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Re: GG: JS Bach/Scarlatti/CPE Bach

At 6:01 PM 3/4/97, Alun Severn wrote:
>3.      GG professed to detest the Italian Concerto; the Chromatic
>        Fantasy was a "monstrosity". Is this why these pieces languished
>        in Columbia's vaults?

        Well he sure did play the Italian a heck of a lot, maybe he grew to
detest it. It seems like I must have about 4 different recordings of that
piece, and in the sessions video from "On the Record", he said he'd been
playing it since his early teens. He must have liked it for some reason at
some point.
        I don't know if I put all that much faith into GG's claims to
hate/love/detest/etc. a particular piece or composer, I've heard him go
back and forth on a few claims depending on when and where he was asked,
and I suspect that he tended to speak (or write) quite honestly and off the
top of his head, his penchant for rewrites and prewrites notwithstanding.
In the Portrait video, John Roberts tells a quick story about a younger
Gould preparing performance selections, and him telling Roberts of a
certain piece he intended to play (I can't for the life of me remember
which - was it the Rach rhapsody on Paganini? agh, who knows) anyway, he
tells it to Roberts and Roberts says, "But Glenn, I thought you hated that
piece!" and Gould says, shocked, "I do not! It's a VERY good piece!" and so
on. I'll bet he did that kind of thing a lot with his friends, which I kind
of admire; without that flexibility he would have seemed a real musical
tyrant. Besides, everybody waffles on the art issues now and again - or at
least the cool folks do. I myself have always had an "everything I say
today is true, but tomorrow, who knows." policy about taste; how can you
define something so ephemeral? Except Streisand. I can say with relative
certainty that I'm always going to loathe Streisand. (Glenn and I would
have had serious issues over that one...) I know this doesn't at all answer
your question, Alun, sorry I became a bit distracted.

Best regards, Kristen

P.S.- Anyone have any news on the existence of a complete "GG Fantasy"
transcription? Is it out there?


"Glenn had barely cut down the ash that supposedly obstructed his playing
when he had the idea of simply drawing the curtains in his room, closing
the shutters. I could have spared myself the work of cutting down the ash,
he said... We often cut down such an ash, a whole forest of such mental
ashes, he said, and we could have spared ourselves the work with a simple
sleight of hand..."
-Thomas Bernhard