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GG: What Do Non-Fans Think? Pt 2

Here is a second post regarding Glenn from rec.music.classical's "greatest
hits"... this one proposing an unusual answer to the "left-hand right-hand"
question we've been discussing....  namely, that Gould had two brains (one
for each hand!)   :->   This writer seems to have a higher opinion of Glenn,
at least....  so I suppose he *is* a fan...


Article 11737 of rec.music.classical:
From: dtate@unix.cis.pitt.edu (David M Tate)
Newsgroups: rec.music.classical
Subject: Re: Glenn Gould questions
Message-ID: <133965@unix.cis.pitt.edu>
Date: 30 May 91 19:46:19 GMT
Organization: University of Pittsburgh
Lines: 39

In article <13140@aggie.ucdavis.edu> ccmnate@deneb.ucdavis.edu () writes:
>I am interested to hear what you folks her have to say about Glenn
>Gould as a pianist.  How does he compare with other pianists?  How does
>he interpret pieces like the Goldberg Variations?  The Well Tempered

Without peer; without fear; without regard for prevailing opinion.

> I have heard many conflicting stories about his playing.  Some
>people have told me that he butchers the pieces he plays, others tell
>me he is one of the greatest pianists of our time. 

Both are correct.  Everything that Gould did was distinctively Gouldian:
the extremes of tempo, the startling use of extreme staccato, the unequalled
flair for bringing out polyphony that must have been hard-wired in his brain
(or "brains"; I've long been convinced that his left and right hands were
hooked to independent processors... :-)).  When the piece to which these 
techniques/tendencies were applied was amenable, the result was unsurpassed
clarity and brilliance.  When the piece was not amenable, the results ranged
from absurd to grotesque.

It's hard to generalize about which pieces worked and which didn't.  Even 
within the realm of Bach, the variability was high.  I personally could 
listen to his second "Goldberg Variations" on repeat all day (and have in
the past), but I find the "Two and Three Part Inventions" to be jarringly

>I am primarily interested in specifics, because I am considering writing
>a paper on his performing style, and I would like to see if there is 
>enough to say about him to warrant a whole paper.

Friend, there's enough to warrant a three-volume hardcover edition...

       David M. Tate        |