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Gould and the Culture of Fluctuating Stasis

by Kevin Bazzana

The following is an excerpt from Kevin Bazzana's book Glenn Gould: The Performer in the Work, published by Oxford University Press, which is based on Bazzana's doctoral dissertation in musicology, filed in the fall of 1996 with the University of California at Berkeley.

The excerpt has a complete section, headed "Gould and the Culture of Fluctuating Stasis," drawn from Chapter 2 ("The Role of the Performer"), and deals with Gould's work and ideas in the cultural context of the 1950s and 1960s.

Since the excerpt is intended only to offer a sample of the book's contents, not to stand alone as a complete essay, footnotes have been cut except where they significantly augment the main text. A few changes have been made to text for the sake of clarity and self-sufficiency.

If Gould's premises and practices had roots in Romanticism and neoClassicism, he was also in many respects a child of his times, a product of intellectual currents in music and culture during the years of his professional life, especially the 1960s. He was keenly aware of the place of his thought within contemporary culture, and made many explicit connections between his work as a performer and ideas that were 'in the air' at the time. His awareness of historical issues was strongest when it came to his own times, and indeed, the atemporality, the absence of historical method, so fundamental to his thinking and playing was grounded in contemporary thought, as he recognized.

Gould's view of music, and the creative role he demanded as a performer, were symptomatic of the same cultural forces that inspired (to take one influential example) Leonard B. Meyer's book Music, the Arts, and Ideas, first published in 1967.1 Meyer's analysis of cultural forces offers an appropriate context for the Gould aesthetic, especially his idea that modern Western culture, since about World War I, has increasingly given way to a condition of 'fluctuating stasis – a steady-state in which an indefinite number of styles and idioms, techniques and movements, will coexist in each of the arts'. Gould saw post-war musical life in just these terms: as he said in a 1974 film, he saw in the mixing of styles 'the future of music'. This point of view traces back to the beginning of his career, at least to his work in the early 1950s on his string quartet, which he placed explicitly in the context of the prevailing stylistic permissiveness. In a draft for a 1967 radio commentary, in which he discusses his string quartet, he writes, 'As a composer, I'm a maker of grafts, which I suppose is a fancy way of describing an attitude to composition which some would call eclectic and others, less well disposed, derivative.' He goes on to discuss the 'schizophrenic' nature of the quartet, in which Renaissance polyphony, Baroque fugue, Classical sonata-allegro form, and the developing variation of Schoenberg, among other elements, all coexist within 'the most expansive and indulgent harmonic vocabulary ever invented,' namely the highly chromatic, contrapuntal, late-Romantic tonal language of Strauss, Mahler, Reger, and the young Schoenberg. Gould never, to my knowledge, used the vocabulary of contemporary post modernism, but his sympathy with Meyer's analysis of 'fluctuating stasis' can certainly be understood in these terms: Jyrki Uusitalo, in his article 'Post modernism in Music,' shows the trend toward the mixing of styles as characteristic of the postmodern artwork, and Jean-Jacques Nattiez has convincingly cited Gould's views on the matter as evidence of a post-modernist aesthetic avant le mot.

As Meyer points out, one of the most important implications of the pluralistic nature of contemporary musical style is the rejection of a teleological view of music history, since all of history has, in a sense, become equally close, equally accessible. The rejection of ideas of 'progress', 'fashion', and the 'avant-garde' recurs frequently in Gould's writings and interviews; it was a point of view crucial to his aesthetic, and one that he argued passionately. Writing of Grieg's Sonata in E minor, Op. 7, which he refused to denigrate because it was less 'modern' than (though contemporary with) Tristan, he said that the calendar 'is a tyrant; submission to its relentless linearity, a compromise with creativity; the artist's prime responsibility, a quest for that spirit of detachment and anonymity which neutralizes and transcends the competitive intimidation of chronology'. The rejection of musical progress was in fact one important respect in which his thought differed from that of Schoenberg and his disciples, who defended the historical justness, even necessity, of dodecaphony. Gould was emphatic that his admiration for Schoenberg was solely for his achievements as a composer, not for his status as a revolutionary.2 By the same token, he might also dismiss a composer (like Monteverdi) whose music he did not like, even if that composer was important in terms of the history of style. And he admired composers who remained true to their individual styles in spite of the musical fashions of their day. He made a polemical point of championing both the 'revolutionary' Schoenberg and the 'reactionary' Strauss. Though his affection for Strauss's music was sincere, one suspects that when, in a 1962 article, he called Strauss 'the greatest musical figure who has lived in this century' he was speaking not of Strauss's compositions so much as his implicit stand against the idea of musical progress. In the same article, he concluded:

