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GG: Cultism, Banality, etc., etc.

From: Thayer A <A.Thayer@rhbnc.ac.uk>
To: 'Allan MacLeod' <allan.macleod@usask.ca>; 'f minor'
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 1999 2:30 PM
Subject: RE: Rosen

> Personally I believe that today's Glenn Gould 'cult' owes as much to
> his unusual personality as his playing (that doesn't mean I'm
disputing the
> greatness of his playing). Look at some of the postings we get on
the list.
> Probably half of them refer to GG's life and opinions, rather than
> playing.

Some of us post about those subjects because we don't know enought
about music or recording technology or related topics to make sensible
posts in those areas. I leave those discussion to the list members who
know the field. That's probably for the best. Otherwise, I'd be
sending out posts that said something like, "Well, his music, like,
gets really slow about two minutes into the piece, and, uh, then it,
like, speeds up again."

Now if GG had been a famous novelist, I could talk about his
technique. But in that case, he wouldn't have left many recordings

> I think that many people will take offence at a few of my comments,
but I
> assure you that I am as great a Gould fan as anybody. However I feel
> mailing list should be a front for serious discussion, rather than
> senselessly excessive praise of Gould whatever he did, and endless
> discussion of superficial matters (I'm certainly not referring to
> particular posting, Allan, but some of the other ones we have seen).
Much as
> I admire Gould he made many bad recordings and if I often criticise
him it
> is because I belive in objective listening, not because I dislike

I don't agree with everything GG did, said, played, thought, or
whatever. I don't like every recording he ever made -- few people on
this list do. But I still reserve the right to make posts about what
other people might consider to be "banal" things. While everybody on
this list likes GG, in their own way, not everybody on this list likes
to discuss the same things about GG.

Maybe we should develop a code. If the post is about GG's scrambled
eggs or scarves instead of his music, we should put "GG Banal" into
the subject line. ;->