[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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