The great thing about the music of Richard Strauss is that it presents and substantiates an argument which transcends all the dogmatisms of art – all questions of style and taste and idiom – all the frivolous, effete preoccupations of the chronologist. It presents to us an example of the man who makes richer his own time by not being of it; who speaks for all generations by knowing of none. It is an ultimate argument of individuality – an argument that man can create his own synthesis of time without being bound by the conformities that time imposes.

(He defended Sibelius, Hindemith, and other 'reactionaries' in like terms.) He rejected the concept of a Zeitgeist that could validate or invalidate an artistic product: just as historical circumstances did not affect the nature of a work, they did not affect its value. He was especially vociferous in condemning 'the tyranny of stylistic collectivity', the 'combative elements' within the various stylistic 'factions' of his own day, and he himself was never concerned about being or appearing contemporaneous; he was especially critical of the early writings and pronouncements of Boulez, who had contended that only the serial composer could claim relevance.

In his 1963 lecture 'Forgery and Imitation in the Creative Process', Gould downplayed the importance of novelty and invention, even denied the possibility of true originality, in the development of musical language – precisely those aspects stressed in ideologies that cherish musical progress. He discussed such ideas more often in a historical-critical context – in polemics against the idea of musical progress – than in a philosophical one, but his position was still consistent with his idealist (or Platonist) view of music. As Renée Cox wrote in 1984,

There has been a resurgence of interest lately in the idea that works of art in general, and musical works in particular, belong within the category of eternal being rather than that of temporal existence, and thus have being independent of artists' and all other human minds. This entails that what we refer to as the compositional process would be one not of creation but of discovery or selection.

Gould showed himself to be a true idealist when he emphasized the debts that 'original' creative achievements owe to earlier music, and saw more give and take between creation and discovery in the act of composition. In the lecture, he stresses how music develops through the imitation, ornamentation, development, and transformation of received elements in new contexts. (Schoenberg made a similar point when he referred to dodecaphony as a discovery rather than an invention. In other essays from the same period, Gould writes (paraphrasing André Malraux on painting) that 'all music is really about other music'; 'All music is possible because of other music'; 'All art is really variation upon some other art,' so that the genuinely 'original' work of art would be unrecognizable'. And he praised eras and cultures in which ideas of originality and individuality were less prized than they have been throughout Western music history. Meyer, likewise, notes that 'the radical changes in ideology which have occurred in the twentieth century have made the pursuit of novelty somewhat incongruous,' since 'the Idea of Progress and of dialectical development have given way to a neutral ahistoricism'. Uusitalo, again, makes the same point in explicitly post-modernist terms, and for Nattiez, Gould's atemporality and view of musical creation place him as much among the post-moderns as the Romantics or moderns.

Meyer's analysis of the origins and nature of the ideology of fluctuating stasis sheds light on Gould's aesthetic positions. He traces the pluralism that characterizes contemporary culture back to its roots in larger epistemological changes, including the idea that history and knowledge are not objective facts but rather constructs that necessarily reflect a present-day point of view; the idea of the neutrality of history, that 'all pasts ...coexist as ever present possibilities upon which the artist, writer, or composer may draw;' and the tendency toward formalism that results from seeing no distinction between past and present and so removing the aspect of time from the identity of the work. All of these positions are consistent with Gould's views on the nature of music and the role of the performer, and he approved strongly of artistic practices that confirmed this pluralistic and a historical condition.3

Meyer believed, in fact, that dealing with relativism and pluralism was one of the central problems of his time, and this has been even more true in the decades since he wrote Music, the Arts, and Ideas. The counterpart to this problem in the arts is how to 'move forward' in a static situation in which the concept of an avant-garde has no real meaning. In music circles, it has been common enough in recent decades to hear complaints about the ossified state of conventional performance. As Will Crutchfield writes,

No complaint has been heard more often in recent years than that there is a dearth of really interesting new violinists, pianists, singers, and conductors for the standard repertory. The complaint is valid. In the general run of sober young conservatory graduates and hot (sober) young competition winners whose débuts I regularly hear in New York, cautious correctness is the rule. In the work of the mid-career touring soloists, a deadly sense of get-the-job-done often compounds the lack of a purposeful musical message. Of course there are exceptions; the rule, though, is discouraging.

Gould was well aware of this situation, and it is not an exaggeration to say that his whole approach to performance amounts to a practical attempt to address it. There was a self-consciousness in his relationship to the Western classical canon and to conventional ideas about performance practice, a self-consciousness that implied a search for novelty in a relatively static situation. Many such efforts can be discerned in Western musical practice in recent decades: the constant invention of new compositional styles; the revival of historical performance practices; the merging of foreign and popular styles with 'serious' music; and the search for new repertoire in previously slighted corners of Western music, as in the revival (especially since Gould's death) of obscure Romantic fare, including salon music. Similar self-conscious efforts have recently been common in fields like theatre and literary criticism: Gould's 'mission' clearly reflected broader cultural conditions. His views on musical works and the interpreter's role recall conceptions of the text and critic in much post-structuralist literary theory and criticism, especially those strains, like Roland Barthes's nouvelle critique of the mid-1960s, contemporary with his own post-concert career. Umberto Eco, from at least the early 1960s, recognized a trend toward openness, ambiguity, and indeterminacy in literary criticism. Writing in the later 1980s, he observed that 'during the last decades we have witnessed a change of paradigm in the theories of textual interpretation,' adding, after a survey of reader-response criticism from the 1960s and 1970s, that such an 'insistence on the moment of reading, coming from different directions, seems to reveal a felicitous plot of the Zeitgeist.' Susan R. Suleiman wrote in the late 1970s:

One could adduce many reasons for this shift in perspective....Even at first glance, however, it is obvious that the current interest in the interpretation, and more broadly in the reception, of artistic texts – including literary, filmic, pictorial, and musical ones – is part of a general trend in what the French call the human sciences, history, sociology, psychology, linguistics, anthropology) as well as in the traditional humanistic disciplines of philosophy, rhetoric, and aesthetics. The recent evolution of all these disciplines has been toward self-reflexiveness – questioning and making explicit the assumptions that ground the methods of the discipline, and concurrently the investigator's role in delimiting or even in constituting the object of study.

Gould's work, no less than such literary trends as reader-response criticism, can be understood in light of this same paradigm shift – not only his aesthetic premises and his specific interpretations, but also his self-conscious, even polemical attitude toward his own field of endeavour.

Gould's way of 'moving forward' was to subject the standard canonic repertoire and conventional classical performance practices to radical personal critique. Some of his more extreme interpretations, especially given the self-consciousness with which he misbehaves, suggest efforts at realigning accepted standards and categories, at persuading listeners to extend accepted boundaries. Many critics have noted this aspect of his playing, observing that his creative intrusions tended to be greatest in those canonical works, like Mozart's and Beethoven's sonatas, with the most deeply entrenched conventions of interpretation and performance. What Gould called the 'deliberate distortion of the text' in his playing generally had the polemical intent of offering fresh hearing precisely where it was most difficult. The literary critic and theorist Stanley Fish has noted how a new interpretative position or paradigm 'announces itself as a break from the old, but in fact it is radically dependent on the old, because it is only in the context of some differential relationship that it can be perceived as new or, for that matter, perceived at all'. One of Gould's goals was to foreground this kind of self-consciousness as an issue in music, to make his knowing revisions of conventional views obvious as such. He occasionally made it clear that he knew how the pieces he experimented with were 'supposed to go'. In the second of his televised conversations with Burton in 1966, he used the example of Mozart's Sonata in B flat major, K. 333, to contrast 'correct' performance practice with the more 'distorted' angle from which he approached the piece, and which can be heard in his 1967 CBC television performance. As he told Burton in the same programme, in a discussion of Beethoven's Op. 109 sonata, the modern performer had an obligation to recompose canonical works in this way. Such a self-reflexive attitude toward canons and conventions is characteristic of the post-modern artist, critic, or work, and part of Gould's achievement was to have explored the implications this position might have for musical performance.

