[f_minor] GG on television

Houpt, Fred fred.houpt at rbc.com
Tue Feb 21 06:32:36 PST 2012

@ Mary >>>  No, I didn't know he used a second chair. However, the chair
he appears to be sitting on in the You Tube video looks to me like the
seatless one.  I've seen photos, which are widely available on the web,
of the seatless chair and he used it I gather a lot like Linus and his
blanket on the Peanuts comics.....anyway, what I maintain is that he
often, many times, sat on that seatless chair and despite what I imagine
must have been a compromised sense of comfort he still managed to create
such sounds....that's what I found somewhat amazing in a humorous sort
of way.


From: f_minor-bounces at glenngould.org
[mailto:f_minor-bounces at glenngould.org] On Behalf Of Lancaster, Mark T
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2012 3:12 PM
To: Discussion of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.
Subject: Re: [f_minor] GG on television

Count me as one who uses "awesome" (meaning terrific, extraordinary) and
"magic" (meaning transporting one to higher realms) to describe GG's
music. Perhaps not exactly  Merriam-Webster, but Fred's meaning is
conveyed to me perfectly with those words.
As for the discomfort of his piano seat, I had not heard that before. I
always assumed he used the familiar chair because he was in fact most
comfortable in it, not comfort in the sense of an upholstered "easy
chair" kind of comfort, but certainly that he played his best in it. It
wouldn't occur to me that someone might perform better with the
distraction of an uncomfortable seat. Did he actually write or speak of
the chair being uncomfortable or painful? I haven't had a chance to see
Fred's link - youtube is blocked by the company I work for so I have to
wait to go home to see links.
From: f_minor-bounces at glenngould.org
[mailto:f_minor-bounces at glenngould.org] On Behalf Of maryellen jensen
Sent: Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:09 PM
To: f_minor at glenngould.org
Subject: Re: [f_minor] GG on television
Sorry that I can't join in the admiration of "hairshirt" inspiration
with you Fred. Well, no, I'm not sorry about it at all. 

Did you know that Gould didn't always use that chair? Have you seen the
"extras", the "outtakes" of that PBS showing of "Genius Within"? Bert
Gould made another chair for his son which is in fine condition and
which Gould used "off camera" and which is in the possession of Lorne
Tulk. On camera Hairshirt Chair - makes the music better for you? Bach
would cringe at the whole idea.

"Awesome"  "Magic" ??? 


Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2012 17:37:51 -0800
From: boyboy_8 at yahoo.com
To: f_minor at glenngould.org
Subject: [f_minor] GG on television

Just enjoying this now.  What strikes me is the super intense ability of
GG to focus his thoughts, his imagination and his mind into such a clear
vision that when his fingers start playing the outcome is almost magic.
What also amazes me and this might sound silly but how he managed to
deal with the discomfort of sitting down on that seat-less chair, having
the middle piece of support strut to have his butt sitting on top
of....how could he not feel discomfort and yet, and yet.....he seems to
push the pain (??) away or overcome the physical sensation and produce
the most awesome music.  Magic indeed......


Fred Houpt

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