Hello Anne and all:
Speaking of "reading from a transcript", I was delightfully listening to
(I am sure this site has been circulating, but here it is again, with some of his
famous radio dialogs).
Also, a general comment: The recordings captured the musical events at the time they were performed using the technology available at the time. If there was singing, humming, clucking, squeaking, foot-stomping by Glenn Gould while he played, I personally don't want them removed!
Concerts versus recordings: Oh to have seen and heard Glenn play live! For those of you who did, be grateful. For those of us who didn't, thank God his performances are available on recordings.
In a message dated 05/31/09 04:09:32 Central Daylight Time, email@example.com writes:
I can't believe that the beat goes on and on and on like this about recordings vs. concerts. They are two distinctly different experiences, just as film vs. theatre, live lectures vs. reading a transcript, watching the sunset vs. seeing the photograph. Isn't that obvious? I just don't see the need for discussion other than to make a case for one's personal preference - as GG so eagerly did.
Concerts and recordings each have their own appeal for both the artist and the audience... and I do not think one is less of a pure artistic _expression_ than the other. Was it Rubinstein who said, "Even my mistakes are beautiful."? Whoever it was, it was a pretty arrogant remark, and there are those who would rather hear a flawless performance. But when I go to a concert I too do not sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the artist to self-destruct. That probably was a bit of projection on Glenn's part, since it is far more likely that he was waiting for the mistake and not the audience. So many variables in live performance that simply cannot be controlled... how could someone with his need to control be expected to enjoy that?
But really, this need to complain about splice and dice is just silly, so long as the integrity of the music itself holds up. If I want to actually hear music the way Gould heard the music in his head, what better way than to use everything technology can offer? And I think it actually takes MORE artistry than a live performance when you are as exacting as GG was about the product. When Les Paul invented multi-tracking, he was considered a genius who revolutionized the entire recording industry. Did that diminish his purity as an artist? I think not. But that was a different kind of music, so I guess we apply different standards.
And the singing? Why bring Schenker into it? Just deal with it. You know it's going to be there every time you listen to Glenn Gould, and it baffles me (like they baffled him to cut the distraction) why it was and is such a contentious issue. Oh well, that's why we have critics I guess... to overstate the obvious, understate the marvelous, and try to turn the sublime into the ridiculous.
The only good thing is that we're still talking about GG so passionately! Putting ourselves on the record, as it were.
Regards to all,
On Sun, May 31, 2009 at 12:09 AM, maryellen jensen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What a pity that Fogelsong got side-tracked from the music this
time 'round by: 1.Concert Dropout and 2. his chance to postulate
Schenkerian theory vis a vis Gould's 'vocal obbligato'. Fair enough,
after all it's his column and furthermore who can deny that those
two matters are intrinsic to any consideration of Gould's career?
"...what recording denies us in spontaneity, it gives us in reliable persistence." I'm with you Singh (I happen to share your prejudice);
while "reliable persistence" is not, a priori, pejorative, it somehow
lends itself as such. It comes off as pointed, as though alluding
to some ulterior implication dismissive in nature. Just a clumsy,
unfortunate turn of phrase? Let's amend it: "..what recording denies
us in contingency, it gives us in integrity."; "..what concerts provide
us in spectacle, they deny us in reliable audition."; "..what recording
denies us in distractions, it provides us in ultimate perceptions."
I respectfully invite each member of the List so inclined to submit
their own amendment(s) which I shall forward to Mr. Fogelsong.
Just for the record: I do hereby state that I have NEVER attended
a concert in the hope of witnessing a debacle for ANY performer.
Frankly speaking the thought has never entered my mind and the
first time I read Gould's accusations the word 'paranoiac' came out
of my mouth, it has since been tempered to "stage fright".
Mr. Fogelsong has gone far beyond anyone else I've yet to come
across in print on the subject of
GG's singing. How he arrives at
an application of Schenkerian theory is beyond me as there simply
isn't enough evidence left after all of the filtering, alas? In the film
"On and Off The Record" one gets an idea of the volume of his
voice and while I agree with Fred Houpt in spirit blimey something
had to be done for the recordings and I'm glad it was. That said, far
too much is made of it and I reckon Fogelsong just likes the hat.
By the way Fred, I don't know what you do to make a living but the
world would be a better place if you were published 'On Music'
regularly. Such eloquence. I hope you've heard it said already.
Die Mensch Maschine, or, "Oh that horrible Zenph thing." Harsh?
I don't think so. Bill Larsen said it all. "After all, great performers
attend very carefully to the sound of their tone or to the texture
of their sound.", Ferrara from Angilette's book. What is that age
old ad line? Accept No Substitutes! Who exactly is Zenph aiming at
with that 'thing'? I've got a clue it's the house music crowd: a little
Grace Jones, Gould and Grand Master Flash in da mix? A noble
effort? A noble effort is the effort, time and money to get all the
concerned legal parties to collaborate on a complete, coherent and
dignified archival collection of Gould's audio/visual programming.
All of it from all the sources while there are still such people alive
who worked with Gould during his life to consult with. Just tell me
please how a robot piano following a producer's cues copying a
repudiated (and re-recorded) recording stacks up against a film of
Glenn Gould and Leonard Rose playing Beethoven's Sona
for cello and piano? I'll tell you: Gould and Rose are GIANT, the
8th Wonder of the World and Zenph is just boys with toys. All their
techno glad-handing and high-fives and Gould-lite isn't worth a toss.
What's next? A Gould dress-up doll with magnetic coats, scarves,
gloves and hats and, for the first 1,000 sold, tiny hotel keys and
miniature prescription bottles and a bonus Zenph Goldberg cd?
What a world, oh what a world,
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