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Re: GG: slashing repeats

Earlier today I wrote:
>In his analysis of music for performance, Gould seems to have given a
>high priority to the idea of harmonic arrival.  The music starts in some
>key, goes to other keys for a while, and eventually returns home.  To
>Gould's way of thinking, when the music has arrived at the home key it
>MUST NOT be permitted to leap back to take some of that modulatory
>journey again.  In the above forms, then, it is OK to repeat the A
>section (optionally) since it is moving away from the home key; but it is
>never OK to repeat the B section.
>This is a consistent pattern throughout Gould's career.  He would
>sometimes repeat the A section, but (as a rule) not the B section in
>music that has such a harmonic scheme.  [Admittedly I have not checked
>*every* minuet/trio of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven in the Gould
>recordings, to be absolutely sure of this consistency, but I know it's
>true of Glenn Gould's Bach, Scarlatti, and Handel.  There's enough there
>to cite this as a pattern, even a fingerprint-like quirk, of Gould's.]

A list member has pointed out to me that there's an exception to this: in
GG's recording of Bach's Six Little Preludes, BWV 933-938, he does take
the repeats of both halves and therefore preserves the AABB form.


Perhaps Gould this late in his career (1980, near the end of his life) was
reforming his errant ways?  :)  Or perhaps he felt these miniatures are
too short without all the repeats?  Who can guess?

Then again, in the 1981 recording of the Goldberg Variations, Gould was
back to his usual AAB structural distortion again in the variations where
he took any repeats at all....

Bradley Lehman, Dayton VA
home: http://i.am/bpl  or  http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl
CD's: http://listen.to/bpl or http://www.mp3.com/bpl

"Music must cause fire to flare up from the spirit - and not only sparks
from the clavier...." - Alfred Cortot