[f_minor] Gould on Richter and other pianists

Marco Poli marco.poli at unimi.it
Mon Jan 2 13:39:49 PST 2012

Hello everybody.
	In fact, Gould seemingly strongly 
appreciated Richter's playing and honesty: listen 
to his illuminating comments on Richter's 
interpretation of Schubert's last sonata, 
available on youtube 

Best wishes for the new year


>Hello all,
>I think that Gould appreciated Richter's serious 
>attitude towards music, i.e. his disinclination 
>to make a purely virtuoso performance. 
>Differently put, Gould appreciated and found a 
>kindred spirit in Richter's more classical 
>"clean" approach than the distinctly romatic 
>playing of Horowitz. Also Rubinstein, whom Gould 
>had the highest regard for (see the interview 
>Gould did with AR, published in the GG Reader; 
>his satire of Rubinstein's writing in the same 
>volume has I think more to do with the lifestyle 
>of the pianist than his actual performance), 
>played -- despite his preference for Chopin -- 
>in a less subjective virtuoso manner.
>The fact the Horowitz is by far the most 
>contrapuntally inclined player of all three 
>doesn't seem to interest Gould. That Gould felt 
>inclined to comment Horowitz' return to the 
>stage in "The Hysteric Return" have, I would 
>suggest, more complex reasons than just a 
>distaste for concert performance. [The 
>charaterizations are of course simplified; there 
>are many examples of Horowitz being classically 
>refined and even more Richter performances with 
>an intensely virirtoso-romantic approach.]
>Gould's own performances are rather often closer 
>to the romantic approach, at least as far as 
>"straying" from the notation is concerned. One 
>mustn't forget that he is quite often less 
>consistent than his written and spoken comments 
>might suggest.
>"The Enigma" is a true documentary masterpiece 
>-- anyone not having seen it should do so! The 
>success of this film is largely due to the 
>interviews with Richter himself. And these were 
>difficult to orchestrate since Richter was a 
>very difficult person to deal with. Monsaingeons 
>best films about GG are those were Gould took 
>part himself. It seems Monsaingeon needs the 
>input of and the problems dealing with the 
>subject-matter in the flesh to make a truly 
>inspired documentary.
>All the best for 2012!
>Ps. Let's hope these artists have put all the 
>differences aside and together "joined the choir 
>>Mary, yep, we do indeed. Alas, that parrot is 
>>dead. Gone to meet its maker, bereft of life 
>>and off to join the choir invisible and I doubt 
>>we will see something that brilliant ever again.
>>Now for summet completely different:
>>How come Richter The Enigma is rather enjoyable 
>>while Hereafter is such a horrible piece of 
>>drivel ? Mind you, both were made by the very 
>>same director (Bruno Monstagenon) !
>>Maybe I am a bit thick but I find it strange 
>>for someone like GG to praise Richter. Apart 
>>from his technique Richter represented 
>>everything GG despised about "beingg a 
>>pianist". Tours, audiences, concerts, doing 
>>routine pieces, the works.
>>And while pianists who were playing in the same 
>>league as Richter in terms of being "classic" 
>>concert pianists (i.e. Horowitz, Rubinstein) , 
>>GG praised Richter for his playing and poured 
>>mild sarcasm over the likes of the previously 
>>mentioned. Call me thick, but I fail to see any 
>>logic here. Is this a Pianist Thing we 
>>non-pianists don't get ?
>>From: <mailto:maryellenjensen28 at hotmail.com>maryellen jensen
>>Sent: Monday, January 02, 2012 1:51 AM
>>To: <mailto:f_minor at glenngould.org>f_minor at glenngould.org
>>Subject: [f_minor] Richter and Rita
>>Oooo we do miss The Python desperately.
>>Strange thing Pat, our GG imagined himself the 
>>pianist in the contortionist's sack
>>(metaphorically) while on the other hand Richter wanted to be driven
>>all over the USSR in the back of a truck with any old piano to perform
>>in any and every little hamlet...

Prof. Marco D. Poli

Università di Milano
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biomediche
Sezione di Psicologia
via F.lli Cervi 93
20090 Segrate - MI
phone +39 02 5033 0348
Fax    +39 02 5033 0384
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