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Thread: Glenn Gould

  1. #46
    Senior Member Sofronitsky's Avatar
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    He was once engaged to play Rachmaninoff's 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini', but backed out at the last minute having changed his mind about the music.

    Boy, what I would give to hear Glenn Gould play that Rhapsody...

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  3. #47
    Senior Member Webernite's Avatar
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    Yeah, his playing style is quite similar to Rachmaninoff's, so it would have been interesting.

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    For more on Mr. Gould, please check-out my blog post from this past Tuesday:
    "This Day in Music History - June 21st 1954"
    http://www.talkclassical.com/blogs/i...tory-june.html

    A couple of documents I included have Gould himself discussing his approach to music (here, the Goldberg's) in the months preceding his passing.

  5. #49
    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sofronitsky View Post
    He was once engaged to play Rachmaninoff's 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini', but backed out at the last minute having changed his mind about the music.

    Boy, what I would give to hear Glenn Gould play that Rhapsody...
    Oh, man, would that have been awesome...he was also set to record the Grieg a couple of times, I believe, and ended up canning it last minute, A la Glenn...I don't know about the Mozart d minor but that would have been pretty amazing as well...

  6. #50
    Senior Member Sofronitsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kv466 View Post
    Oh, man, would that have been awesome...he was also set to record the Grieg a couple of times, I believe, and ended up canning it last minute, A la Glenn...I don't know about the Mozart d minor but that would have been pretty amazing as well...
    I remember seeing a bit about this in a documentary, someone was being interviewed saying something along the lines of...

    Once I heard Glenn sight-read through the Grieg Piano Concerto. This wasn't just fooling around with the work, he read through it completely and at a very fast tempo at first sight. Imagine that! This, a concerto that normal pianists fumble with and take months to learn, Glenn is taking at sight. There are some passages in this concerto that would be almost impossible to play without going over the fingering first, but Glenn played them like they were nothing. That's how fast his mind worked. What was even more incredible was that, while playing this incredibly difficult concerto, he would take the orchestral parts, too. If he didn't have the room to play the orchestra's part, he would sing it. At the end of the 3rd movement he stopped playing, glanced over at me, and said 'It's not for me'.

    Hopefully you'll read through that whole anecdote, it certainly was of interest to me. If he was set to record the piece at some point, it seems he has very rapidly changing impressions of the pieces he plays.

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  8. #51
    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Thanks!...I hadn't read that but I'll surely look for it...yeah, he was supposed to record it a couple of times with Von Karajan and also with the Cleveland and Karel Ancerl...errrrr...

  9. #52
    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    I remember reading that Gould and Karajan tried "for years" to find a project to work on together. I think the one that came closest to happening was a bit of an unusual choice - Saint-Saens's organ symphony, with Gould playing the organ.

    Few people realize that Gould was trained as an organist at the Royal COnservatory in Toronto. Except for a recording of the Art of the Fugue he made for CBS, I can't think of another recording of his as an organist.

    I did find, however, the following videos through Google:
    http://www.google.ca/search?q=gould+...iw=780&bih=438

  10. #53
    Senior Member Billy's Avatar
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    Glenn Gould knew how to articulate every note when playing.

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  12. #54
    Senior Member jdavid's Avatar
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    One of Glenn Gould's early teachers taught all his students an exercise which required that you 'place' one hand over the keyboard (left or right) lightly touching the keys in a pattern for scale or chord, then with the other hand, each finger of the 'placed' hand would be tapped as if the fingers were the piano keyboard - this is how he got every note to 'pop'. This is hard to describe, hope the idea can be grasped from my attempt.

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  14. #55
    Senior Member jdavid's Avatar
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    A complex and highly original genius. His Goldberg Variations are unmatched - both versions. These two recordings are so powerful that even alone, they would establish his reputation as one of the greatest pianists in history. I have read 'A Life and 32 Variations' and have watched several films about him as well as one he made on the 'idea' of North. However, he could turn in some of the strangest interpretations. I bought his complete Mozart Sonatas a number of years ago and found that the tempos were so fast that it was just unlistenable for me. They sounded like a contractual necessity. Later I read in his biography that he was quoted as saying he wasn't very fond of Mozart. I bought recently his WTC Vol I & II and again found some of his interpretations went against the grain of what Bach had written (in my opinion). But, of course, he knew exactly what he was doing - he said in a live interview that he couldn't stand the idea of approaching a work in the traditional manner i.e. that every performance should bring out a new take on the composition, and I do not disagree with this idea. Then there is the famous concert with Bernstein and the Brahms First - Bernstein speaks to the audience in his usual very urbane way and speaks of Gould as a great artist but that they have disagreed about the interpretation of Brahm's Concerto (particularly the tempi), and because he admired Gould so much as an artist he was going to cooperate and conduct the work as Glenn preferred - this was a disclaimer! I still love the man, even more, possibly, because of his solitary life devoted to his art and his uncompromising vision of it; his hours-long conversations with friends on the telephone into the wee hours; his long walks with his dog; his habit of dressing for the Arctic even in the summer. I believe he was a bit 'divinely mad' and I wouldn't change a thing as I sincerely believe he was a joyful man even in his austerity. I listen to him often and have just ordered his recording of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern. Netflix has a good number of films available on GG - I have watched all of them and they are fascinating.
    Last edited by jdavid; Oct-12-2011 at 15:03. Reason: typo

  15. #56
    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdavid View Post
    A complex and highly original genius. His Goldberg Variations are unmatched - both versions.
    There are FOUR versions. Read
    http://www.talkclassical.com/blogs/i...tory-june.html

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  17. #57
    Senior Member jdavid's Avatar
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    I did read! Great news! Great blog, reading, and video/sound clips!!! Thanks for the link.

  18. #58
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    Some of my favorite GG photos to follow. My own descriptives, but for one or two borrowed.

    I start with Preparing to Play, then Lunch Break.

    Attachment 3515

    Attachment 3513

  19. #59
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    GG at work.

    Attachment 3517


    Testing, 1, 2, 3.

    Attachment 3516

  20. #60
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    GG prepared for winter, in August.

    Attachment 3518


    Winter.


    Attachment 3519

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