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Glenn Gould

4229 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DW
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.
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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'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! 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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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'm not sure. I think his way of playing would apply to all music with a fuguelike character because of its transperancy. (It's such a pity Gould didn'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'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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