[f_minor] 81 and counting

Jörgen Lundmark jorgen.lundmark at mypost.se
Fri Sep 27 09:35:25 MDT 2013

Hello Pat,

I don't know if you can draw any conclusions by the lack of messages on 
F minor. The decline in activity on the group has been apparent for 
quite some years now. Also the number of regularly active members is 
quite low. I don't know how active other GG groups are -- Facebook, 
Yahoo etc -- so I can't say if this just F minor.

I don't think that Gould was ever a true role-model for other pianists. 
He was just too individual and had abilities that prevented anyone from 
taking after him. The same with Horowitz and several others. The sad 
truth -- as far as I can judge -- is that the classical world is far 
more conservative and homogeneous now than during Gould's heydays. There 
are far less strong personalities now than it was 30 or 40 years ago 
(the 1980s was really a bad decade for classical music; so many of the 
greats died during those ten years). Having said that, Gould does seem 
to sell and being talked about still. Otherwise I don't think that Sony 
would have issued the impressive DVD box and Bach collection. Just 
recently BBC Music Magazine named Gould's 1955 Goldbergs the fourth best 
recording of all time and the first solo piano album in that list 
(Schnabel's Beethoven comes first on 16th place). So I don't think he's 

The fact that Sony-BMG finally published a generous collection of 
Vladimir Horowitz' previously unreleased live recitals, and did a great 
job in restoring them, does indicate that there's still a chance that we 
might see unreleased Gould material on CD and DVD. I think it all 
depends on the sales of the above mentioned boxes, and also if there's 
someone at Sony-BMG who is working for this to happen. The problem might 
be that the later unreleased studio material is mostly unrelated single 
movements (Beethoven Scarlatti etc). Do correct me if I'm wrong.  There 
are on the other hand quite a lot of earlier studio recordings which 
would give us some CDs worth of new material. I'm a little worried that 
the Goldberg Deluxe box (with outtakes from the Goldberg 1981) seems to 
have been withdrawn and that the DVD "Why Mozart Became..." doesn't seem 
to have been realized yet. And I'm still waiting for a DVD with video 
outtakes from the Goldberg 1981... Any information on that or any coming 
release will be greatly appreciated. Generally speaking, Sony could do 
better as far as giving us fans more advance information.

Speaking of information, any news on the upcoming Gould website? It is 
supposed to contain unpublished recordings and such.

I don't think there's any reason to suggest that more or less historic 
recordings don't sell. To judge by the amount of boxes collecting the 
works of pianists, singers, conductors, string players the recent three 
or four years there must be a demand for older material. But I also do 
get a feeling that the increase in these editions suggests that the 
labels are trying to get as much out of these productions as possible 
before CD sales drop even further. I belong to the physical disk 
collecting species, but unfortunately we seem to become fewer and fewer 
in numbers. I hope I'm wrong.

> Hi all
> There was only one message regarding what would have been GG's 81st.
> ...which leaves me with at least 2 questions:
> - Is GG still relevant for artists, thinkers, musicians, arrangers 
> etc. today ? Some of his ideas are clearly outdated (his idea of what 
> would later become the mixtape and is today known simply as a playlist 
> in yer iTunes has now been surpassed by technology) ? Was his approach 
> to composers like Bach or Mozart (add Beethoven if you want) so out of 
> center it became unfashionable and there is a chance that aspiring 
> pianists being fed up with Lang Lang and Pogorelich as role models 
> might pick up GG's approach as a pianistic inspiration again ?. That 
> might be interesting, more eccentric diversification, more debate, 
> less robot playing, more substance, less image.
> - Is there still enough in the vaults plus the infamous ice box of 
> Sony and the CBC to justify "new" releases for the general public and 
> not just the hardcore Gouldians ? GG is still dead, what remains is 
> The Legend And Its Hagiography, but is that enough to sell records ? 
> Especially to a new generation that has a different approach to 
> classical music ? Mind you, we are talking about events that took 
> place at least 60 years ago, to some people that is like what the last 
> 6 million years are to a paleoanthropologist...
> I dunno. I might have more questions though. I like to ask silly 
> questions.
> As an atheist I do not believe in the afterlife, but just in case 
> there is the 0,.....00001 chance I am wrong- Happy Birthday Mr Gould !
> Pat

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