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Glenn Gould Reader Paperback – September 12, 1990
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
About the Author:
Tim Page is a music critic at Newsday. His work has appeared in High Fidelity, Saturday Review, and The New York Times, and he has taught music criticism at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.
Top Customer Reviews
Gould's virtuoso performances speak for themselves, but by clever design the 3-CD set A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981) included a radio interview that allows Gould to speak for himself. Listening to his incisive and insightful self-criticism, I regretted that his life and my awareness of it never overlapped. Happily, a collection of his playful, unorthodox, and thoroughly original ideas were committed to paper, and Tim Page has done a great service to his legacy by editing and collecting those papers into this rather substantial volume.
It is absolutely breath-taking the way that Glenn understood the implications of his preferred medium, the audio recording, and how that understanding presaged the free culture movement, and in particular, the Creative Commons. Consider this proposition from "Strauss and the Electronic Future": "[in] fact, implicit in electronic culture is an acceptance of the idea of multilevel participation in the creative process." In "The Prospects of Recording" Gould asserts "[it] would be a relatively simple matter, for instance, to grant the listener tape-edit options which he could exercise as his discretion. Indeed, a significant step in this direction might well result from that process by which it is now possible to disassociate the ratio of speed to pitch and in so doing ... truncate splice-segments of interpretations of the same work performed by different artists and recorded at different tempos.Read more ›
- "The determination of the value of a work of art according to the information available about it is a most delinquent form of aesthetic appraisal"
- "The computer repositories file away the memories of mankind and leave us free to be inventive in spite of them"
Makes you think, huh?
The book contains dozens of short texts written during many years, and are grouped into few parts:
1) Music - about Art of Fugue of course, Goldberg Variations, Beethoven, Schoenberg and Mozart. Deep look into the music.
2) Performance - Gould gave up live performances and was accused for eccentrism There was a good reason beyond this decision, figure out why he did it.
3) Glenn Gould interviews Glenn Gould. What? Yes, his interviewers weren't good enough, so he conducted an interview with himself.
4) Media - how recording has changed the perception and performance of music, Gould's favourite radio with explanation of the "Idea of North" and "Latecomers", exceptionally original radio pieces by Gould, comparable with the XX century avant-garde. Radio as music.
Sometimes it requires quite good musical background and education, as Gould lets the music speak for itself, on paper, by reproducing notes.Read more ›
Glenn Gould was born into this context, a man with classical instincts in the midst of a full-blown Romantic era. In other words, a duck badly out of water. The stage had been set by Franz Liszt himself, then Paderewski, Rachmaninoff, Rubenstein, Horowitz, etc. But Gould bravely and single-mindedly went his own way. He established no school of piano playing, had no followers. He eschewed public playing. His music--Bach, some Mozart, some Beethoven--and bits of various modern composers, was best produced in the recording studio where he could do perfect performances avoiding the hazards of concertizing. Gould wasn't energized by an audience. His inspiration was from within. His Bach was played entirely at one dynamic level with utter clarity and precision--no pedal.
His writing style in this book, is complex, heavy-textured, pedantic; but there is no denying his astonishing erudition. The book is full of his fascinating observations about music, musicians and composers. His writing validates his playing and his playing validates his writing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After reading this book I can appreciate Glenn Gould as a man, thinker, and musician. He was incredibly thoughtful, much more than the pianists today (of course there are a few... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Arthur Trit Cobsl
One of the most intriguing books I have ever read; not only about music; no, also views of a genius expressing his hilarious amusement about a hypocritical audience of classical... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dr. Harald Kreuzer
This really is a book for readers as much as for admirers of Gould's music. I think it was just more fun to read than any book about music I've ever encountered...Published on September 21, 2013 by Von D
Glenn Gould's literary style is every bit as immoderate as his musicianship, and tends I think to draw extreme response, favourable or not. Read morePublished on May 26, 2008 by Ray Barnes