....as are the Beethoven Variations in F (no one does them better, right MarkC?)
I wouldn't know, because the only other one I've heard do it is me, and BTW his is better.
I've never heard it in person (BTW I avoid saying "live" because on paper, it's ambiguous)
nor by anyone else on a recording. So, all I know is his version, and the score -- and oddly enough they seem to correlate pretty well.
It does seem to be a wonderful performance. Assuming it really isn't
odd in any way (unlike much of his other Beethoven), maybe that's because it's not a commonly familiar piece. He didn't need to do it "differently" in order for it to be different, because just playing it at all was different.
....whenever he touched the music of the 2nd Wien school it came to life.
Nicely said, simple though it seems -- and really that's exactly the key thing that I get from Gould, in any repertoire (at his best), making things come to life as hardly anyone else does or did. Of course "come to life" is subjective and might mean different things for us, but here's my very short list of people who did it comparably, in their own ways:
.....and a less known favorite of mine, who is still living and still as marvelous as ever: