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Re: GG


> Hi there!
> Are there any piano students among you who like to share their thoughts
> about Glenn Gould and his Bach-interpretations with me? 
> Please let me know!

 I am a piano student (7th course) and I listen to many Gould's
 Forgetting speak about HIP, or other topics that people like, I am
 going to answer your original message.
 I think I am at a balanced or intermediate position about Gould
 I think it's obvious that from a scholarship or from a
 conservatory-teacher point of view, one must compeltely avoid Gould.
 But I think that these are too conservative positions, and to
 evolve it is necessary to take different positions ("Only fool or
 unmature people discover new things").

 About Gould I like his cristal clear voice independence. One can listen
 and follow each voice without score in front. Each voice is well
 explained. Obviously his general point of view about Bach music is far
 from the rest, but it is good in its own. He has a conception about Bach
 music, and his basic ideas are right and coherent. He apply this ideas
 and plays. Perhaps he is a "unbalanced mind", but "from mad to genius
 there is only a step". He is a man with revolutionary conceptions. He
 is a genius in his own world, because his world and his conceptions are
 right. Using this basic ideas he has built a personal world. One can
 like or dislike, but everybody has to recognize that in spite of his
 annoying characteristics, he is great. At the oposite of main people
 ideas, I think he has some really sensitive and romantic moments even
 playing Bach. He has some fugues and movements from his Partitas
 recording which are impossible to play better.
 I like his separated quavers, his voices independence, his articulations
 and his strict conception of score.

 About the "Humming topic", I cannot understand people who tells that
 they feel not comfortable with humming. If everybody is able to
 "forget" the criks and cracks from old LP's, or the outside building noise,
 or the usual noise of tapes (partially eliminated by Dolby system), why
 are you not able to "forget" Gould's humming?
 Even more, humming is one of the greatest things Gould gave to us.
 With humming one can listen what is the player thought, what is the
 voice he is paying attention, and what is his conception of piece.

 On the other hand I think that Gould fails in some points. The main is
 the tempo. Sometimes it is so fast that it is impossible to understand
 what he is playing. He want to show that he is a great pianist, and it
 is not good. The separated semiquavers (as somebody calls "typewriter
 sound") are the main characeristic to identify a Gould performance. In
 some moments it is good, but in others it is bad, very bad. Some of his
 interpretations are aggressive and stiff. Pieces which are full of
 sense and feeling are played in a fast and hard way.

 Summarizing: Gould is a great genius, who built a own world from a very
 solid basic conception about Bach music. Gould is not a genius,
 because sometimes his reading of some pieces are completely oposite to
 original composer conception, and overall, his F1-fast tempo.


Xavier Otazu-Porter

Departament d'Astronomia i Meteorologia
Facultat de Fisica
Universitat de Barcelona
Avgda. Diagonal 647
08028 Barcelona