People who witness one of the three performances of Luminato’s 2015 revival of Murray Schafer’s Apocalypsis this June may read in the program book that the work was commissioned by CBC Radio in 1975. This new production of the piece may have a fresh look and presentation, but the score is the same bold Schafer composition, first produced during what John Peter Lee Roberts, then head of CBC Radio Music and the work’s commissioner, called “The Golden Age of Achievement” at CBC Radio.
The period of time Roberts refers to is 1950 to 1980, 30 years that correspond closely to the span of time that Glenn Gould had his own professional career, one that was intertwined with the development of music at CBC Radio. Glenn’s very first recital for CBC Radio was in December of 1950 and despite his enormous labours for an American record company between 1955 and 1982, the year of his death, he retained a close working relationship with those of us who produced music programs at CBC. Of course Glenn was one of thousands of Canadian artists who made programming for CBC, enabled by the Broadcasting Act, a cornerstone piece of Canadian legislation that remains in force to this day.