Glenn GouldBook - 2009
Glenn Gould, one of the world's most renowned classical musicians of the twentieth century, was also known as an eccentric genius - solitary, headstrong, a hypochondriac virtuoso. Abandoning stage performances in 1964, Gould concentrated instead on mastering the various media- recordings, radio, television, and print. His sudden death at age fifty stunned the world, but his music and legacy continue to inspire. Philosopher and critic Mark Kingwell regards Gould as a philosopher of music whose ideas about music governed his life. But those ideas were contradictory, mischievous, and deliberately provocative. Instead of a single narrative line to explain the musician, Kingwell adopts a kaleidoscopic approach. Just as Gould played twenty-one 'takes' to record the opening aria in the famed 1955 Goldberg Variations , Kingwell offers twenty-one 'takes' on Gould's life. Each version offers a different interpretation of the man, but in each, Kingwell is sensitive to the complex harmonies and dissonances that sounded throughout the life of the great Gould.