Goodyear’s pro­gram con­tains echoes of Gould

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - LEONARD TURNEVICIUS Leonard Turnevicius writes on clas­si­cal mu­sic for The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. leonard­turnevi­

Ste­wart Goodyear’s recital pro­gram this Fri­day night at the Burling­ton Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre has all the hall­marks of an­other Cana­dian pi­anist, the late great Glenn Gould.

The Toronto-born Goodyear, who opened the Hamil­ton Phil­har­monic Orches­tra’s cur­rent sea­son with a per­for­mance of Brahms’ “First Piano Con­certo” un­der Gemma New, will open his Burling­ton recital with Or­lando Gib­bons’ “The Lord Sal­is­bury his Pavin,” “Galiardo” (an up­dated ver­sion of the ti­tle is of­ten ren­dered as “The Lord of Sal­is­bury Pa­vane and Gal­liard”).

Writ­ten to be played on a vir­ginal key­board and pub­lished in 1613, the “Lord of Sal­is­bury Pa­vane” was the very piece with which Gould opened his Amer­i­can de­but recital at the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., on Jan­uary 2, 1955.

“Or­lando Gib­bons is my favourite com­poser, al­ways has been. I can’t think of any­body who rep­re­sents the end of an era bet­ter than Or­lando Gib­bons does,” once opined Gould, per­haps tongue firmly in cheek be­cause with Gould you some­times could never tell whether he was mis­chie­vously pulling your leg.

Need an ex­am­ple? Look no fur­ther than when Gould said that “de­spite the req­ui­site quota of scales and shakes in such half-hearted vir­tu­oso ve­hi­cles as the ‘Sal­is­bury Gal­liard,’ one is never quite able to counter the im­pres­sion of mu­sic of supreme beauty that lacks its ideal means of re­pro­duc­tion.

“Like Beethoven in his last quar­tets, or We­bern at al­most any time, Gib­bons is an artist of such in­tractable com­mit­ment that, in the key­board field, at least, his works work bet­ter in one’s mem­ory, or on pa­per, than they ever can through the in­ter­ces­sion of a sound­ing board.”

Just for fun, let’s play along with Gould.

Now, if Gib­bons was in­deed Gould’s all-time favourite com­poser, then he cer­tainly didn’t do well by him in pub­lic.

Sure, the Gib­bons opened Gould’s pur­posely ec­cen­tri­cally pro­grammed Washington recital, but the “Lord Sal­is­bury” was the only Gib­bons work that fig­ured on his recital pro­grams be­fore his re­tire­ment from the con­cert stage at the age of 31 in 1964.

Goodyear is sched­uled to fol­low Gib­bons’ mea­sured “Pa­vane” and snappy “Gal­liard” with Bach’s “French Suite No. 5 in G ma­jor.” Gould ma­ni­acs will know that it wasn’t this work, but Bach’s “Par­tita No. 5 in G ma­jor” that Gould played at his Washington recital.

How­ever, Goodyear knows that par­tic­u­lar par­tita quite well. Back on Jan­uary 10, 2016, he took to the stage of the sold-out Mu­sic Room of the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C., and pro­ceeded to re-cre­ate the pro­gram with which Gould had made his Amer­i­can de­but some 61 years ear­lier.

Gould’s pro­gram for his Amer­i­can de­but was a tem­plate for many of the pro­grams he’d serve up in pub­lic: an hors d’oeu­vre from the late Re­nais­sance or early baroque, a main course com­prised of Bach, a se­cond and/or third course from a se­lect group of Clas­si­cal or Ro­man­tic composers, and to top ev­ery­thing off, a heap­ing help­ing from the Se­cond Vi­en­nese School of the early 20th century.

For his Burling­ton recital, Goodyear has se­lected Beethoven’s “Sonata no. 28” Op. 101, and not the Op. 109 sonata, which was per­formed by you-know-who at you-knowwhich recital.

Of course, Goodyear knows Op. 109, and ev­ery other Beethoven piano sonata for that mat­ter, be­cause he played all 32 of them by heart in a one-day marathon last­ing slightly over 10 hours on June 9, 2012, in Toronto’s Ko­erner Hall.

Af­ter the in­ter­val, there’ll be two in­ter­mezzi by Brahms, the Op. 117 No. 3 and the Op. 118 No. 2.

There­after, it’s on to the Se­cond Vi­en­nese School with Al­ban Berg’s one move­ment “Sonata” Op. 1, which Gould played in Len­ingrad on May 14, 1957, when he be­came the first Cana­dian mu­si­cian to play in the USSR fol­low­ing the Se­cond World War.

For most lis­ten­ers, Gould’s record­ing legacy will for­ever be in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to Bach’s “Goldberg Vari­a­tions,” be it his Columbia Masterworks LP which launched his in­ter­na­tional record­ing ca­reer in 1956 or his 1981 dig­i­tal record­ing re­leased on CBS Masterworks shortly be­fore his death at 50 in Oc­to­ber 1982.


Ste­wart Goodyear will per­form works from Or­lando Gib­bons, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Berg.

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