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Animated interview: how a gas mask helped Glenn Gould record Beethoven

Holly Gordon

Glenn Gould. Beethoven sonatas. A gas mask. It sounds like a horror movie script, but the story Gould told Hugh Thomson for CBC Radio in 1958 was quite innocent.

In an interview for the show Assignment, Thomson asked Gould for “any little anecdotes” regarding the pianist’s recording sessions. His response: “I'll tell you one thing, which has never been published, and all copyrights reserved on it.”

CBC Music designer Heather Collett illustrated the answer, and Philip Street and John Fraser animated her illustrations. Watch below to hear the story of Gould and his gas mask.