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Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould

Last night we watched the American Masters PBS show Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould. If you get a chance I recommend seeing it; there are more replays scheduled.

It was really fascinating. They had lots of vintage footage, stills, and recordings woven with interviews of many people who had interacted with him. We learned a lot about his childhood, his friends, affairs, and his approach to music. He was such an incredible eccentric talented genius. Among other things he had this special chair that he brought to all concerts and recording sessions. It was very low - I've never seen anyone else play like that although I've seen people typing at keyboards that were quite high.

Of course they included the most notorious time when Leonard Bernstein gave a speech to the audience about how he disagreed with the way Gould was going to play the Brahms First Piano Concerto, playing the first movement at close to half the speed that Brahms specified and how most people played. Still he said it in a way that gave lots of credit to Gould. `

As another datapoint, Gould's early recording of the Aria from the Goldberg variations takes 1:53; the later recording takes 3:04.

I put in a reserve request at the library for Thirty two short films about Glenn Gould which we saw many years ago.

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Happy New Year to you two!

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