[f_minor] GG - The Acoustic Orchestrations - Scriabine & Sibelius

Kevin Bazzana kevinbazzana at shaw.ca
Fri Jun 28 12:33:04 MDT 2013

Regarding this:

"According to Andrew Kazdin the Scriabin Sonata 5 was recorded at Columbia
30th St. Studio New York City using four different simultaneously recorded
perspectives. "The Alchemist" documentary substitutes Andy Kazdin (producer)
with a 'stand-in' named James Kent recording "Desire". Kevin Bazzana puts
this down to Gould's penchant for "privacy" which is utterly belied by the
presence of Lorne Tulk. Bazzana does his best to "explain" the inexplicable
but best to read Kazdin's book which describes exactly the recording
processes when, where, how...Gould did a lot of dirty to Andrew Kazdin who
worked tirelessly for Gould as his producer for nearly two  decades. Paul
Myers got a lot of the same shabby treatment from Gould: cold indifference
to intimate collaborators."

A couple of clarifications:

= What I actually wrote about that "Alchemist" session was: "Andrew Kazdin
was offended at not having been asked to portray himself, but Gould liked to
keep his real working life out of the public eye." (This issue also arose in
the 1970s when a German filmmaker wanted to do a Gould documentary complete
with unstaged, fly-on-the-wall, behind-the-scenes footage-of the type that
the National Film Board had shot in 1959. Gould said no.) The issue here is
not "privacy"-yes, I'm perfectly aware that Lorne was in the room, duh-but
rather Gould's level of control mania: he wanted to created a calculated and
polished portrait of his working methods, so he plotted and staged a fake
session. (The control mania would only increase with time: there is some
spontaneity remaining in the conversations with Monsaingeon in the 1974
series, but note the awful use of cue cards in the later Monsaingeon series

= If Kazdin did not participate in the "Alchemist" sessions, then his
opinions on the matter are not the least bit authoritative. (On the Scriabin
and Sibelius albums, that's another matter .)

= Paul Myers only worked briefly as a producer with Gould (and not because
they had a "falling out" or anything like that), remained good friends with
Gould for two decades (even long after he left Columbia), and never reported
anything remotely resembling shabby treatment or cold indifference, not in
any published article or in any interview with me or anyone else.


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