[f_minor] Gould and Rachmaninoff

Brad Lehman bpl at umich.edu
Fri Jul 16 12:00:56 EDT 2010

Couperin played by Glenn Gould?  Who had no inclinations to play in 18th 
century French style (and not much comfort with Italian style, either)? 
  That would be interesting to hear, once......  :)

Gould's tendency toward _sui generis_ interpretations was both his 
strength and his weakness.  He did imaginative things that disregarded 
convention, style, historical knowledge, and the surviving documents 
from 18th century pedagogy.  He basically re-composed the music to suit 
himself, to fit his own ideas, changing whatever instructions he didn't 
care to follow.

Well...it's possible to produce imaginative and immaculately-prepared 
interpretations that *do* go through all the homework first, and that 
respect what we know of the composer's own approach, as a base line.  To 
embrace Gould's work, one has to set that aside and pretend that it 
doesn't matter; just let him do whatever he wanted, and treat his 
irresponsibility as some kind of virtue.  As a listener, I used to allow 
Gould more leeway in that regard than I do now.  When I listen to him 
now, it just seems to me that he didn't care to get it right, and that 
bothers me.

Brad Lehman

On 7/16/2010 3:09 AM, Jean-Christophe Ponsero wrote:
> I would have loved to hear his interpretation of the great Brahms
> variations (Haendel and Paganini) even though I think he said he
> disliked them. The great fugue at the end of the Haendel could be truly
> great. I could do with some Couperin by him or the Dukas sonata too...
> Or even Boulez' 2nd sonata. Just dreaming!

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