[f_minor] "Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould" / PBS American M...
Kpapademas at aol.com
Kpapademas at aol.com
Tue Dec 28 00:48:38 EST 2010
Hi Bob and all - Bob, looks like you beat me first! It was truly wonderful
to see the entire broadcast of one hour and fifty minutes (I did time it!)
of the American Masters production - more than what was available in the
original YouTube clips. PBS did advertise where to get the DVD right after
the program, but I want to make sure that the entire 110 minutes are in that
Their were pictures and video clips that I have not seen before; and more
conversations with Chris Foss. The box of Kleenex was emptied when I saw
the picture of Gould (toward the end) where he showed more than just his "age"
- he did look ill (and not just the little "extra weight"). He kindly left
his estate to the Salvation Army and the Toronto Humane Society, but he
left his music to us.
This will be broadcast again over PBS in the US - so if you live in the
US, please check your local PBS (like WTTW in Chicago), as they will
rebroadcast this bit of history.
In a message dated 12/27/2010 11:18:13 P.M. Central Standard Time,
bobmerk at earthlink.net writes:
"Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould" was a wonderful piece of
television, it was television doing what television, if it chose, could be
best at. It was as delicious, as interesting, as beautiful as Glenn Gould.
Like Gould himself, it told its story at many tempos, as slowly as that
moment in his life deserved; it wasn't in a hurry.
I think it was particularly valuable for viewers who aren't, like most of
us, long intimate and familiar with Gould. And recently there've been some
gripes on f_mnor that the world (which after all, unlike us, is getting
younger) has been forgetting Gould and his achievements. "Genius Within" was a
wonderful reminder, and particularly valuable to young music lovers who,
in perfect innocence, just have never heard any or much Glenn Gould. Because
once upon a time (long long ago) I'd never heard any Glenn Gould.
The documentary spent a very appropriately long block of time emphasizing
how, for a personality like Gould's, the concert stage was not the heart
and soul of classical music, but was a never-ending torment.
And then, as he moved into the recording studio, the documentary stressed
that this all happened at a wonderful technological moment (much of the
wonder due to Gould's own efforts and invention). If he had left the concert
stage in 1943, or 1933, he simply would have had no adequate recording
technology to gift us with his beauty -- and to inspire other classical artists
to produce so much beauty in the new, evolving recording studio.
I had no clock as I watched it, so I didn't know how much time was left
in the long, leisurely broadcast -- I lost track of how much time was left
in his life.
And then a screen title: The Goldberg Variations, 1981. And my heart sank.
It was wonderful, for the first time, to see Gould through the living
memories of Cornelia Foss and her son and daughter; it was particularly
wonderful to hear the children speak of how much they loved him, and how parting
from him tore at their hearts. We've known how he loved animals. Now we've
been treated to children telling us how much he loved them, how kind he was
to them, even what a good father he would have made.
I don't think it's been a healthy -- or accurate -- way of embracing Glenn
Gould to portray him for so many decades as failing to have achieved human
intimacy, as a dark-browed, noble prisoner of loneliness. Most of that
seems to have been his own artifice, tricks which he knew pumped up the
mystery of his public image.
If you missed it, make a special effort to see it if it's rebroadcast, as
I'm certain it will be. Urge those who don't know Glenn Gould very well to
watch it. If you know Gould very well, have a large box of tissues standing
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