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GG:JS Bach/Scarlatti/CPE Bach
Alun Severn said:
>At the risk of boring those who have already rushed out and snapped this
>new GG up, here's a few observations (for friends on and off this list) on
>SMK 52620, The Italian Concerto etc.
>First off, it seems to me that this is one of Sony's better value reissues.
>78 minutes of music and six "first releases".
I'm surprised the folks at Sony didn't include the Prelude and Fugue on the
name BACH in this alblum, as it would have put the timing over 80 minutes
and thus give Sony an excuse to turn a one disc set into two (ala the
>The remastering-bells-and-whistles-super-bitmapping is superb throughout.
>Even the Italian Concerto from 1959 emerges pristinely.
Unfortunately there is not as much audible humming and singing in this
transfer as there has been in previous incarnations. Without it, this
sound transfer sounds almost like a new recording to me (it isn't of
[various alblum contents deleted]
>The sleeve notes suggest that many of these pieces were originally intended
>for an uncompleted "Italian Album" or maybe even a compilation which had it
>been issued would have preceded the Silver Jubilee Album.
>But here's a question or two:
>1. The three final fantasies on this disc: apart from
> the 1981 Goldbergs, would these have been amongst
> the last -- maybe even *the* last Bach that GG recorded?
I think so, if you exclude the videos.
>2. The Scarlatti sonatas: GG suggested recording 12 sonatas.
> Scarlatti wrote 550. On what grounds would GG have (a) chosen
> just 12, and (b) stopped at just 12. My instinct is that he
> probably disliked DS's promiscuous styles and virtuosity. Any
> offers? (And has anyone heard anything more lovely than GG's
> rendition of the G Major sonata, #K8?).
That, and the fact that 12 sonatas would probably fit quite nicely on one
side of an LP.
>3. GG professed to detest the Italian Concerto; the Chromatic
> Fantasy was a "monstrosity". Is this why these pieces languished
> in Columbia's vaults?
The Italian Concerto wasn't really a vault piece--only in the sense that it
remained unreleased as part of Sony's GG Edition. I doubt Sony was
concerned about GG's likes and dislikes. I think they simply waited to
release their version of the "Italian" Alblum until the very end so people
like us would anxiously await each new release and, in the meantime, buy
the various amalgams of soundtrack ripoffs/first releases/rereleases.
>4. And finally, how does the rumoured GOULD FROM THE VAULTS
> release differ/coincide with any of the foregoing?
I think the GOULD FROM THE VAULTS and GOULD PLAYS CHAMBER MUSIC, etc. are
just working titles for these releases. I recall that the Ancerl Beethoven
Emporer/Golshmann Strauss Burleske disc was dubbed GLENN GOULD LIVE. I
believe the only title retained in the GG Edition was the Consort of
Musicke (except for the Live in Leningrad/Moscow discs).
This discussion on titles brings me to another point: has anyone noticed
how short Sony has come in carrying out their original plans for the GG
Edition--what ever happened to the Mozart/Schoenberg, etc of the the 1957
Salzburg recital, and what of those live performances from Buffalo,
Baltimore, etc? And though the merits of this are debatable, I also got
the impression that they would transfer most, if not all, of the video
sountracks to disc (items such as the Bach Brandenburg Concerto #5, and a
Brahms Concerto #1 (the Baltimore performance, although Sony should have
made an attempt to procrue the Bernstein/NYPO tapes) which would be
essential to any official GG audio collection).
Just my $0.02 on the matter.