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Re: More thoughts on GG as "non-composer"

>Actually, I think the exact opposite.  Many (most?) composers are forever
>changing their first ideas or concepts in a composition while in the act of

        Yes, I agree that revisions are constant, but not always before the ink is dry. Rachmaninoff, for example, was his own most stringent critic and made major revisions to works that had been considered finished. In Mach's book *Great Pianists...* Horowitz says
"I think Rachmaninoff became a little bit discouraged generally about public reactions to his works...  So he began to cut some of his works. The B-flat sonata, for instance, is 25 pages longer in its first edition than it is in the second. Rachmaninoff thought it was too long and perhaps too complicated for pianists, so he decided to shorten it." 
        While I can scarcely imagine that Gould would have ever revised a work because he perceived it to be too difficult for a pianist to play, and I think that to receive negative public/critics' opinion would have dissuaded him from composing altogether, I can definitely imagine that, were he to have become a composer, he would have been constantly revising his works for personal reasons. I think that every time he "discovered" a new tempo or color he would immediately see how it could have improved one of his compositions and would have no qualms about making a revision, much the way he felt compelled to remake the Goldbergs. 
        I am not a composer, but I think the concept of "finished" must be far more nebulous for composition than for interpretation and would have been harder for Gould to have reached. To compose seems far more emotional and personal, and the urge to "find one's own voice" is constantly emphasised - something Gould doubted his ability to do. Perhaps he would have put his compositions under constant scrutiny, trying to cull out anything that could possibly have been considered derivative. They'd never be done! My guess is that the only reason GG's existing compositions went unrevised was because he lost interest in them, or perhaps assumed they were insignificant enough to be forgotten in light of his more popular radio compositions.


Elyse Mach: "But do you think that if Beethoven came back to life he'd go along with these notions of motif and tempo?"
Glenn Gould: "I don't really know, nor do I very much care..."