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As a pianist, Glenn Gould was both a showman and a high priest, an artist whose devotion to music was so great that he eschewed the distractions of live performance. That same combination of flamboyance and aesthetic rigor may be found in this collection of Gould’s writings, which covers composers from Bach to Terry Riley, performers from Arthur Rubinstein to Petula Clark, and yields unfettered–and often heretical—opinions on music competitions, the limitations of live audiences, and the relationship between technology and art. Witty, emphatic, and finely honed, The Glenn Gould Reader presents its author in all his guises—as an impassioned artist, an omnivorous listener, and an astute and deeply knowledgeable critic.
“The Glenn Gould Reader abounds with the literary voice of one of the most extraordinary musical talents of our time. Whether Gould’s subject is Boulez, Stokowski, Streisand, or his own highly individual thoughts on the performance and creation of music, the reader will be caught up in his intensity, intelligence, passion and devotion. For those who never knew him, this book will be a particular treasure—as a companion to his recordings and as the delicious discovery of a new friend.” —Schuyler Chapin