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Glenn Gould: The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius Paperback – September 17, 1998
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
For many reasons Peter Ostwald appears to have borne something of a grudge against Glenn Gould.
There is some explanation for this. For example, at one point, Gould allegedly dismissed Ostwald's earlier biography of Schumann with "why don't you write a book about a really important musician". But this is after Ostwald insults Gould's recording (with Laredo) of the Bach violin and keyboard sonatas.
Additionally, it is true that their friendship cooled over the years, to the point that, in the last five years of Gould's life, they were not in contact at all. Ostwald implies Gould's interest in him was motivated by a desire to mooch off him in a professional capacity, by getting Ostwald, a psychiatrist, to endorse his hypochondriacal excuses for cancelling concerts, and that once Gould understood Ostwald wasn't about to play ball, Gould ended the friendship.
It would be nice if Gould could present his side of the story. The tacit implication is that there could be no other reason for not wishing to be Ostwald's friend. Well, I can think of a few. Ostwald's descriptions of Gould often fairly drip with disdain. It is clear that they disagree on many personal and aesthetic levels. In the end it doesn't seem Ostwald liked Gould much. He has little good to say about his character, or even his recordings. It is hard to see what an enduring friendship was supposed to be based upon.
Ostwald's musical comments are, on occasion, strikingly naive for a music biographer, and in at least one respect grossly in error. For example, he dismisses Gould/Laredo's brilliant recording of the Bach violin sonatas, but praises Gould/Menuhin's recording of the c minor sonata as "a flawless rendition". Objectively, their rendition is anything but "flawless".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although the book was posthumously published by Peter Otswald's estate, I thank him for his 1998 writing on collections from the life and idiosyncrasies of his erstwhile (in life... Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Elizabeth Wallace
If you want a great biography of ever-fascinating Glenn Gould, I'd recommend first seeing the 1985 film documentary, "Glenn Gould: A Portrait", and if you want to go deeper, Otto... Read morePublished on March 18, 2012 by johnny Rotten
Ostwald obviously was upset that Gould turned away from him. This biography is nothing but a shrinks' analysis after being cast aside and feeling hurt. Read morePublished on November 21, 2011 by D. Holt
I'm a Gould fan, but I'm perfectly willing to admit that Gould was at times childish and at times nutty. Read morePublished on August 2, 2009 by Daniel Pi
In this book, the author, Peter Ostwald, sometimes enjoyed playing classical music as an amateur musician but, perhaps more importantly, he was also a psychiatrist. Read morePublished on May 25, 2008 by Patrick W. Crabtree
With a book titled "The Ecstasy and Tragedy of Genius" written by a psychologist/friend of the subject, I was expecting to learn a great deal about the psychology behind Glenn... Read morePublished on March 31, 2008 by C. Wright
My difficulty with books on Glenn Gould is that there always seems to be two extremes so to speak: he was, to put it in colloquial parlance, either a "flake" ==or== that virtually... Read morePublished on May 12, 2007 by Anthony J. Lomenzo
As a person who suffers from hypochondria, I read this book mostly out of interest in the struggles of a world-class hypochondriac. Read morePublished on April 24, 2006 by Grace Heckenberg
Ostwald has done an excellent job of ferreting out the details of an unusual life and making it readable, regardless of the readers experience in music and/or medicine. Read morePublished on December 30, 2003 by Paul T. Dube', MD