[f_minor] Andrew Kazdin passes away at 77

James Wright gzarlino at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 3 10:04:26 EST 2011

I agree.  In addition to Kazdin’s enormous contribution in the studio, his honest, candid and personal account of his relationship with GG is valuable, even if it is tinged with some lingering painful memories.  The following is excerpted from pianist Anton Kuerti’s review of Kazdin’s Glenn Gould at Work: Creative Lying (http://reviewcanada.ca/reviews/2010/05/01/glenn-goulds-manipulations/):
Kazdin was Gould's recording engineer — and apparently much more — for no less than 15 years. No style of writing could be more opposite to Gould's then Kazdin's colloquial, easy-going manner; he speaks to us very simply and unpretentiously, and often naively, as in an epilogue which dwells on the irony of Gould's death being caused by a stroke: 'His .... brain, his greatest asset, is what killed him.'
It was impossible to have a relationship based on equality with Glenn. 
He displays a convincing mixture of adulation and resentment toward Glenn. It seems that he outdid himself on Glenn's behalf, far beyond the course of duty, and was suddenly discarded, as he learned during a phone conversation on the very eve of a planned recording session:
'Does this mean our association is over?' He answered in a very hurried fashion: ' Yes. Now don 't be a stranger.... Maybe I'll see you if I ever get down to New York. Look, I've really got to go. Good bye.’… I never heard from him again. Thus ended our fifteen-year relationship. No regrets, no emotion, no thank yous.
According to Kazdin, suddenly relegating friends to the dustbin was characteristic of Glenn; Menuhin, it seems, was excommunicated after a joke Glenn didn't appreciate (the same happened to me, by the way), and Vern Edquist, his faithful tuner, was also discarded.
It was impossible to have a relationship based on equality with Glenn. He loved to tease and make seemingly jocular yet none the less sarcastic remarks, but woe to anyone who reciprocated. Also immediately ostracized, according to Kazdin, was anyone who dared even hint at or ask about any relationships Glenn might have with women.
The 'Creative Lying' subtitle of Kazdin's book does not refer, as one might suspect, to his editing practices (which however are discussed in great detail), and refers only marginally to his practice of fabricating phony interviews (by writing out a script in advance for both parties — also well described in the book); it is mainly related to his way of dealing with others. While purporting to believe in absolute equality and honesty between people, even to the point that “...he didn't believe in the concept of 'intelligence'; there was no such thing as a stupid man...everyone was equally intelligent: it was just a matter of each one finding his niche...”
He actually treated many people in a most manipulative and utilitarian manner:
Over the years, I listened to Glenn plan how he was going to avoid talking to someone.... I saw him concoct elaborate schemes to help bring a personal relationship to an end....Every time Gould cancelled a recording session at the last minute I came to suspect that I was being treated to an exhibition of creative lying. If the process can be summarized as telling whatever story is expedient in order to get your 'opponent' to do what you want, then it surely is one of the most powerful tools in the process of control.
Kazdin confesses, in effect, to manipulating Gould himself, but in a totally different manner. He knew that to be able to work productively with Gould, he must absolutely prevent any bad feelings from developing between them, so he gritted his teeth and refrained from reacting when Glenn, in a rare visit to his home, violated his privacy by picking up and inspecting his private date book, and tried to insist, quite seriously and adamantly, that Kazdin must make his wife stop reading Cosmopolitan.

James K. Wright, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor &
Supervisor of Performance Studies
School for Studies in Art & Culture: Music
A917 Loeb Building, Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada  K1S 5B6
Email: James_Wright at carleton.ca
Telephone : (613) 520-2600 (ext. 3734)
Fax : (613) 520-3905


> From: libgess at emory.edu
> To: f_minor at glenngould.org
> Date: Sat, 3 Dec 2011 02:20:19 +0000
> Subject: Re: [f_minor] Andrew Kazdin passes away at 77
> I was saddened to hear of Andrew Kazdin's death via this list. I started rereading his GG memoir today (it's nice to work in a big college library where most any book that anyone mentions is just a short elevator ride away) and was immediately struck by (a) how witty and engaging a writer he was, and (b) how his unvarnished portrait of Gould is done from fascination and admiration, not out of a desire to wreak revenge for past slights--though in his accounting, he and many others were eventually slighted, or worse, by GG. He portrays a very complicated man with scrupulous honesty, but his necessary recounting of Gould's human shortcomings shows him as a character in the general human comedy, not as a cliche star-with-evil-dark-side. The book is infused with Gould's loopy joy and Kazdin's sense of humor about Gould, the strange and irresistible maestro. It's a lasting memorial to them both.
> Besides all that, Kazdin's place in the world enabled him to refer to Stokowski as "Stoky"--just another workplace eccentric. His sidebars about some of GG's fellow travelers at Columbia Records are a tasty bonus. And his descriptions of the analog recording process evoke an era that now seems romantically distant.
> Richard
> ________________________________________
> From: f_minor-bounces at glenngould.org [f_minor-bounces at glenngould.org] on behalf of Marius Coomans [mh at coomans.com]
> Sent: Friday, December 02, 2011 7:43 PM
> To: Discussion of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.
> Subject: Re: [f_minor] Andrew Kazdin passes away at 77
> Wonderful to see the short clip of AK in that video.
> I for one enjoyed his book very much, It was good to get his perspective of the relationship.
> Rest Easy Andrew
> Mary
> From: pzumst at bluewin.ch<mailto:pzumst at bluewin.ch>
> To: f_minor at glenngould.org<mailto:f_minor at glenngould.org>
> Date: Fri, 2 Dec 2011 20:07:37 +0100
> Subject: [f_minor] Andrew Kazdin passes away at 77
> Dear all
> Thanks to Stefy for letting me /us know of some sad news:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/arts/music/andrew-kazdin-classical-record-producer-dies-at-77.html
> De mortuis nil nisi bonum. We should remember Kazdin for what he did and not for what he wrote later.
> Pat 
> --
> Marius Coomans
> Active Web Communications
> POBox 521
> Blaxland NSW 2774
> P:(02) 47394981
> M: (0411) 248617
> @mariushendrik
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