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Anniversaries: Glenn Gould Born 80 Years Ago

  • CultureCatch
Reposted For 2013 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

It was playing Bach that brought Canadian pianist Glenn Gould worldwide fame when his recording of the Goldberg Variations – at the time, 1955, a rather esoteric corner of the repertoire – and certainly a hefty percentage of his albums over the course of his career were devoted to the German Baroque master's keyboard output. But in celebrating the 80th anniversary of his birth on September 25, 1932 (and looking forward with sadness to the 30th anniversary of his death of a stroke on October 4, 1982), it's worth remembering that he was interested in many more composers. I didn't have to make too much of a conscious effort to diversify this baker's-dozen list until I got down to the last two spots. (All the recommended recordings were issued by Columbia Records/CBS Masterworks/Sony Classical.)

J.S. Bach: Goldberg Variations, Bwv 988; Sweelinck: Fantasia in D major; Schoenberg: Piano Suite Op.
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Israel Baker

Virtuoso violinist heard on a string of classic Hollywood movie scores

The American violinist Israel Baker, who has died aged 92, was renowned among his fellow musicians but unknown to most of the millions who heard him play on the soundtracks of such movies as Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 shocker Psycho, where he led Bernard Herrmann's screaming violin effects accompanying the stabbing of Janet Leigh in the shower scene.

Baker belonged to a select group of musicians who could fit into any situation at a moment's notice and read any piece on sight. But while making a lavish living in the Hollywood film and recording studios, he also had a considerable concert career.

He was born in Chicago, the youngest of four children of Russian immigrants. At six he appeared on national radio, and from his late teens he played in orchestras. At 22 he was concertmaster of Leopold Stokowski's All-American
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