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Re: Why people care about GG?

>(It's somewhat surprising to me that he didn't try to improve the piano itself
>-- does anyone know if he ever experimented with this?) 

You occasionally hear that Gould, Serkin, and/or Horowitz had their pianos
adjusted so that the hammers (at rest point) were closer to the strings than
normal, which is claimed to increase your control over articulation while
accepting a decrease in power.
My experience with trying this while rebuilding my piano a number of years
ago is that it isn't a good idea to reduce the hammer distance.  Anyway,
these may all just be stories, who knows.  When Franz Mohr, Horowitz's piano
technician, came through my area on a book tour, he denied that Horowitz's
piano was adjusted from the Steinway norm.  Not sure about Serkin or Gould.

Then there are the references to Gould saying that if the piano occasionally
did a "double-strike" on a note, that was a friendly sound because it meant
the piano was adjusted almost perfectly.  Basically this is a matter of
strengthening the "repetition springs" in the action parts of each key.  The
stronger you make them, to my fingers anyway, the more tactile and
responsive the piano feels - I like it that way, too.  If you make them too
strong, the note double-strikes (gives an additional burble after the note
is hit once) which is horrible, of course, and piano technicians are wary of
approaching this danger-point.  I was in a library the other day listening
to an LP of Gould's 2-part inventions and sinfonias, and I heard so many
double strikes it really was amazing to me Columbia's producers let this
through - unless somehow I was listening to a defective recording...

>His technical skills and talent alone would have landed him his youthful
>concerts and a recording contract. But more important than his Goldberg
>breakthrough was his unique abandonment of the concert stage 

I agree - and not just that, but all his detachments from "standard modern
life" - the working at night, the exploration of privacy and solitude, etc.   

My experience is that people are as intrigued by his personal traits as by
his music-making.  I met several people at the Glenn Gould Gathering whose
primary interest in Gould was his stance and ideas on society and living,
and I think during his early career the press focused as much on Gould the
person as Gould the Bach-player.

Gould attracts a lot of loners, people who have deep misgivings about the
unnatural aspects of the modern world.  Maybe a lot of us envy Gould, wish
we had the guts to do what he did.