Glenn Gould, at the piano, talking to Walter Susskind during a Toronto Symphony Orchestra open rehearsal at Massey Hall, December 1960
Gould, Glenn. Program Notes for CBC Recital, November 29, 1966. Draft 1, annotated
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Alban Berg (1885-1935) and Anton Webern (1883-1945) were the leading figures of the so-called Second Viennese School, pioneers of atonal, twelve-tone or "tone row" music. After 1945 their music, hitherto practically unknown in North America, aroused the enthusiasm of young musicians eager to catch up with modern developments. Gould was one of them, interpreting their theories according to his own needs. His own attempts at composition and his championing of Schoenberg's school as pianist and commentator were characteristic of this period in his life. He remained a life-long devotee, considering twelve-tone technique "the only really valid linguistic innovation in the twentieth century."5
Schoenberg, Arnold. Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte. New York: G. Schirmer, 1944. Annotated
Gould, Glenn. A Consideration of Anton Webern. Mimeograph, distributed with program for New Music Associates concert, Toronto, October 3, 1953 (rescheduled to January 9, 1954). View the essay in HTML format
Glenn Gould relaxing at the piano in the concert hall of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, 1956
Program for Town Hall recital, New York, January 11, 1955. Gould played, for his New York debut, works by Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Gibbons, Sweelinck and Webern.
Program for "Recital of Contemporary Music" at the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, January 4, 1951. The works played included Sonata for Bassoon and Piano and 5 Short Piano Pieces by Glenn Gould, as well as works by Paul Hindemith, Ernst Krenek and Oskar Morawetz, performed by Glenn Gould and bassoonist Nicholas Kilburn.
Program for "Recital of Contemporary Music"
Gould's first performance in the United States took place on January 2, 1955, in the Phillips Gallery, Washington, D.C. His spectacular New York City debut on January 11 in the same year was followed by many trips for concerts and recording sessions, often with his preferred Steinway concert grand piano in tow.
Advertising flyer issued by Walter Homburger for Glenn Gould's New York debut recital, January 11, 1955