He revealed his awareness of his historical position in a CBC radio broadcast from 23 July 1970, in which he discussed his performance of some surprising repertoire: Chopin's Sonata No. 3 in B minor. In the accompanying scripted interview, which included a prepared tape segment reviewing musical trends in the decade just ended, Gould situated his decision to take up this uncharacteristic work in the very intellectual milieu that Meyer analyses. Aspects of the musical scene in the 1960s that Gould discussed include the decline of serialism, the persistence of tonality, electronics, the revival of Ives and Mahler, the 'East-meets-West' and 'Switched-On Bach' phenomena, and finally Berio's Sinfonia – a 'music of multiple inclusion' backed by no theory, for Gould a work whose pluralistic message summarized the decade. With Chopin's sonata, he acknowledged that his usual priorities in performance were at odds with an appropriate, or at least conventional, Chopin style, most especially his preference for a rhythmic continuity that did not permit the flexibility demanded by Chopin's large-scale works. In the 1950s, he said, he simply left Chopin alone because of his inability to reconcile the music with his own aesthetic. But by 1970, he had drawn inspiration from the freedom and pluralism that had characterized so many aspects of contemporary music, and that he felt could properly be extended to the performance of canonical works. In a cultural climate in which 'every work of art is in fact reduced to its potential as the source of another work of art,' one worries less about the 'acceptability' of blatantly anachronistic practices and 'starts wondering about the outcome of certain kinds of aesthetic cross-breeding'. For Gould, the cultural climate, which some derided as chaotic but which he found liberating and inspiring creatively, validated his experiment. The resulting performance of the sonata draws on the same rhythmic premises as his Baroque and Classical performances: he declines to use conventional tempo shifts to articulate theme groups,4 and applies his usual practice of exploring inner voices at the expense of the primacy of lyrical melody. Gould ultimately did not consider the results of the experiment to have been particularly successful in this case, and he was right: the performance (perhaps excepting his lean, moto-perpetuo finale) is actually rather dull, and certainly offers little insight into Chopin. But it is the urge to make the experiment in the first place that is revealing.

Gould in performance demanded some of the creative licence usually accorded only to composers, and when it came to situating himself within his cultural milieu he frequently allied himself temperamentally and intellectually with composers more than fellow-performers. (There have been few pianists willing to follow him very far in his rethinking of the canon.) He was certainly influenced by some trends in music composition in the 1950s and 1960s. He considered the 'contrapuntal radio documentaries' that he made for the CBC in the 1960s and 1970s to be musical compositions by the standards of his day, by analogy with contemporary works, like Stockhausen's Gesang der Junglinge (1956), which draw on unorthodox audio materials. He was aware of the importance of the spoken word in much of the new music of the 1950s and 1960s, and was influenced by Marshall McLuhan's observations on the subject, as he acknowledged. Indeed, in his approval of the idea that not only speech but all sounds were becoming increasingly valid as the stuff of music, Gould often sounded surprisingly like another contemporary devotee of McLuhan: John Cage.

We might also see something of Gould's attitude toward performance in what Eco, in a 1962 essay, calls 'the poetics of the open work'. Eco discusses works by Stockhausen, Ekerio, Pousseur, and Boulez that are 'open' (literally, unfinished in the sense that the performer is required to assemble the final form of the work out of a number of given segments; such works, by definition, have no fixed form. But Eco goes on to posit a broader cultural condition in which openness is 'the fundamental possibility of the contemporary artist or consumer'; the explicitly 'open' work merely reflects a more general trend toward openness in the interpretation of art works. Gould did not advocate literally rearranging the parts of a work, of course, but he did advocate openness with aspects of works conventionally considered inviolate, a point of view that once again allies him closely with some trends in post-structuralist criticism of his (and our) day. Barthes, for example, writing in 1566, analysed cultural conditions in terms similar to those of Meyer and Eco:

The very definition of the work is changing. It is no longer a historical fact, it is becoming an anthropological fact, since no history can exhaust its meaning. The variety of meanings is not a manner of a relativist approach to human mores; it designates not the tendency that society has to err but a disposition towards openness; the work holds several meanings simultaneously, by its very structure, and not as a result of some infirmity in those who read it… [T]he work proposes, man disposes.

Gould's experiments in performance also reflected the same conditions that encouraged many contemporary composers to cannibalize the past to create new works, even more so than their neo-Classical predecessors. As Robert P. Morgan writes,

the extraordinarily fragmentary nature of much contemporary composition, evident, for example, in the widespread use of quotation and in the tendency towards pastiche, betrays the absence of a common core. Though anticipated by Stravinsky (the inevitable concomitant of his historical views) and by still earlier forerunners such as Ives and Satie, only recently has the trend reached epidemic proportions. In composers as disparate as Luciano Berio, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Lukas Foss, Peter Maxwell Davies, and George Rochberg, we hear bits and pieces of previous music, which have been torn from their original contexts and then reassembled into new, collage-like configurations. Deprived of their original meaning, which was dependent upon a total structural context, these fragments are bestowed with a new meaning in which the pretence of totality and integration is largely abandoned. A purely synthetic context is created where no 'natural' one exists.

