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Re: GG: Background and foreground

I readily agree with Mary Jo's friend about
Gould/Perahia, except that I rather tend to listen to
Koroliov, which is far more lyrical, even deeply
depressed at times (variation 15). I'm afraid Perahia
is a bit mild on the whole and, especially in the
first half, doesn't manage to create a really personal

I heard Koroliov's Goldbergs live in Paris and he is
one of the happy few who really manage to take me out
of time. The performance is a global trip around a
thousand of emotions, with the rythmic structure a
constant like the vehicle we're traveling on. Once the
quodlibet starts, a sense of jubilating dusk overcomes
us and finally the aria is the lull which re-inserts
us into eternity, marking the end of this world. It
probably has some common aspects with Wagner's ring;
to my mind  both endings convey the same feeling.

Gould's 1981 version achieves the same sense of a
parenthesis in eternity, and the very slow last aria
is the best I've ever heard, with the absolutely
magical idea of not playing the ornament on the last
note. Harmony comes back by itself and progressively,
without stopping on the F sharp, so as to indicate
that eternal perfection is achieved and all
dissonances and hesitations have vanished.


PS the 1955 version, which has other merits, is too
short to achieve such an "out of time" effect
Sorry if this has already been written time and again
here, I'm new on the ML so I still have to gest used
to what happens on it :-)

 --- Mary Jo Watts <mwatts@EDEN.RUTGERS.EDU> a écrit :
> I'm glad the Rothstein article has offered such rich
> conversation!
> To Quote Bradley: "I agree with Rothstein: that
> emphasis on making
> everything "foreground"  is a clear and succinct
> assessment of Gould's
> style."
> Isn't this amusing coming from Gould, a man who had
> a fondness for muzak!
> I also think, of course, of the radio programs but
> also that famous quote
> about how in the best scenario there would be no
> art-- all of life would
> be art. (my paraphrase) In the best of worlds
> everything would be
> foregrounded after a fashion? Is this what's at the
> heart of GG's instinct
> to contrapuntalize EVERYTHING!!??
> Is his propensity to to foreground what people mean
> when they talk of
> Gould's love of structure-- demonstrating the love
> of, desire for rules
> and cohesion?
> Again I had another conversation with my violinist
> friend about the
> Goldbergs and she said 'when I want to feel the
> glory, the awe of Bach's
> structure, I listen to Gould but when I want a human
> response to their
> lyricism, it's Perahia'
> (http://www.sonyclassical.com/music/89243/)  Now I
> know what she means but I can't say I'm fond of the
> recording TECHNIQUES
> on the Perahia CD but as playing it offers something
> as a marked and
> amazing contrast. He foregrounds totally different
> aspects.  It's really
> fun to compare.  The differences between Gould and
> Tureck weren't so
> obvious to me.  But I'm not a trained musician.
> Anyway-- I'm a bit loopy today with sinusitus so I
> hope this made sense!
> -Mary Jo

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