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Re: GG: In Performance

Jon Teske, who wrote the interesting Usenet posting which Philip Garon kindly
forwarded to us all, described seeing Glenn Gould in concert in some detail
in a recent e-mail he sent me.  I found it to be a fascinating glimpse of
Gould the public performer, and with Mr. Teske's permission I am reposting
it...  hope everyone enjoys it.

 <<<<<As to the Gould concert: I found the program. He played William Byrd's
"My Ladye Nevells Booke" (My memory wasn't so bad after all!), Bach Partita
3 in Amin, Mozart Sonata Cmaj K330, Beethoven Op 109 and the program lists a
one movement sonata by Berg, but I think he substituted a piece by Ernst
Krenek. The date was Nov 4 1961 in the University Theater at the University
of Wisconsin in Madison.  I was a sophomore.  Gould exhibited every
idiosyncracy you ever heard about him.  He was heavier and looked older than
his record jacket pictures indicated (not an unusual phenomonon) but not as
heavy as his later years. He diddled with his piano bench what seemed
forever.  It was not the University's standard bench, but one of his own,
much lower than a standard bench.  His nose was literally just above the
keys.  His tuxedo needed pressing badly and his tie was askew - rather
shocking in 1961 when every male performer was starched to the nines.  He
barely acknowledged the audience and made only the most perfunctory of bows
before and after each piece.  This was a rescheduling since the concert was
supposed to be in mid-October (the date stated in Friedrich's book).  We
were all worried when he first cancelled that he wouldn't show since he had
erratic habits. Even though my roommate and I were seated in the back of the
orchestra, we could hear his famous vocalizing (more like a moan).  I
remember hearing the older, veteran concert goers (faculty and faculty wives
- this was before women's lib) during the intermission tut-tutting at his
demeanor. They would have had a kitten if they lived long enough to see
Nigel Kennedy!!
If you have seen his videos, they are pretty indicative.  Unfortunately this
was very early in my musical experience and education so my critical powers
were not so well honed that I can remember any impression of the music.
Each piece he played was probably the first time I ever heard any of them.
About four months later, in 1962, I heard live, the famous broadcast of
Gould with the New York Phil and Bernstein of Brahms First Concerto in which
Bernstein made a public disclaimer for his part in the performance and said
he was going to do it Gould's way only because he trusted Gould integrety as
an artist.  Again, this was the very first time I had heard the piece so I
was not in a position to judge. I understand it was played at about half
speed.  I understand that tapes of that performance are underground classics
and I would love to hear it now that I know the piece and have played the
orchestral accompanment a few times myself.>>>>>>>