this summer m kept finding lots of glenn gould albums and bringing them home - the two above are ones we have in the shop. i didn't know much about gould, but found his image so striking all these months that when a special on pbs' american masters series came on monday night - i was intrigued to watch.
before the film i knew very little about him - except that the snapshots on his album covers made for perfect lazy lonely morning fantasies. kind of feel like if i met glenn gould in a bar i would make a fool of myself. kind of have a big crush on glenn gould album covers. kind of fell even harder for him after the film.
though after doing some reading up on my own the film did seem to spend a bit too much time on his love affair with cornelia foss -though a sweet story and the interview with the now grown children touching - it seemed that they grazed over other important and interesting aspects of gould while the love story took up a huge chunk of time. and i found it a little bit disappointing that they only just barely referred to gould's alter egos which are hilarious and the sort of thing one hardly associates with 'one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century'.
gould as theodore slutz:
gould as sir nigel twitt:
and my favorite, dr karlheinz klopweisser:
gould was known for many eccentricities and quirks. he hummed and sang loudly at moments during his performances - which can often be heard on his recordings. gould claimed this was subconscious and increased proportionately with the inability of the piano in question to realize the music as he intended. he played only in a chair with legs sawed shorter for him by his father which put him almost face to face with the keys of the piano. this was apparently part of his playing technique of pulling down on the keys rather than striking them from above.
he was constantly bundled and wore heavy coats and scarves even through the warmer months of the year. he would soak his hands for long periods, gradually increasing the temperature, and was often remembered for his bright red hands.
he disliked being touched and was fearful of damage to his hands. in later life he became a hypochodriac and would take his temperature and blood pressure many times throughout the day and note them in his journal.
he also disliked social gatherings and soon tired of public performances. he was largely known for often canceling shows on his touring schedule at the last minute. he believed that such concert performance were an anachronism and a "force of evil" which he half jokingly stated in his doctrine, the GPAADAK - the Gould Plan for the Abolition of Applause and Demonstrations of All Kinds. he gave his last concert performance at the age of 31.
letter to leonard bernstein:
I am so terribly sorry to hear that you are suffering at the moment,
though I have no doubt that you are suffering with elan. Moreover,
it is, my spies tell me, an exotic ailment and that is worthy of you -
but do have a title for it yet? If you are stuck in that department I
have several titles for diseases which I am expecting to have in later
life but have not yet had occasion to make use of. I always find that a
good disease title will impress your average concert manager to no
end, and this I have long felt has been largely responsible for my
modest success. So any help I can give you in this matter is most
humbly offered. Seriously, I do hope that you are coming around
nicely and that you will be back in harness very soon.
I, myself, have been Bernsteining in all directions and have just written
a monumental defence of my long-time hero, Herr Richard Strauss. This
will be exposed to public view in March Hi-Fidelity, I think, and will, I
have no doubt, raise many eyebrows, but it had to be said. 'It' in the fact
that I feel that Strauss is far and away the greatest musical figure of the
twentieth century. Repeat: greatest. Repeat: twentieth. It was not an
easy piece to do because I wanted to try and dissolve the time-style
equation which clutters most judgment of his work, and in attempting
this I had to give some sort of technical substance within the pages of
a journal which cannot really welcome technical descriptions to any
extent. There was not enough space for all the angry things I wanted
to say but I think up to a point it worked, and when I get some copies
I will send it on to you.
after leaving the concert stage gould moved on to studio recordings, broadcasting
and composing which enabled him to expand along a path he more strongly believed.
he was known for meticulously piecing together various takes of a performance to
create a recording he felt to be more fully realized. i'm particularly interested in hearing
his radio documenteries, the solitude trilogy,....which i just found on youtube:
do you have a crush on glenn gould now, too?
can't decide if i would rather bag young glenn gould or old glenn gould.
sexy young glenn gould:
sexy old glenn gould:
though would probably settle for sexy middle aged glenn gould:
sorta partial to fingerless gloves glenn gould, too:
would kind of like that photo in my etsy shop. sort of wish glenn gould had
on softspoken fingerless gloves instead.
off to watch this until it's time to lock the shop doors.
these two posts/sites are full of good gouldness if you
wanna read more: