From Library Journal
Goodman, a journalist at Long Island Newsday, has written a welcome profile of American composer/conductor Gould (1913-96) that includes interviews with Gould, Gould's family and colleagues, and excerpts from the musician's recorded diaries. (Two earlier attempts at biography were abandoned, and the only other extended documentation on Gould appears to be in unpublished theses.) Weaving together analyses of compositions with (some unnecessarily vulgar) quotes evidencing Gould's family dynamics and self-effacing manner, Goodman traces Gould's artistic and personal development in minute detail, from his years as a radio pianist and bandleader in New York through his presidency of ASCAP to his winning the Pulitzer Prize for the composition "Stringmusic" in 1995. The misconception of Gould as merely a purveyor of light classicsDwhich Goodman succeeds in dispelling contributed to his resentment of and resulting depression over the recognition accorded more charismatic contemporaries such as Leonard Bernstein. Goodman's thoroughly researched volume is recommended for academic and public music collections to fill a gap in 20th-century American music scholarship. Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Goodman bring[s] to life not only an important figure from the American musical past, but also an entire era. -- www.newmusicbox.org, September 2000