Happy Birthday Glenn Gould!
Glenn Gould liked to say that the music he played had a life that was independent and non-material. It existed, as it were, without his hands, on which he nevertheless lavished the most intense and exhaustive care and training imaginable. This was by no means the only paradox to be found in his thinking, but it was a persistent one, and very concrete; he claimed never to play a piece on the piano without having first memorized it completely. He even said that he could play and rehearse a piece without touching the keyboard. He memorized it by playing it with his hands, but mentally. It is difficult to understand how the memory of a work can be created without any tactile relationship having been established, if we do not acknowledge, like Gould, that music is above all a mental and spiritual entity, and that it is closer to a mathematical theorem than to the body in action, than to hands in contact with the instrument.
- Excerpted from Partita for Glenn Gould by Georges Leroux