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Re: Gould's Memory

From: BONG <bong@iti.lt>
To: <f_minor-og@email.rutgers.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2000 5:46 AM
Subject: Gould's Memory

> Was it good? Was he playing from notes during most of his concerts or
> recordings? Did he prefer playing by heart?

He played almost everything from memory. Actually, like you, I prefer the
expression "by heart." :-> He also memorized symphonies, operas, and so
forth. There was an anecdote mentioned in "32 Short Films about Glenn
Gould" where he called one of his acquaintances -- and he sang an entire
one-act opera to him over the phone.

This memory also carried over to GG's everyday life -- apparently, he could
remember everything he had read. Even from the newspapers. This is
impressive. Most men I know can remember only sports scores.

When Glenn Gould played chamber music, he was usually expected to play from
the score along with everyone else. In these cases, he had to find a way to
adapt. Page turners were a distraction to him. There are a couple of
anecdotes about how he tried to get around that. In one performance, he had
the page turner stay to the side and walk forward only when it was time to
turn the page. Glenn Gould wasn't distracted, but the critic who wrote
about the performance was distracted.

Anne M. Marble