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Re: Goldberg opinion

Jvrgen Lundmark wrote:

>I have over some years found that peoples opinions of Gould's two studio
>Goldbergs very often tend to diverge. To put it bluntly, either you like
>the 1955 and "dismiss" the 1981 version or the opposite standpoint is
>appicable (please forgive me for this over-simplification; most
>commentators do of course develope their arguments in a more refined

>Otto Friedrich opted for the 1955 whereas Jim Aikin in his article in
>"Keyboard" 1983 held the opposite opinion. I am personally a firm 1981
>believer, which doesn't say I cannot appreciate the almost unstoppable
>flow of energy of the earlier rendition. The trascendental, if such a
>term is permissable, qualities of the 1981 recording makes it in my mind
>perhaps the best piano recording ever.

>What do the rest of F_Minor think of these two cornerstones of the
>Gouldian discography?

Well, I don't like to straddle fences but I like them both.

GG was one to say that each recorded work should be unique. But I never
took that to mean, nor do I think that GG meant to vary performance for the
sake of simply being different. Friedrich actually visualized the
difference between the two performances with the photos he included of the
two recording sessions. The exhuberant James-Deanish youth with the wild
look in his eyes to the scrunched up middle-aged man hearing every nuance
in his mind and extending that mind-tune to his fingers. Those 32 had
bounced in his mind for 26 years before he decided to rerecord them and as
I remember my first hearing of the 81, it was probably more exciting than
my first hearing of the 55. It was the excitement that Glenn Gould always
generated, but it was almost an entirely new piece of music.

I'll sign on the dotted line for the 81 but I won't give up the 55. They're
the Alpha and Omega of GG and I listen to them both based on how I feel at
the time.

Richard F. Makse
Member, HTML Writers Guild