In a good temper
14 July 2013 § Leave a comment
Lately, I’ve been enjoying Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, and although András Schiff* has my complete devotion, Glenn Gould has also captured my ears. If you do not know what he looks like, cure your ignorance immediately; he has a fascinating face. He looks like someone who would have enthralled people when he spoke and left them to vacillate in agony over whether they would rather hear him speak or play.
Actually, probably no one had trouble with that one.
Pure speculation, of course.
Horowitz also had a fantastic face. He is another favourite, along with his fellow countryman, Rachmaninov. How lovely when composers also play widely. For further reading and listening (and real explanations, rather than the narrow range of adjectives with which I’ve peppered my scanty list), this article is a good place to start. Horowitz agrees.
There is a good radio program of Schiff discussing and playing the Well-Tempered Clavier. (Inspiration to throw away the dreary workbooks? I would if I could play more than the simplest Chopin preludes and mazurkas.) I’ve attended a concert of his only once, in October of my freshman year, when he played Mendelssohn and Schumann. I remember where I was sitting, mostly because Page is so uncomfortable that no person could ever forget where he has sat during a performance there. It was magnificent, though, and one of those times when I was happy to be at a concert alone. Talking can cloud the music and distract the mind, and without others, one can dispense with words.
*And Rubinstein. Obviously. It is sad that my generation will never hear him in person.