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The artist as a prophet of his own legacy

Author: joe

Tuesday, 03 October, 2006 - 06:50

I caught the last half hour or so of BBC4's showing of Hereafter, a biopic of the pianist Glenn Gould, and was sorry not to have seen it all. I will almost certainly need to buy this DVD.

What I did manage to see was an interview with him in which he was talking about recordings of his work versus live performance. The interviewer was laying it on very thickly about how nothing compares to the live performance. Gould, however, was having none of it. We've always been subservient to the performer, who calls all the shots. Now, anyone can control how they consume these performances. Never mind the fact that the phone might ring. How many more people get to hear it at all, and isn't that recompense for the lost aura of the live performance?

Pleasingly, you can see loads of Glenn Gould performances on YouTube right now. His Goldberg Variations is amazing. And I think he would have approved.

Categories: glenn-gould, piano, technology, aura,
Comments: 4