Piano Concerto No.1 Import
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|4. Concerto For Piano And Orchestra No. 1 In D Minor, Op. 15: Rondo. Allegro non troppo|
|5. Excerpt Of New York Philharmonic Intermission Radio Interview|
The circumstances surrounding this April 6, 1962 concert at Carnegie Hall are as legendary as the performance itself. Pianist Gould desired to play the piece at a slower-than-usual tempo, Bernstein (who was conducting the New York Philharmonic) did not. Gould prevailed, but Bernstein shared his disavowal in an infamous pre-concert speech to the audience. This CD-the concert recording's first authorized release-includes Bernstein's speech, the complete performance and a revealing Glen Gould interview recorded two years later.
Newly remastered from a Voice of America mono off-line aircheck, one hears more detail and ambiance here than in previous reissues of this controversial performance taped live at Carnegie Hall April 6th, 1962. The conductor's infamous "disclaimer" disassociating himself from Glenn Gould's slow tempi is preserved along with a snippet from an interview in which Gould defends both his interpretation and Bernstein's actions. The first movement starts slow, but insidiously speeds up to a tempo not far from the norm. Flickering in and out of Bernstein's turgid orchestral backdrop, Gould downplays the music's fiery intensity, seeking to emphasize its meditative qualities and contrapuntal implications. If Sony wanted to issue a Gould Brahms D- Minor, why not the more incisive, and far better-engineered October 1962 Baltimore version? --Jed Distler
Top Customer Reviews
He is one of the few people who can play Bach on the piano and make it sound like Baroque music. Too many pianists play Bach way too broadly.
I must admit to not being a fan of the music of Brahms. Indeed, I am not a big fan of the 19th century in general. My record collection goes from Bach and Beethoven to Mahler and Schoenberg to Carter and Cage. Plus post bop jazz.
Lately I have been trying to listen more to the 19th century and I have found that by looking at the performers I like in other periods, I have been able to find interesting recordings of 19th century music. I really enjoy Gould doing Brahms' chamber music.
So, straight from the Toronto Symphony's Glenn Gould 75th Birthday concert, in which this piece was mentioned, I bought it and listened to it, and liked it.
Gould merges the piano more with the orchestra rather than contrasting it so the piano is played more softly, as is the orchestra, making the performance more moody and mysterious rather than bombastic and overly romantic.
The comments by Bernstein at the beginning, and excepts from an interview with Gould at the end nicely sandwich the performance, which, judging by the applause, the audience also loved.
So, I was quite interested in Gould interpretation. The performance is exquisite, but I didn't like the way the remastering was made. I prefer life concerts, but this one looks as if it was recorded in a hospital, in the TB department. Coughing all the time was annoying. And the sound was not polished, looking like an old recording.It is true that it happened quite a long time ago. For this reason I dropped down one star. Other than that, the pianist is a virtuoso, the orchestra looks flawless...and you also benefit of the conductor's speech from the beginning, and a short interview with Glenn.
What can I say, I would recomend this CD only if you are a real fan of GLENN or BERNSTEIN.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This recoding, and the excellent liner notes, correct a lot of misconceptions: Gould was in favor of Bernstein's remarks; Gould's interpretation is no longer considered exceptionally slow by today's standards (meaning the Gould must have had some effect on a few of today's artists). It is fascinating to hear what all the commotion was about.
The most interesting part is that the critics fared the worst in the judgement of time: the critic from the New York Times absolutely seems ridiculous (in his review that was written in the form of a letter to an imaginary friend!) with his snide remarks that come off as a cranky senior citizen criticizing the youngsters on the stage. And the fact that so many other newspapers picked up the story as if it was a boxing match.
Reagrdless of recording quality (originally meant to be a mono radio broadcast), this is a fascinating performance that documents a very interesting concert in the history of an American conductor and orchesetra, and deserves this wide release. It shouldn't be the only recording of this Brahms concerto you should have, but it should sit right next to it.
Mr Gould, trained in the Bachian methods of counterpoint, saw far more music in this piece than any of you ever will. He even broke some of the traditional rules to try and prove his point. He deliberately alters tempo and dynamics to try and show us the beauty of brahms, in his hidden melodies and complex structures. Unfortunately his efforts were wasted. The masses of "classical music lovers" failed to see what he wanted them to. They thought he was just being difficult, because he wouldn't toss this piece over his shoulder as a means of displaying his virtuosity, as so many artists do. It just goes to show, that you can't trust the public with something as beautifully complex, musically speaking, as Brahms.
I'm sorry for all of you. Mr Gould was one of the greatest gifts to the world of music.
Lenny Bernstein was cool, as was the NY Phil. The whole rhubarb over Gould's reading was created by media journalists who got paid by the penny-word: stupid, inane cretins frightened by Art. What a waste of artistic time! Afterwards at the cocktail party following this performance, Lenny told Gould, "You played so beautifully in the cadenza that I almost c**e in my pants [!]" (as cited in Bazzana, Wondrous Strange: the Life and Art of Glenn Gould).
It's really a shame that a decent recording wasn't made miked close to Gould's piano. What a loss for Art!