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Thread: Glenn Gould

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    Assistant Administrator Daniel's Avatar
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    I think Glenn Gould deserves it to get an own thread.

    The book I am reading is German, but it's amazing that you also can get this spreading impression through a translation, but must have a look on original, too.

    The English version must be "The Glenn Gould Reader" edited by Tim Page. You will find it in Amazon, I think.

    Also an interesting point: Gould and conducters. He didn't like to play with many conducters and later when he said bye to the concert life and only recorded he played even rarely with conducters.

    Those one he liked to play with were: Stokowski, Golschmann, Krips, and Karajan.

    Stokowski yes! Thats an interesting fact. Is Stokowski known also with energetic and free interpretations. The opposite - especially for Gould - Toscanini. He compares that to the Europians Mengelberg and Weingartner. Weingartner as enthusiast and Mengelberg the correct human. Stokowski was nearer to his character...and Stokowski who didnt like to play with soloist recorded with him the Beethoven 5 th!

    Golschmann and Gould were a perfect double, they recorded Bach piano concerts. Golschmann followed the intensions of Glenny, so it was a good deal.
    With Krips he made Beethoven concerts, 5 th excluded, quasi a remake to record even this concert with Stokowski later.

    Must take a look to that book about pianists and violinists. I like reading interviews because they show you a real person and you learn much about his character, more maybe than in articles.
    Last edited by Daniel; Jan-13-2007 at 16:33.

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    DW
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    We're talking about the great and mysterious conductor Leopold Stokowski right?
    Ok, this's my impression of him. He's not just a musician...well, of caz, the fact that he's an accomplished organist gives him much insight into Bach. But he's a musical 'magician' with trendy, unusual(but fruitful) innovations- evolution of the "Stokowski Sound". I remembered having heard from my teacher that he allowed free bowing in the orchestra. He did not restrain the string players to the bowing indications, but leave it to their own discreetion instead. So it got disturbingly untidy visually, but the sound produced became somewhat velvety, dimensional and vivid, and he even implemented new seating arrangement for tranparency and clarity of sound- 'tonguing'. And his non-baton conducting became a trend for many great conductors to follow. It's fascinating how he commands with his hands and facial expression.
    But much like the fate of Gould, not everyone is ready to accept such an innovator. And I figured, if u don't agree with Gould, then it's impossible with u to agree with Stokowski. He's an agressive musical 'innovator', so he enjoyed rearranging works of great composers. For him, it doesn't matter if music is written in a certain way... he'll intentionally play it in other manners to 'improve' textures and sound-Mussorgski’s Pictures at an Exhibition and A Night on the Bare Mountain or Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie were wonderful re-creations.
    But my fav has got to be the one he arranged for Waltz Disney 'Fantasia'.
    To me, Stokowski's a 'music' radical( pretty much like Wagner and gang at that time- how Wagner and Weber were so smitten by the dense dim 7th sound ). He brings new life to music with daring transcriptions, esp. the Bach sets, provoking a much heated controversy over his symphonic transcriptions fo Bach's organ works. I quite like his 'Bach' collection actually...
    some interesting sound experiments-rich and energetic. But one must be truly adventurous to love Glenn and Stokowski. They are really not for everyone, and the more not for sacrileged baroque purists.

    I can definately see why Glenn would only play with Stokowski and the rest of em. They would probably die of rigid 'ristrictions' and boredom should they colloborate with mainstream conductors. U can't keep a whale in a fish tank. Well, Glenn+Stokowski... 2 whales in the ocean. LOL...

    Quoted :...The opposite - especially for Gould - Toscanini. He compares that to the Europians Mengelberg and Weingartner. Weingartner as enthusiast and Mengelberg the correct human. Stokowski was nearer to his character...and Stokowski who didnt like to play with soloist recorded with him the Beethoven 5 th!...
    Interesting!

    Quoted...The english version must be "The Glenn Gould Reader" edited by Tim Page...
    MUST grab this book! Hey Daniel? Are U german or English? U've very good English. B)

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    Assistant Administrator Daniel's Avatar
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    U can't keep a whale in a fish tank. Well, Glenn+Stokowski... 2 whales in the ocean. LOL...
    A very nice metaphor. And that is exactly the point!

    "Fantasia! - i like that movie. My personal favourite is the dance of the hours by Ponchielli. The pics are so ingenious and funny (crocodiles at the end :P). Of course not to forget Magician's apprentice with Mickey. Bachs Toccata and Fugue is a good instrumentation, but the pics aren't that interesting for me.

    Hey Daniel? Are U german or English?
    I am German. Thanks for the compliment anyway .
    Last edited by Daniel; Jan-13-2007 at 16:34.

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    DW
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    ......"Fantasia! - i like that movie. My personal favourite is the dance of the hours by Ponchielli. The pics are so ingenious and funny (crocodiles at the end ).......
    Me 2! Me 2!!! Yes, there's certainly something whimsical and humorous about the music. Very 'Americanised' music, I think.

