Glenn Gould found Brahms ‘extremely sexy’Daily Comfort Zone
From Daniel Poulin:
The Rhapsodies for Piano, Op. 79 were written by Johannes Brahms in 1879 and are part of the mature pieces. They were dedicated to Elisabeth von Herzogenberg, a musician and composer friend. It was at the suggestion of the latter that Brahms, although unenthusiastic, changed the title of these pieces by Klavierstücke. They have a structure of mini-sonatas with a slow part framed by two faster parts. They are part of the last creative period of Brahms. For a long time, we thought we saw in these rhapsodies an intimate and epic work, as if in search of the Brahms of youth, the one who was passionate about chivalrous ballads. They do not respond to the improvised genre as their title might suggest, but are teeming with contrasts between their passionate character and their accents of tenderness.
Gould’s last piano works recorded in 1982 -he died on Monday October 4, 9 days after his 50th birthday, were the Brahms Ballades in February and the two Rhapsodies in June and July. The final recording session took place in New York, as was the case for the Brahms, in RCA Studio “A”. It was in September, the work was Richard Strauss Piano Sonata in B minor, op.5 that Strauss composed while a teenager.
Of his Brahms interpretation Gould had this to say, with an obvious smile on his face:
“This music or, rather, my interpretation of it naturally reflects the way I see myself as an incurable romantic… Not only that, I find it extremely sexy!”