A CONTAPUNTAL REVIEW
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
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)
Copyright © 4 August 2004
Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Canada