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RE: [F_minor] GG's GVs versus the world

Just a quick hello.  I have not heard or read the reviews or interviews that this thread refers to.....having said that I want to remind all once again that any references to absolutes in music will fail.  What I mean by this is that a reliance on certainty when stating how any piece "should" be played or interpreted only reflects the bias of the individual.  There are no absolutes with interpretation.  So, one perspective can argue well that the best way of attacking a 'theme and variation' structure would be to highlight the underlying wholeness at the architectural level.  Another, just as valid argument can be posed that a pianist can take liberties with tempos and key changes and can direct our attention to the individuality of each variation, giving the impression of many pieces, sublimating the underlying connections in favor of variety on the surface layer.  These are both valid methods and you will find that pianists sway between these two perspectives; not always clearly and sometimes within the same piece. 
Gould was intensely aware of and fascinated by structure.  His intellect could hold within his awareness the overall beginning and end of a piece and derive a musical philosophy for where he felt the composer might have wished to traverse.  He would not always agree with his own perception, giving credence perhaps to his own, sometimes extreme philosophical inclinations towards exposition.  That is the endless charm of GG's mind. 
Perahia is a superb pianist with great talent and sensitivity.  I have enjoyed his Bach playing for many years and consider his interpretations to be of the best thought out and expounded on record.  Hewitt as well is superb.  These great Bach players will all consider Bach deeply and through their study and meditations they will produce results that will all be different.  In short, whatever resonates with your sensitivities, with your heart and mind is what you gravitate to and repeatedly.  For most of us, GG tickles, delights, enlightens and stimulates, but his was not the only way.  He had no copyright on bright ideas.
Fred Houpt

From: f_minor-bounces@email.rutgers.edu [mailto:f_minor-bounces@email.rutgers.edu] On Behalf Of Kpapademas
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 12:24 AM
To: Singh; f_minor@email.rutgers.edu
Subject: Re: [F_minor] GG's GVs versus the world

Hi Mr. Singh - It appeared to me, at any rate, that the commentators were not well-versed in either of Glenn Gould's versions of the Goldberg Variations. I think they should have listened to the GG "interview" with Tim Page (that came with the "State of Wonder" CD).
In a message dated 08/07/09 15:54:53 Central Daylight Time, k_dawg71@hotmail.com writes:
Fabulously interesting comparison. I think I remember Murray Perahia's Goldbergs mentioned here once before. It is indeed a masterful performance. For me, however, it does not surpass Glenn Gould's, but that just may be personal bias.
I think, however, the commentator contradicted himself slightly, and without intending to do so (meaning it may not be what he meant to say). He seems to imply that structural integrity is more present in Perahia's than in Glenn Gould's. This may certainly be valid, particularly if each variation is taken separately. However, the commentators seemed to have ignored taking the piece as a whole, which seems to me to be the point of the variation form. A great man once told me that each variation must seem as if it is an inevitable consequence of the one prior to it. In terms of linkage between the variations, to me at least, there doesn't seem to be much going for Murray Perahia. For me, there is no one who played the Goldbergs with the sole purpose of making listeners aware of the structural integrity more than Glenn Gould.
Also, I was rather disappointed with the way Glenn Gould's Variation 5 was treated. It seemed to be a rather uninformed way of talking about the Variation. Also, it may be that the commentators took the particualr variation out of context.

Again, I am not arguing to put down Perahia's Gouldbergs. Also, what the commentators say about dance music in relation to Bach doesn't strike me as being particularly comprehensive. Correct me if I'm wrong. Perhaps I just need to listen to more Bach. (when isn't there such a time?).

Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 15:01:27 -0500
From: kpapademas@aol.com
To: f_minor@email.rutgers.edu
Subject: [F_minor] GG's GVs versus the world

Hello F_minors!
Check the following site: It is on Murray Perahia's Goldberg Vs compared to our GG's GVs.
Listen to the commentary and the comparisons (there is a play button as you scroll down).

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