    ......Actually i didn't like English in school, but got used to it browsing the web......
    Really? Wow... to think that getting stuck to the computer actually has such an advantage. hmmmm...
    Well, my German is horrible. I still remember how my teacher used to correct my lieder. <_<

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    U can&#39;t keep a whale in a fish tank. Well, Glenn+Stokowski... 2 whales in the ocean. LOL...
    Ha ha ha&#33;
    I think Stokowski is very dense and stark for me.
    Talking about interviews. What is the most interesting interview u&#39;ve read by far? Be it musician, politicians or just about anybody.
    I like Joshua Bell&#39;s interview and there&#39;s one more person that resembles GGould&#39;s way of answering question. His manner of speech, directness and sacarism. I can&#39;t remember whether it&#39;s Horowitz or Heifet. I think it&#39;s Horowitz.

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    Assistant Administrator Daniel's Avatar
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    Tell us more about those inteviews

    To go on with Gould...i am in a passage about cutting in recordings. Gould had the opinion that cutting is usefull to make a perfect version, there he stood outsite the opinion of many, that recordings should be done in big section to keep the main phrase and energy..... Gould thought that it is kept also with cutting, that&#39;s the art to cut.

    Myself i disagree with Gould, recordings should be done more in bigger parts because the energy flow is also cut otherwise

    What do you think?

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    Senior Member Harvey's Avatar
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    Depends on how good Glenn could keep the "flow" in his head. Maybe he had no problem
    IF I hit a wrong key its becaus i kind of like it that way.

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    DW
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    Myself i disagree with Gould, recordings should be done more in bigger parts because the energy flow is also cut otherwise

    What do you think?
    I think it&#39;s weird to cut and continue later on , trying to feel the same mood, the flow and etc. It just doesn&#39;t work for me. But then again, Maybe that&#39;s the way it should have been in the first place? :blink:
    If u manage to get the flow, what u get is &#39;perfection&#39;. B)

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    I do consider Glenn Gould to be a musical genius. The best book I read about him is "Glenn Gould, the tragedy and extacy of a genius" by Peter Ostwald. Ostwald played with Gould for fun, being an enthousiastic non-professional violinist himself. He gives you a fascinating idea of the so-called man behind the musician. And Gould was a very excentric person so it isn&#39;t boring.

    The strength of Gould lies in his talent to maintain seperate musical lines next to eachother with different characters. This is very rare heard among pianists, as far as I know.

    His cutting in recordings allowed him to shape his performance to the esthetic perfection he had in mind. I like this way of making good records.

    Unfortunately, there cut-faults to be heard on some albums, especially when you are using headphones. Suddenly the piano seems to warp to another location in the studio&#33; Mistakes like this are not made in present day recordings.
    But, in general termes, his recordings are very bright, though ADD mostly, and the sound of his manipulated Steinway is exstremely gentle.

    For me, Glenn Gould reinvented Bach.

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    Assistant Administrator Daniel's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sebas@Sep 5 2004, 05:42 PM
    I do consider Glenn Gould to be a musical genius. The best book I read about him is "Glenn Gould, the tragedy and extacy of a genius" by Peter Ostwald.
    I don&#39;t know this book, but really must get a copy of it. Sounds interesting.

    Interesting your point with cutting. Besides all critics, Gould is usually respected for his Bach. But why is an interesting question. His first great recording with Bach were the Goldberg variations 1955, and that was a bestseller. Maybe one reason which made him a "Bach" specialist.

    But I think what you said "reinvented" is really another great point: If you look to the Bach playing before Gould, it was more Romantic, or lets say not really clear and articulated, Gould brought back a clear line which only makes sense in Bach in my eyes, what do you think?

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    Yes, Gould plays Bach in extremely clear lines in a very unromantical way. It seems to me that the thing he likes most about Bach is the polyphony (for example: he hated most of the preludes from the Welltempered Clavier and called them exercises one had to pass to reach the fugues.)
    He emphasises the independent voices/ lines, making the other qualities of Bach of a lesser importance.

    [/QUOTE]Gould brought back a clear line which only makes sense in Bach in my eyes, what do you think?

    On this point, I&#39;m not sure. I think his way of playing would apply to all music with a fuguelike character because of its transperancy. (It&#39;s such a pity Gould didn&#39;t record the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich. This is the perfect work for him.)
    On the other hand, his Beethoven recordings are great too. But they are not as complete as the Bach&#39;s. He ignores much of the richdom of the work, refusing to play in a romantic way, with ritenutos and pedalwork etc.

    So, Gould really is made for Bach, but would have made sense in Shostakovich.

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    DW
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    (It&#39;s such a pity Gould didn&#39;t record the 24 Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich. This is the perfect work for him.)
    Somehow I&#39;ve the feeling that Glenny will not function with Shostakovitch. :huh:
    His transperancy vs Shosta&#39;s preludes? Umm... I really don&#39;t think so. Though much of Shosta&#39;s prelude is baroque in mordern dress, but I doubt that Glenny&#39;s &#39;transperant, airy playing&#39; will be an all positive element, perhaps in its form(clarity etc .) but definately not aesthetically. :huh:

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