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Glenn Gould's Music (Read 2587 times)

Offline A.C.

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Glenn Gould's Music
« on: May 19, 2004, 08:34:07 PM »
Glenn Gould is undoubtedly one of the world most celebrated pianists. Nonetheless, I do not really enjoy some of his music. Most of his music sounds very dry and technical to me. I think most of you would agree with me from this point of view.

Please comment on his music~ ;D
A.C.

JK

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #1 on: May 19, 2004, 09:59:27 PM »
I agree his music is very technical, I suppose this could be due to the fact that Gould played a lot of Bach and Bachs' music follows the rules of strict counterpoint. His string quartet though is very cleverly written with some very inventive uses of conterpoint. Gould also wasn't a trained composer at all and although obviously naturally gifted he did find it a very slow and labourious business at first, often negleting the piano completely and only composing a few bars a day. Gould also used to "rewrite" other composers' music for example he would alter the pitches of some voices and turn the textures upside down!

Offline donjuan

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #2 on: May 20, 2004, 01:54:36 AM »
I also find Gould's playing quite mechanical and dry.  Have you ever heard him to Liszt's Piano Transcription of Beethoven Symphony Nr.5?  It is so, SO, tediously boring, I couldn't listen to it.  

However, Gould has some very interesting ideas, and I listen with awe to him speak in past interviews.  He says many things we think, but can never find words to express.  Gould is a genius, no doubt about that.
donjuan

Offline Motrax

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #3 on: May 20, 2004, 05:45:30 AM »
I love his choral piece titled "How to Write a Fugue" (or something to that effect, I heard it quite a while ago).
"I always make sure that the lid over the keyboard is open before I start to play." --  Artur Schnabel, after being asked for the secret of piano playing.

Offline pianogal86

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #4 on: May 20, 2004, 08:18:45 PM »
This could be a very interesting topic.  I know next to nothing about Gould, but was so intrigued by his recordings of the Gouldberg Variations (library cd) that I bought the State of Wonder release that has his 1955 and 1981 versions plus an interview with Gould himself comparing them.  

My question is, Why was Gould so controversial?  I know he was a bit quirky and gave up giving concerts in favor of recording, but why do people have this intense love or intense hate of his playing?  

Personally, I have found his Goldberg Variations like no other Bach I've heard.  Emotional, vibrant, painful... full of emotion, yet not too romantic or unstylistic.

I would love to hear all of your opinions.

Pianogal
"Many people find joy in actually doing something
the pragmatist would call useless. "
-Dorothy Tanning-

Offline A.C.

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #5 on: May 20, 2004, 09:11:03 PM »
Oops...it's time for me to reply you guys~ ;D

Firstly, thanks for replying me in this topic. I started this topic because I think Gould's music is sometimes hateful but sometimes wonderful...I've listened to the Goldberg Variation played by him as well, it is 1982 recordings. I agreed that his performance of this piece is emotional, but don't you think it is awfully dry? Listen to his "famous" D minor concerto! I can hardly understand, it sounds extraordinary mechanically and dry to me! I could say that it is unbearable and quite meaningless. He is trying to return to tonal dryness which is no reason for pianist to do so nowadays after the important mechanical adjunct of the pianoforte. Nonetheless, his changes of tone quality and dynamic nuance are to be appreciated.

My previous piano teacher is a huge fan of Glenn Gould, he always use Glenn Gould as an exemplary performer of Bach, and I always have quite an argue with him. His argument supporting himself is that his Bach interpretation is always unparalleled with incredible technique. He also thinks that his performance involves enormous energy which is unique.

My current piano teacher somehow totally agree with me. He said that Glenn Gould is admittedly a child prodigy, but she also commented that his music is too dry and sounds technical sometimes. Well...What are your judgements?  :-/
A.C.

Offline trunks

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #6 on: May 27, 2004, 06:43:24 PM »
On Bach, Gould could work wonders. But I still prefer Rosalyn Tureck on this composer.

Gould's major snag: he played every composer like Bach. I respect that that was how he had chosen to play other music, but then I have chosen to steer way clear of them. His Bach was really fine, though, and I have some of them on CD.
Peter (Hong Kong)
part-time piano tutor
amateur classical concert pianist

Spatula

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #7 on: May 31, 2004, 05:45:04 AM »
Glenn looked pretty young in the 1960's, yeah he was like in his 20s?  

I haven't heard his recordings but saw a quick picture bio on his life.  Personally he looked more like a jazz player, but looks are one thing.   :)

Offline nick

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #8 on: June 30, 2004, 03:34:17 AM »
I loved Glenn Goulds Goldberg Variations. I did not find them boring in the least. Very powerful, complete control of all that is musical. Nope. I was disappointed to read how he hated Beethoven's Appassionata, and could not understand why any one could like it. I particularly love the 3rd Movement. I have not heard him play it, but it must be bad since he hated it.
Nick

Offline allchopin

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #9 on: June 30, 2004, 05:39:15 AM »
Quote
Have you ever heard him to Liszt's Piano Transcription of Beethoven Symphony Nr.5?  It is so, SO, tediously boring, I couldn't listen to it.  

That's a shame.  Because it is quite good.  Listen to the 3rd mvmt. before further judgement.
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline Hmoll

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Re: Glenn Gould's Music
«Reply #10 on: June 30, 2004, 02:05:21 PM »
Gould was famous for saying a lot of outlandish things.
"Mozart died too late rather than to soon."
"Chopin did not know how to write for the piano."
"etc."
You should not take any of it seriously.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger