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#2138498 - 08/24/13 09:07 PM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Keith D Kerman]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19796
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Well, first you'd have to define musicianship (which I know has been getting a workout elsewhere), although I think it would be hard to find a definition by which many people would agree with that. In fact, if anything Gould, for all his gifts, probably fares relatively poorly, not well, on common concepts of "musicianship."
Yeesh. I can see someone questioning Gould's choices and taste. I guess I'd need to know what you mean by common concept of musicianship, but I'd say that Gould's musicianship was as good as it gets.

Most concepts of "musicianship," I think, are based heavily on whatever principles and practices are the norms of the time. I hardly need to tell you that Gould didn't particularly observe those (and I think we can say also that this is a lot of why HOROWITZ has been considered not very "musical" by some people). Gould's occasional very unusual tempos (sometimes purposely so, for unusualness's own sake -- he said so) and his unusual and often idiosyncratic articulations and phrasings are the main things that I think would have given him a hard time on being considered particularly high on "musicianship" -- I mean on the scale of top professional pianists, which was what we were talking about. There are also a lot of specifics we could add to those general things, like how he played Chopin sort of as though it were Bach, with the accompaniment notes almost as prominent as the melody as though they constituted an equal voice. Many professional musicians of that time, I think, would have considered that pretty unmusical for someone of his level.

Don't get me wrong: I didn't mean at all that I don't regard Gould very highly, or that I don't consider him extremely "musical" -- I don't discriminate against "doing it differently" (which Gould eventually said was the only reason to play anything) and I sort of even prefer it; all I was saying was what I was saying. After all, on another thread a couple of weeks ago, I said this (i.e. put him solidly among my "10 greatest pianists" of the 20th century).

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#2138507 - 08/24/13 09:20 PM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Joey Townley]
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19448
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Joey Townley
He may not have been playing much of the Romantic stuff but he certainly had it in his repertoire. A piece of conversation related to the Russian tour appeared in which he agreed with the interviewer, who had said, "You knew a lot of Chopin and Liszt but I imagine you weren't playing it." Gould: "Yes, that's right."
Gould may have had Romantic pieces in his repertoire from studying them at a very young age, but he played very little Romantic music once he became well known probably because he disliked most of it. So if he mentions having a lot of Chopin and Liszt "in his repertoire", he may well be talking about piece learned when extremely young. Of his 62 recordings listed in the Wiki article, only around four were by Romantic composers.

Performing works one dislikes rarely results in a good performance. Many people seem to like Gould's recording of Brahms Intermezzi but IMO that was kind of a one off for him.


Edited by pianoloverus (08/24/13 09:23 PM)

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#2138521 - 08/24/13 09:47 PM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Joey Townley]
BDB Online   content
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Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21657
Loc: Oakland
Gould played the Brahms First Concerto.
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#2138523 - 08/24/13 09:48 PM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: BDB]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19796
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: BDB
Gould played the Brahms First Concerto.

Well actually the conductor didn't think so. ha

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#2138645 - 08/25/13 05:51 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Orange Soda King]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7891
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King

Old man, maybe not musical ability, but in how Gould used his musicianship. Often times not very tasteful at all, in my opinion, though Gould was so good, he could have played more conventionally. He just chose not to.

I find him fascinating, but that's about it... Not a personal fan past that.


Funny you say that - I am a fan, and IMO he would have been amazing at Alkan, and more than once I've tried to imagine what he would have done with different pieces by Alkan.

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#2138646 - 08/25/13 05:52 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: BDB]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7891
Originally Posted By: BDB
Gould played the Brahms First Concerto.


And also that competition staple, Ravel's La Valse.

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#2138651 - 08/25/13 06:29 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: wr]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
Originally Posted By: wr
and more than once I've tried to imagine what he would have done with different pieces by Alkan.

Like the fugue at the end of 30 ans? Kind of seems right up his alley... laugh
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#2138655 - 08/25/13 06:40 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: FSO]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7891
Originally Posted By: FSO
Originally Posted By: wr
and more than once I've tried to imagine what he would have done with different pieces by Alkan.

Like the fugue at the end of 30 ans? Kind of seems right up his alley... laugh


Exactly.

And he might have done something really interesting with the strange atmosphere of the Sonatine, for another example of what I've imagined him doing.

And, based on his forays into the Liszt-Beethoven transcriptions, I've always regretted that he didn't do the Alkan version of the first movement of the C minor Beethoven concerto. Can you imagine? My mind reels at the thought, in a good way.

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#2138673 - 08/25/13 07:36 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Joey Townley]
FSO Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/03/12
Posts: 854
Loc: UK, Brighton
I adore all Gould did (yes, even his Chopin laugh ); I'm always shocked, still!, when I see opinions on this forum that range from calling his interpretations anything from untasteful to downright perverse...um...Gould brought it all to life, didn't he? Whatever he played he played as an organic entity and he wasn't afraid of upsetting anyone with an unusual take on a piece; he let the music breath a new configuration but, I think, it was never weirdness for weirdness's sake...I mean, um, he may have injected atypical elements into a piece, but only to get people to actually *listen to* rather than *hear* the music...but he never (*sigh* in my opinion laugh ) pushed a piece to the point that its relative and tied meaning snapped; the first movement of the moonlight sonata is a perfect example...I mean, faster than most, less dynamic range and certainly less hesitancy...but still perfectly in line with the soul of the piece. Um...Alkan...as it is, there aren't nearly enough people who've recorded Alkan, but I think with a dose of Gould that nowadays there'd be hundreds, if not thousands, more people interested than there currently are. The Liszt-Beethoven transcriptions are a good example, in my opinion, of course, of his ability to play romantic repertoire...whilst keeping it still very Gouldy...um...*a lot* of Alkan, if I really think about it, straddles some of those same grand soundscapes as those transcriptions (I hope you shan't disagree laugh ). He just...oh I don't know laugh Alkan, you really wouldn't have heard it quite the same way, would you? But then, I think, that applies to the vast majority of composers I can think of...the Russian avant-garde? Crikey...imagine his Zaderatsky, or Obukhov...and imagine the Rochberg sonata-fantasia! Pfft laugh Um...I *really* hope we have another Gould...just...I'll keep on waiting... laugh
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#2138707 - 08/25/13 10:34 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Joey Townley]
Ian_G Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/07/10
Posts: 168
Loc: Germany
Gould played all sorts of stuff privately, like Au bord d'une source, Chopin's F# Impromptu, etc. His later handling of romantic music is a bit like his trying to square the circle (except Brahms), but back when his blood was still running hot, he was a beast and would have shocked the Russians with Chopin just as with Bach and Webern:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgEaQo_7Bu8

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#2138735 - 08/25/13 11:45 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Ian_G]
Joey Townley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/17/04
Posts: 247
Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: Ian_G
Gould played all sorts of stuff privately, like Au bord d'une source, Chopin's F# Impromptu, etc. His later handling of romantic music is a bit like his trying to square the circle (except Brahms), but back when his blood was still running hot, he was a beast and would have shocked the Russians with Chopin just as with Bach and Webern:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgEaQo_7Bu8


I was agape until I read the comment underneath explaining that that recording was a joke. Gould played the top hand with 1,2,3 while his friend played the left hand. That's not to say he couldn't do it, but in this case it's likely he didn't. We'll never know.

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#2138737 - 08/25/13 11:57 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Joey Townley]
boo1234 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/06/09
Posts: 512
Originally Posted By: Joey Townley
[quote=pianoloverus][quote=Joey Townley]

But I'll ask the question again for those who might have missed it: has a concerto other the Tchaikovsky 1st/Rachmaninoff 2nd & 3rd ever won a pianist 1st prize in the Tchaikovsky/Cliburn competitions?


THis year's cliburn was won with prokofiev 3 and mozart 21.

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#2139123 - 08/26/13 09:35 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: boo1234]
worov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 114
Loc: Paris
Quote:
Has Gould ever played (or attempted to play) a Rach or Tchaik or Prok concerto?


To my knowledge, Gould hasn't performed any of these concertos. However he recorded a Prokofiev sonata :



On the cover of the album, you can see he also recorded Scriabin, Chopin and Mendelsson.

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#2139159 - 08/26/13 11:06 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: worov]
laguna_greg Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/02/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: guess where in CA and WA
MY GOD!!!

The guy was a machine. I never thought to hear counterpoint in that piece, but there it is.

I really don't think I'd like his Tchaik or Rach at all.
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#2139171 - 08/26/13 11:34 AM Re: Could Glenn Gould Have Beaten Cliburn At the 1958 Tchaikov? [Re: Joey Townley]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21657
Loc: Oakland
There is a lot of counterpoint in Prokofiev's 7th, beginning with the close canon in the first movement. I do not think Gould's is a particularly good version. The range of dynamics seems terribly constricted.
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