I’ve been mesmerized by Glenn Gould’s performances of Bach for years now. There are certain things in life that seem so pure and right that I don’t feel right analyzing them. His performances are one of those special things to me. They are alive and have this spirit that most other performances are sorely lacking.
I was just listening to Andras Schiff’s rendition of Bach’s Prelude in Fugue in c-minor, and although the playing is flawless, there’s something missing. There is a soul, but there seems to be a lack of purity to it. It’s as if other performers just play notes and Gould brings pieces to life. While listening to Schiff’s recording this all become a bit clearer to me…Gould seems to take a piece, read the notes, process them, and then reinterpret them. He is not really recomposing a piece, as he is putting extra life into it. He’ll do certain things you don’t agree with, but that is exactly what is so great about his readings of Bach. You can feel the anguish Gould has in his analysis of these compositions.
There are certain moments within Gould’s interpretations that one can’t help but just stop and feel the clarity in the music. It feels more as though he has solved something that the rest of us could not solve, than just bringing the music on the page to life. There are many that play, few that inject life.
Francois Louis, a Belgian instrument maker, invented the instrument back in 2001. I found the idea, the mechanism, and everything about it amazing!
Basically, the instrument is two Soprano Saxes stuck together. The connection point being the mouthpiece that has two reeds on it that the player blows through. Also there is one set of keys. The player can choose to have both of the horns to play in unison or for them to be off by a certain interval.
After they were produced, I stopped really hearing about the instrument. The initial reaction was great, but then… Then one day I went to Symphony Space in Manhattan to hear an Ode to Coltrane’s late period and Joe Lovano played the thing. It was magical! I wish I could’ve got a recording of it. It was like out of another world.
Currently there’s only one track recorded with the instrument, that by Lovano and it was before he really had a handle on the instrument. At the concert he was really just on another level with it. In the recording he’s a bit out of tune. It’s interesting to hear, but I wish there was some new stuff/other stuff out there.
Also, I think that just two of them were made. Please, mass produce this thing! I want to start seeing it out there. Along with alto, tenor, and bari versions. I think I would flip if this thing were made in a Bari version and James Carter got a hold of it. Don’t think anyone else would be able to handle it…
One of the craziest things about the instrument is the effects that can be produced by taking advantage of the fact that the two horns’ waves come out so close to each other.
Lovano recording session