Gould has gotta a lotta guts it was in the Seventies he was endorsing the music of Arnold Schoenberg,although he says quite plainly here that he found the 12 Tone technique quite arbitrary,and not thought through enough, "Why 12 and not 17. . . ? well because 12 Glenn is all the notes there are,that we know, you play 13 and you must repeat,reiterate a tone,get with the script man. He plays Schoenberg wonderfully however, the unrestrained,restrained lyricism is an inspiration to hear and contemplate,but Glenn is short on theory he misunderstands this music from the theoretical perspective,well Schoenberg as well was ambivalent of his evolutionary compositional technique as also revealed by the utilization of predictable forms as the Baroque Suite Opus 25, which Glenn plays admirably the Intermezzo and Minuet.Moving on. There is also a light show for the two short Scriabin pieces, and I found myself more distracted by it. Scriabin also was not one strong in the realms of musical theory,but he wrote marvelous piano music,yet he tried in his progressive affinities. The music of Paul Hindemith was quite popular in the Seventies,but no longer,curious how you hardly ever see his music programmed in any genre,and here from memory Gould accompanies in Hindemith's 'Sonata For Trumpet', two movements, this was one of the longer Sonatas of the set.The canon of Gebrauchkunstmusik, music for everyone,anytime,anywhere was a valuable tool for the 20th Century,this a philosophy Hindemith developed, he wrote a Sonata for instance for just about every instrument with piano accompaniment,I wonder where this philosophy has gone to now Hollywood film music??, music for the Masses. There's also bit 'Ein Heldenleben' on Richard Strauss,and Glenn sings songs as well, "Morgan" which he finds predictable and not at all interesting, but Glenn should have takened excerpts from Strauss's more advanced scores as "Elektra" or "Salome".Again a lack of understanding of the theoretical trajectories of music history is present here. Strauss didn't write any piano music of consequence,but was a powerful transitional figure. A wonderful exceprt from his "Four Last Songs" is here.
The Webern again I found that Glenn should do more homework, not so much on the technical side, for he knows how to pick out the various permutations inversions, retrograde inversions of the 12 Tone Row, like a fly walking on the ceiling backwards,but the message of the music was not fully explained and Gould's ambivalence and indifference to 12 Tone expressive evolutionary states come through here.I recall he lambasted Pierre Boulez, in a review of Joan Peyser's first biography of Boulez. Again misunderstandings abound. There was an excerpt from Webern's "Concerto" with spectrograms of the music with graphic silhouettes of Gould as soloist,more explanation would have been more helpful,than this Mr.Rogers approach.Was he,Gould committed to modernity.I guess in his own way.You come away from this VHS without a clue,only that it's interesting to contemplate. The VHS really revelas signs of its age. We need more VHS available with Pierre Boulez.