Gould's rethinking of canonical works was, in a sense, also an appropriation of the music, not just a realization of it – a bringing to bear of personal, contemporary thinking onto the music. His performances, even the more radical ones, almost never amount to rewritings or arrangements, though some critics have used these terms; yet there is a certain validity in the criticism, which he accepted, that some of his performances merit hyphenated attributions ('Mozart-Gould'). Musicians of his day as different as Cage and Boulez frequently expressed the view that the 'museum' model of music, the entrenched canon of musical 'masterpieces', exercised a crushing influence on contemporary music including composition. Gould's refusal to be 'correct' in performance, like Boulez's yearning for 'amnesia' reflected a creator's desire to be freed from convention.

But of all the contemporary factors influencing Gould's open aesthetics of performance and his relationship to the classical canon perhaps the most important was recording technology.5 He was much concerned with the implications of recording in terms of musical composition, performance, and reception. In fact, on the subject of recording his thinking was considerably more up-to-date, even prophetic, than that of many thinkers of his day. Meyer, for example, like many, rejected the idea that recording technology fundamentally alters important premises about music; he regarded recording technology as merely a conduit for the dissemination of conventional performances. But Gould pursued the implications of McLuhan's idea, summarized in his famous catchphrase 'the medium is the message', that the content of any medium is less influential than the changes in scale or pace or pattern that the medium itself imposes on human affairs. Though Gould was sometimes critical of McLuhan's trendy vocabulary and some of his specific analyses, including his distinctions between 'hot' and 'cold' media, he appropriated several important ideas from McLuhan about the nature and social implications of electronic media. He insisted that electronic technology affected the basic patterns of professional musical life in many fundamental ways, and he was critical of those musicians who resisted it.

For Gould, the implications of recording extended even to one's conception of what constitutes an integral musical work or performance. In this he was considerably more radical than writers on music aesthetics like Stan Godlovitch, for whom splicing and other features of recorded performances 'compromise performance integrity,' at least 'from a traditional perspective'. But as Gould pointed out, the consequences of technology for musical works and performances were negative only where one assumed that concert performance must remain the standard. For him recording had created a separate musical art form with its own imperatives and possibilities, and in which the standards of integrity relevant to the concert hall did not apply. For one thing, though it might seem to fix a historical moment, recording is in fact an inherently atemporal enterprise, because the standards of real time do not apply in the creation of the recorded work. As Gould put it in 1966, 'The inclination of electronic media is to extract their content from historical date'; a recording need not be a picture-postcard of a concert performance. In McLuhan's terms, a recording is a 'modular' or 'cubist' production, a 'labyrinth', to which the 'linear' or 'pre-Einsteinian' conception of time in the concert medium is irrelevant.6 In short, the atemporal condition in which Gould thought musical works should be considered was, he believed, enhanced by the recording process.

He felt, moreover, that the recording medium had fundamental implications in terms of the role of the performer. Just as Cage, from the 1930s, insisted that electronics had changed the ground rules for composers, Gould insisted that 'recording will forever alter our notions about what is appropriate to the performance of music'.7 For one thing, he believed that recording permitted the performer to take technical and interpretative risks that would not pay off in a concert situation, and he rejected the commonplace complaint that recording inhibits performers. Johanne Rivest observes, moreover, that recording inherently enlarges the role of the interpreter, relative to those of composer and listener, and increases the amount of attention focused on the interpretation. Gould seems to have recognized this when he claimed, as early as 1959, that he preferred recording to live performance because it was a more truly creative process. (His discography bears him out: the interpretations in his polished studio recordings are invariably more creative – whatever else one may think of them – than those in his preserved concert performances, or even his CBC broadcasts.) Gould provided a practical model for his point of view: one thing we can always say about his performances is that they sound fresh. He went as far as to suggest that recording demands of the performer 'to recreate the work, to transform the act of interpretation into an act of composition'.8 In other words, the relationship of his ideas about performance to the cultural and intellectual milieu of his day was only strengthened by concurrent developments in the electronic media.

