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GG: Competition


Well, like Roy, I have been a subscriber for a couple of months and I 
have been waiting for a chance to jump in somewhere.  Here it is! :)

Well, while I am a great admirer of Gould, his extraordinary talents, his 
brilliant recordings, his artistic integrity and witty approach to music 
and life, I disagree with him on many of his thoughts about music and 
music-making, particularly his thoughts on competition.  Personally, I 
enjoy competition and performing live, for that matter. That adrenaline rush 
you get before you go on, when your throat goes dry and you have this feeling 
in the pit of your stomach...it's hard to describe...anybody else had these 
feelings before?  It's frightening, but it's also empowering.  I find that 
performing for people brings out the best in me.  True, there's always 
that cut-throat, win-at-all-costs mentality shows up sometimes in a 
couple of people in competition, but the majority of the people that I 
have met in competitions are willing to share their ideas, discuss the 
choices they made in their performances, and are just all-round friendly and 
nice :)

I've also had a couple of opportunities to do some recording too.  Not a 
big studio recording or anything, but I can see the positives that Gould 
emphasized throughout his career - the fact that you can record and re-record 
until you find the exact performance you want, that you have no pressure 
except that which you put on yourself, etc.  But when I listen to those 
and compare them to the ones I did live, there's always something 
missing.  Even on the "un-live" ones I was really happy with, there's 
something that's not there, some spark.  I think that adrenaline does 
something for you! :)  Anybody else had this experience?

But, as I say, I am a great fan of Gould's and I enjoy reading his 
essays, especially when I disagree with him :)  Thank you all for being 
as, or more "obsessed" (as my friends say) with him as I am! <grin>

Christy Leung