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

Kevin Bazzana kevinbazzana at shaw.ca
Fri Jun 28 14:52:27 MDT 2013

I can belatedly add a bit of (ultimately frustrating) information to
Jörgen’s post. He is correct that GG never released “acoustic
orchestrations” of Scriabin’s Désir and Caresse dansée, but this needs to be
clarified: Unlike the Scriabin Fifth Sonata (recorded 1970 in New York),
Désir and Caresse dansée were recorded in 1972 in Toronto, and they were not
recorded using “acoustic orchestration,” just with conventional miking. (GG
himself released them during his lifetime in the Silver Jubilee Album, so if
they had been recorded using “acoustic orchestration” he could have—and
certainly would have—released them as such.) But during the staged recording
session in Monsaingeon’s 1974 TV series, he did indeed record Désir and
Caresse dansée using 4 ranks of mikes on 8-track tape, and is shown doing a
provisional “acoustic orchestration” in the studio afterward, with Lorne
Tulk. So the question is: Where is that tape? Where is the multi-track tape
GG made in front of Monsaingeon’s cameras? I don’t know, and apparently no
one else does, either. When I was writing my Gould biography, and on some
other occasions, I have tried to find out—scoured the Canadian national
library’s online Gould database, inquired with the audio people at the
library, asked Lorne himself, etc.—but apparently no one knows where this
tape is, including Théberge, with whom I discussed this; in his liner notes
for his Sony Classical release, he writes that these tapes “appear to have
been lost forever.” That seems unlikely and highly uncharacteristic; Gould
was such a packrat about such things. I persist in believing that the tape
survives somehow, presumably among his effects in Ottawa, perhaps mislabeled
(by him or someone else) or otherwise “hiding,” though I am only guessing
(and hoping) here. Anyway, since the 1974 multi-track TV version of Désir
and Caresse dansée is currently lost (forever or otherwise), we have to make
do with Théberge’s speculative “orchestration” of the 1972 recording. Kevin


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