Gould felt, moreover, that the fact of recording made a creative aesthetic imperative for a modern performer of the classical canon. Because so many conventional performances of canonical works are now permanently preserved, performers of such works have the option, even the duty, to be creative. He believed that basic statements about the canonical repertoire had already been made, and repeatedly made the point that one had no reason to record a familiar work again unless one had a significant and distinctive new interpretation of it to offer.9 It is tempting to concede his point: there are, and always will be, scores of conventional readings of Beethoven's Fifth in the record shops, not to mention the concert halls; it is difficult not to despair when confronted with yet one more performance of a familiar piece that simply reminds us how the music 'goes'. Gould here tapped into a curious fact of his historical situation. It is indeed ironic that it is in post-war musical life, in the era of recording, that fidelity to the work is such a prevailing principle. If ever a Romantic era was needed it is now, when recording has released performers from the necessity of perpetuating conventional interpretations. One could have defended the need for such interpretations a hundred years ago, when one would hear a particular piece of music infrequently, and only in concert, yet a hundred years ago highly individual interpretation was much more common. Recording should really liberate rather than inhibit musical interpretation, and if it generally does not, even today, it is because we still have not fully grasped the implications of recording on musical life. But Gould did, and his mission as a kind of one-man Romantic era was the result.


1. Meyer's book does not, incidentally, appear among Gould's effects in the National Library of Canada.

2. This is one of the principal themes of his 1964 lecture 'Arnold Schoenberg: A Perspective', reprinted in The Glenn Gould Reader.

3. In a taped interview from 1964 (never published or broadcast), he offers the example of Ludwig Diehn, a wealthy amateur musician from Washington, D.C., who wrote symphonies in the style of Bruckner and had them privately recorded. He interviewed Diehn for his 1965 CBC radio documentary "Dialogues on the Prospects of Recording".

4. In the first movement, note Gould's use of the same tempo for the opening theme (quarter note=89) and the lyrical second theme in the relative major, beginning at m. 41 (quarter note=87). His rhythmic treatment of the major theme groups in the exposition seems to have sufficed to make his polemical point, and he does not maintain a literally strict tempo throughout the whole movement.

5. The basic Gould manifesto on this subject is his l966 essay 'The Prospects of Recording', reprinted in The Glenn Gould Reader.

6. McLuhan applied such terms to his own style of writing, and to the electronic media as compared with the traditional book. (The very first sentence of The Gutenberg Galaxy announces that it 'develops a mosaic or field approach to its problems': the parts of the book can be read in any order.) Because of McLuhan's 'mosaic' or 'modular or non-linear' approach, which he also observed in much twentieth-century literature Joyce, Dos Passos, Burroughs), his writing is sometimes cited as quintessentially post-modern, something that might be said of the process of recording as opposed to concert performance.

7. Cage, incidentally, differed from Gould in that he preferred to use recording technology as a kind of musical instrument, rather than as a means to fix interpretations.

8. This attitude may explain some aspects of Gould's discography. For example, he never recorded Beethoven's Sonatas in E flat major, Op. 81a ('Les Adieux'), and in A major, Op. 101, two works that he singled out for special praise. The reason may simply have been that he never found the special interpretative point of view that, for him, justified making a new recording. And around 1970, he abandoned the idea of recording a Scriabin sonata cycle after the complete sets of Hilde Somer and Ruth Laredo were released, for similar reasons. On the other hand, he devoted considerable amounts of time to recording works of which he had a low opinion (Beethoven's 'Appassionata' Sonata, Chopin's B-minor sonata, some later Mozart sonatas) where he did feel that a significant interpretative point was pressing. It is worth mentioning in this regard that there were, apparently, no external constraints upon Gould's choices of repertoire, since both Columbia CBS and the CBC gave him complete freedom to play what he liked, including works of little commercial viability.

9. On several occasions, Gould also insisted, with understandable defensiveness, that these new interpretations had to have some worthwhile points to make; eccentricity for its own sake did not suffice.

Source: Glenn Gould : the performer in the work : a study in performance practice
Kevin Bazzana. -- Oxford : Clarendon Press ; Oxford ; Toronto : Oxford University Press, 1997. -- xxi, 297 p., 8 p. of plates : ill., music ; 24 cm + 1 sound. -- ISBN 0198166567
© Kevin Bazzana. Reproduced with the permission of Kevin Bazzana, the Estate of Glenn Gould and Glenn Gould Limited.

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