute to Gould is loving but not slavish, and brings new light and insight to this strange but wonderful recital program. For all libraries.

Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist

There is both Gould's universe (by an intellectually refined juxtaposition of works that bears his signature and respect of his articulation ethic) and a relaxation that belongs only to Stewart Goodyear.

Christophe Huss, Le Devoir

Most of the pieces on this album are not part of the mainstream classical repertoire, but Goodyear—as did Gould back in his day—makes a convincing case that each one should be. Best of all, the album as a whole, works like a fine recital carrying the listener forward effortlessly, willingly to a faraway destination as surprising at it is pleasurable.

I also love how this sort of carefully structured album is also better than any personal playlist we could assemble from our own music files, or get from a streaming service.

John Terauds, Ludwig van Toronto

one of the best pianists of his generation
— Philadelphia Inquirer
For Glenn Gould is a unique, creative project, and played brilliantly.
— Alex Baran, The WholeNote

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