Leonard Bernstein Speech (Pre-performance Disclaimer)
Leonard Bernstein worshipped pianist Glenn Gould, but he didn’t always agree with his interpretations. This remarkable performance was one such time, with Bernstein announcing his objections to Gould’s eccentric tempos and general liberties with the score to the 1962 New York audience. Bernstein may or may not have made the right diplomatic decision, but Gould’s speeds do go against the grain: The lengthy first movement and normally sprightly third are each around two minutes slower than conventional performances, while the Adagio is a good deal faster. But there’s a bold determination, even a majesty, to the playing, and Gould’s crisp articulation shines through. The New York Philharmonic gamely respects Gould’s decisions throughout. A fascinating document.