[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Pedal in Bach

> Dear John,
> Thanks for the reply, which I found very interesting, just a few small
> points:
> I haven't compared them closely, but my impression was that they were
> substantially different.  I remember reading one account of the sessions
> where
> it was noted that GG had an inate sense of which takes would be suitable
> for
> only the video or for either video or CD.  Presumably the picture part
> would
> largely determine the takes for the video, assuming that there were no
> "clinkers"
> as he liked to call mistakes ("clams", "going off the tracks", etc.) in
> the take.
> I'm sure there are many more differences than I have noticed, having not
> conciously listened for any, but I do get the impression that often the
> hands and sound don't match too closely, suggesting that he mostly used
> the audio recording and tried to fit the two together. Also, if one
> listens to the 'singing' on the video it rarely corresponds to his mouth
> mvts. Incidentally I noticed that he seems to have his legs crossed in the
> first aria, but uncrosses them before the camera pans around. Are there
> any tapes of him playing for a long period with his legs crossed, or was
> it more of an occasional stunt for publicity photographs?
> > Listening to the dryness of
> > later recordings I had always imagined he used less pedal than in most
> > earlier ones, but the Goldbergs seem to contradict this.
> By "dryness", are you referring to the lack of reverberation or room sound
> in the recording?  I'm not quite clear on what you mean here.
> I think I pehaps meant it both in terms of acoustic/piano and playing
> style. The generally dry sound of late recordings (I refer to both the
> acoustic and lack of subtle colour and expression:- I don't mean that as a
> criticism) is very clear, and seems to suggest very little pedal. The
> freshness and more extrovert expression of the early recordings seems to
> suggest more use of pedal. I wonder if the opposite may actually be the
> case, and if our ears are deceived by the acoustic? I still haven't
> explained this terribly well but perhaps you have some idea what I mean.
> >         Having been brought up on the urban myth that Gould didn't know
> what
> > the pedals are for, and having only seen the Goldbergs video...
> Whoa, where did that one come from?  The guy had been playing pianos
> pretty much since birth.  Hard to imagine that he was clueless about the
> function of pedals!
> Sorry, I was indulging in a fair degree of good old British sarcasm there.
> I of course didn't mean that in any way literally! But also quite
> seriously, I have seen Gould's WTC listed in a CD guide which claims that
> he doesn't even think about touching the pedal throughout the entire
> recording. I think it is fair to say there is a certain stereotype held by
> those who dislike or don't know his playing, that he hated the pedals and
> tried to avoid almost any contact in his Bach. I was quite shocked myself
> to see how much he uses on the Golberg's video, not on any kind of
> principle but because of what I had been led to believe about Gould's
> attitude to the pedal. Although I jokingly exaggerate in saying that he
> didn't know what pedals are for, I have no doubt that some people
> virtually belive this!
> Thanks for all the comments,
> Andrew Thayer.