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Re: GG plays Byrd & Gibbons


Thanks for yours:

>Regarding the fewer number of Gibbons pieces on the record, it may be that
>Gibbons composed primarily choral works (anthems and songs of praise), even
>though he was organist of Westminster Abbey. When GG said that he
>identified most with Gibbons among all other composers, he may have been
>talking about the Elizabethan composer's musical temperment in general, not
>particularly his keyboard works. This makes sense when we realize that GG
>was a musical idealist (i.e. the music in his head or on paper was more
>"real" or important than the actual noises coming off the sounding board.)


        Exactly -- although he did apparently say that while he considered
Gibbons an inferior contrapuntist, he also felt that he formed a necessary
preliminary to the study of Bach (or words to that effect -- the remarks
were made in a letter to an admirer).

        The sleeve notes *do* suggest that GG had an idealised interior
version of Gibbons' largely choral/vocal output and subsequently may have
thought that the piano didn't quite realise this.

        The notes also suggest however that he *may* have said this to
pre-empt critics who were apparently saying that his transposition of these
small scale pieces to the grand piano was bad judgement -- so GG says that
in fact *no* instrument will actually do them justice! Crafty...?

Best,  Alun

Alun Severn    snailmail:     1 Chestnut Rd  Oldbury
                              West Midlands  B68 0AX   England
                voice:        0121 422 9509
                email:        alun@ukiah.demon.co.uk
"...[it is] my sober conviction that no piano need feel
    duty-bound to always sound like a piano."   - Glenn Gould