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GG: Saint Glenn

     While I find the postings to f-minor mostly entertaining and sometimes 
     informative, there seems to be a disappointing amount of hagiography 
     at times.  I find this particularly distasteful when other artists are 
     denigrated in the process.  I refer to the sneering comments about 
     Byron Janis and Lord Menuhin in recent posts.
     I enjoy Glenn Gould's recordings immensely and I must say that there 
     is very little of his recorded output (and I've got practically all of 
     it) that I don't get some pleasure from (and that includes the 
     Schoenberg). Like just about everybody else on this list I find much 
     of his playing sublime and life-enhancing.  But I could also say the 
     same about Cortot, Schnabel, Rubinstein, Kempff, Horowitz, Lipatti, 
     Argerich, Pollini, Solomon, Michelangeli, Richter and on and on and 
     on.  Even Bryon Janis and Van Cliburn.
     Glenn Gould was an incredibly gifted artist and a fine human being, 
     but like everybody he had his faults.  There is plenty of evidence 
     that he was ungenerous and sarcastic towards fellow artists 
     (Michelangeli and Horowitz for example).  And he was downright rude to 
     Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Walter Legge at the Ophelia Lieder sessions 
     and there a plenty of other documented instances of his being 
     difficult to work with.
     Of course, many people (and most artists, maybe) have the same traits 
     and I only bring them up to balance the debate up a bit.  Friedrich's 
     biography provides a very balanced view of GG, both as man and artist 
     so its hardly worthwhile for me to drag up more negative points.
     GG's personal foibles are a lot less interesting than his musical 
     ones, however.  (and who cares about the stupid chair??)
     What intrigues me is the inconsistency between his stated likes and 
     dislikes and the pieces he chose to record.  Of course his much stated 
     preferences for contrapuntal music, the second Viennese school 
     (so-called), Richard Strauss and Paul Hindemith were well catered for. 
     Even the Haydn sonatas make sense as a choice to record (and IMHO are 
     among his finest recordings and a first recommendation), but why oh 
     why oh why did he record all the Mozart piano sonatas when he 
     expressly disliked them.
     Also, as stated in a recent post, he avoided the romantics - mostly.
     OK - so he didn't record any Schubert at all, but why bother at with 
     the odd bit of Chopin and Schumann - there doesn't seem to be any 
     evidence that he actually liked that music.
     The other oddities are the Listz transcriptions of the Beethoven 
     symphonies (5 and 6).  I read somewhere that he had planned to record 
     the entire nine.  WHY??  Was he a closet admirer of Listz's 
     OK - I am standing still - ready, aim fire!!!