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GG: Beethoven & Brahms

     I thought that this posting, which I "borrowed" from the 
     Moderated Classical Music List, might interest the f-minor 
     Phil Garon
     Date:    Thu, 28 Mar 1996 07:57:14 -0800
     From:    "Lindsey E. Orcutt" <psu01234@odin.cc.pdx.edu>
     Subject: Re: Shermann's Beethoven
     On Wed, 27 Mar 1996, Stirling Newberry wrote:
     > to stamp his personality and moment to the utmost upon the 
     works. This is
     > an unreserved recomendation for those who feel the same way 
     about music:
     > that all that is old must be completely remade for the moment, 
     and indeed
     > can only be so.
     How odd...what do you say of Gould's performances of Beethoven's
     sonatas?  I am, as many of you know, a big Glenn Gould fan but 
     there are
     only certain works of Beethoven where Gould's interpretation 
     pleases me.
     The rest are, INHO, absolutely ridiculous.
     What I mean is, he takes tempos ridiculously fast or slow, 
     depending on
     his own feelings about the works and, in many cases, his 
     rendering of
     pieces caused me at first to absolutely hate the works until I 
     heard more
     convincing interpretations (Richard Goode, for one). (A good 
     example is
     Beethoven's Oups 14 #2- the Emajor piano sonata).
     But it seems to me that Gould's interpretations are good for 
     much as Stirling's opinions above indicate: that there is a place 
     for a
     "new" rendering of musical works, even if the renderings and
     interpretations don't work for one person or the other.
     I had a private discussion with a woman from Classm-L a while 
     back about
     the differences between Gould's and Emanuel Ax's Brahms 
     Rhapsodies.  She
     thought Gould's performance of the opus 79 were absolutely 
     profound, enlightening.  I'm not disparaging this at all but I 
     them, for me, to be heavy and thick in texture, not at all like 
     the Ax
     recordings which had more movement and were less heavy.  Perhaps 
     in cases
     like these, it is all in the ear of the listener- the more 
     exposure we
     have, the more finicky we become.
     I, too, tire of the "standard" performances of the warhorses, 
     the piano pieces that I hear all the time at school.  If nothing 
     else, a
     new, if odd, performance allows the listener to think and 
     hopefully to
     feel and perhps make some decisions regarding his or her own
     interpretation of the work.  Even if we can't say exactly why we 
     like or
     dislike something (and I would worry if we could say why, all the 
     time) I
     would hope the performance would allow a new perspective.
     Lindsey, feeling a little long-winded