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GORDON RUMSON reads Kevin Bazzana's book
about the life and art of Canadian pianist Glenn Gould,
and also makes a surprise contribution of his own

Wondrous Strange -- The Life and Art of Glenn Gould. Kevin Bazzana

Introduction: Adagio

Glenn Gould remains one of the legendary pianists of the twentieth century. His creative approach to the piano defied conventions and his retirement from concertizing was equally unconventional. But this public figure who was so private -- encased in winter clothes in summer weather -- who pierced to the essence of music and was an avowed ecstatic, remains a mystery. No mere chronicle of his life can grasp his nature. What is needed is a biography that takes the collected data (fortunately Gould was such a public figure that information is plentiful and further, he was such a pack-rat that mountains of personal material remain) and searches it deeply to find the key to Gould's inner being.

Kevin Bazzana's new biography Wondrous Strange is just such a book. Bazzana takes us into the inner sanctum of Glenn Gould's Temple to Music: himself.

In honor of Gould's mastery of counterpoint and because the subject is so vast, I have designed this essay as a Three Part Invention. Three aspects of Glenn Gould and of Kevin Bazzana's book. Click on the links below to take you to each part.

For your added enjoyment, I include a recent composition of my own: Three Part Invention in Honour of Glenn Gould (for MIDI). Click on the link and your browser should be able to play the small file. It helps to know the Inventions in C major and c minor and the Sinfonia in b minor.

Three Part Invention for Glenn Gould (MIDI)


A contrapuntal review

Introduction: Adagio

Voice One

Voice Two

Voice Three



Copyright © 4 August 2004 Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Canada


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