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Re: Aria

on the glenn gould / wallace stevens connection:

``I think for Gould the question of solitude must have been absolutely
central.  What solitude really does to people's sense of creativity -- you
can't really create difference without creating the sense of being alone.
When you're in a community with other people, when what you express is what
could be shared among all of them, that tends to be flat, tends to be
ironed out.  How does a person get the freedom to reflect, to be
self-doubting without being self-indulgent?  I suppose the writer who most
resembles Gould is Wallace Stevens, with that notion of perfection in
retreat.  You also hear the silences of that kind of withdrawal in his
poetry.  Nothing escapes Stevens that isn't deeply, deeply considered.
There's a kind of almost supernatural calm in his writing, and yet there's
nothing studied about it.  You just feel the lines flow one from the other,
rather like what you sense in Gould's recording process....''
 -- Richard Sennett [Friedrich p205]

i'm a big fan of both.  the last time i dropped acid (two summers ago) i
read wallace stevens (most of the time looking for a certain quote, not
finding it but enjoying what i did come across on the way) and listened to
glenn gould (twice through brahms followed by WTC).  it was a great
experience, the best time i ever had on acid (it was also the only time i
did it alone, which ties in well to the solitude theme above...).  seemed
to have a remarkable therapeutic value as well.  (listening to glenn gould
often seems have such an effect, sometimes it can wake me up like drinking
coffee, sometimes it strengthens my will to live, etc.)

i'm not into poetry at all really except for wallace stevens.  same really
with classical piano, i never listen to it except for gould.  (before
hearing gould i was primarily into jazz.)

i will restrain myself from babbling further.

two of my favorite quotes:

``throw away the lights, the definitions, and say of what you see in the
dark that it is this or that it is that, but do not use the rotted names.
how should you walk in that space and know nothing of the madness of space,
nothing of its jocular procreations?  throw the lights away.  nothing must
stand between you and the shapes you take when the crust of shape has been
 -- wallace stevens ("the man with the blue guitar")

``it is possible, possible, possible.  it must be possible.  it must be
that in time the real will from its crude compoundings come, seeming, at
first, a beast disgorged, unlike, warmed by a desperate milk.  to find the
real, to be stripped of every fiction except one, the fiction of an
absolute -- angel, be silent in your luminous cloud and hear the luminous
melody of proper sound.''
 -- wallace stevens ("notes toward a supreme fiction")

i think this last one applies well to the issue of gould's unorthodox
"interpretations".  i don't care what someone (eg the composer) would have
done, i care what *should be done* and that's what gould always tried to
achieve i think.  i think an interesting case where he "corrected" an
earlier interpretation (that's my theory anyway) is the E major fugue from
book two of the WTC which he plays on the "An Art of Fugue" video in the
Sony series, it's much slower and *so* much better than the earlier
recording, which i never listen to anymore.  to some extent i think that's
true of much of his later work, like the 1982 goldbergs, and the D major
partita (from "The Question of Instrument").