most of the films focusing more on the music have already been made with the participation of glenn himself, and they are all great -- this one I loved precisely because it focused more on him as a person. all that stuff about cornelia foss only came out a few years ago and this is the first documentary to feature it. gould is one of the most painfully self-conscious people that's ever had a camera turned on him, watching him tell obscure jokes & pretending to engage in impromptu banter that he's obviously spent hours going over in his head is just agonizing -- so a full length film that goes into any detail about his actual love life is actually unprecedented for long time fans. it humanizes the genius, and it doesn't flinch when it comes time to portray the control freak.
the main thing missing from the documentary was some of the better excerpts of his playing, which is all you need to understand why it was different. I think it's basically assuming you've seen all the films he made with Bruno Monsaingeon. there's one scene that shows him at his cottage, the one where he breaks off in mid-phrase, walks to the window humming the part a few times until he's got it, then walks back to the piano and y'know that totally posed for-the-camera scene is so unbelievably brilliant I was kind of stunned when they didn't let it play through, it's not like you ever get sick of seeing that level of skill -- and when they cut away from it to talk to his piano teacher, I realized 'ok they're not even trying to show you the actual music in this film'.
http://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Gould-Off-Record/dp/B0001BKAVW/ref=pd_cp_d_2 -- early and latehttp://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Gould-Alchemist/dp/B000089QEE -- this is the one for people more interested in his later control-freak studio techniques, has the insane scene where he 'conducts' the ambient-mic mixdown five feet away from the guy with his hands on the four faders
― Milton Parker, Monday, 20 December 2010 02:21 (4 years ago) Permalink
& they actually did spend -some- time in the new film about how his playing was different -- at around that time a lot of Bach was still being played in the Romantic style, hyper-ornamented & expressive tempo & dynamic shifts, and Gould just played that stuff blindingly Fast and Precise so you can really hear the interrelated lines. his left hand was just as strong as his right. it was one of the first times you could really hear the counterpoint like pure information, no smearing, all clarity -- but as sharp as his playing is, it's all passion driven, the music's the only thing he loves
it's why I prefer his Schoenberg playing to anyone else's, he's one of the few performers who actually cuts through the gloop & brings out the math in the lines but still sounds like he's just on fire with it
― Milton Parker, Monday, 20 December 2010 02:40 (4 years ago) Permalink
> the insane scene where he 'conducts' the ambient-mic mixdown five feet away from the guy with his hands on the four faders
Wow - is that on the YouTube?
― Webern conducts Berg (Call the Cops), Thursday, 30 December 2010 08:05 (4 years ago) Permalink
part 1 has the engineers setting up four pairs of microphones at various parts of the hall, first pair inside the lidm, last pair at the very back of the hall only catching distant reverb.
this is for fans only, it's simultaneously amazing and almost too uncomfortable to watch
― Milton Parker, Thursday, 30 December 2010 08:43 (4 years ago) Permalink
yep, that's a guy with a vision.
― historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Thursday, 30 December 2010 13:42 (4 years ago) Permalink
Incredible - I'm going to be listening to his recordings in a different way from now on.
― Webern conducts Berg (Call the Cops), Monday, 3 January 2011 15:47 (4 years ago) Permalink
Incredible is right.You can really see why automated mixing boards had to eventually be invented!
― Sanford, Monday, 3 January 2011 17:30 (4 years ago) Permalink
yeah, he's conducting microphone levels there, it's kind of painfully imtimate to watch the control freak side running wild but it also confirms what the payoff of the control freak thing was
― the tune is space, Monday, 3 January 2011 17:42 (4 years ago) Permalink
― The term “hipster racism” from Carmen Van Kerckhove at Racialicious (nakhchivan), Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:14 (3 years ago) Permalink
my downstairs neighbour told me this week that he used to live downstairs from him in toronto in the 60s/70s and could hear him practice all the time
― A Little Princess btw (s1ocki), Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:53 (3 years ago) Permalink
been binging on him on and off for the past six months or so
― i've a cozy little flat in what is known as old man hat (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 27 March 2013 16:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
― zero dark (s1ocki), Wednesday, 27 March 2013 16:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
― i've a cozy little flat in what is known as old man hat (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 27 March 2013 17:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
for fans of that youtube of Gould conducting at the mixing board upthread, Sony put out an interesting two disc set last year -- first disc is all of his 'acoustic orchestrations' compiled on one disc, and the second disc is a CD-ROM containing all four mic rank recordings of a single Scriabin piece, allowing you to mix it yourself
it's total fun. there's a youtube up of someone doing an odd mix
― Milton Parker, Wednesday, 27 March 2013 17:44 (2 years ago) Permalink
something addictive about his approach to bach for me -- makes it hard to listen to anyone else (on piano at least. I dig Landowska on harpsichord)
― --808 542137 (Hurting 2), Monday, 15 April 2013 16:11 (2 years ago) Permalink
Are some of his recordings known to have weird pitch issues? I've been listening to his English Suites and I feel like there's this very slight speed-up/slow-down thing going on a lot of the time. The thing is I actually kind of like it, but I want to know if I'm crazy that I'm hearing it.
― my jaw left (Hurting 2), Friday, 17 October 2014 15:19 (7 months ago) Permalink
Also just noticed a weird piano warble on Two and Three Part Inventions which sounds like maybe it's coming from the piano itself?
― my jaw left (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 4 November 2014 20:25 (6 months ago) Permalink
Re the 2 and 3 part inventions, that was explained in the liners to the Sony Glenn Gould Edition version (from the series with the butt ugly white covers). That particular piano had taken a hit of some sort and after being repaired had a weird double-strike problem on certain of its hammers. Gould recorded that album with it anyway, professing to sort of like the effect (I can't say I agree)
― a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 4 November 2014 23:48 (6 months ago) Permalink
Idk about pitch stability on the English suites, I'll try to have a listen. Seems weird for tapes of that vintage to have that problem!
― a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 4 November 2014 23:49 (6 months ago) Permalink
― Gombeen Dance Band (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 1 January 2015 12:32 (4 months ago) Permalink
― The Complainte of Ray Tabano, Thursday, 1 January 2015 13:34 (4 months ago) Permalink