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Re: Gould hasn't recorded the BWV903 Chromatic Fugue
how could I forget Christiane Jaccottet's Bach on harpsichord recordings.
You can find many of her recordings at super-budget price, and, I'm talking
four dollars a disc here. Look for the Pilz or Power Point or Kannon
labels. The instruments can be a little bit "metallic" but the performances
are dignified and soulful. Her discs are a great inexpensive place to start
a harpsichord collection.
Brad just wrote a message that touched upon Gould's performances of the
Italian Concerto. While the second version isn't to my taste, I, and Kevin
Bazzana as well, find the late 50's recording first-rate Gould. Bazzana
even goes so far as to say, and I quote in full because it's such a
wonderful passage from page 258 of The Performer in the Work.
"Reason may have modulated beauty in his playing, but never undermined
have held back one musical example until now, and it should quash any doubt
about this point: the finale of Bach's Italian Concerto, in Gould's original
1959 recording. This is performance that could certainly be used to
exemplify many aspects of the rational Gould--his idealist's image of Bach;
his clear, controlled, analytical playing style; his obsession with
counterpoint and structure; his ability to clarify for the listener both the
musical details and the architecture of the whole; his special affinity,
both aesthetically and ethically, with the medium of recording. Yet this is
also a performance of boundless energy and joy, a remarkable display of
mental and digital facility, a powerful rendering of the music's inherent
tension and drama. It is thoughtful performance that repays analysis, yet
it never seems calculated; it seems all spontaneity and abandon. We can, to
be sure, admire the musical thinker behind this interpretation, but we also
do well to notice that his is some of the most accomplished, compelling, and
entertaining piano playing on record."
That passage adds a little fire to my love of Gould every time I read it.