Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Ghost of GG

Again, on the subject of random listening: I tuned in to the middle of a performance of a Bach keyboard concerto that was new to me.  Sounded like Glen Gould, I thought.  But the recording technique was too modern to be him, and I know that he recorded only two of the concerti, anad this was not one of them.  The playing was so Gould-like that I had to listen just to satisfy my curiosity.

It wasn't Gould.  So then why play as if one were?  The only rationale is the master-oriented approach to instrumental performance.  Questionable whether Gould is the master to choose in the case of Bach and the piano.

On one of his first concert tours Gould endeared himself to the audience in Finney Chapel at Oberlin by announcing that we did not want to hear the scheduled program nor did he want to play it.  He sat down to play the Goldberg Variations.  It was one of the first acts of seditious concert behavior.  For that I am grateful to him.