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May 20, 2024

On Listening To Glenn Gould Play Brahms

By Cheryl Haimann

A child's practice piece
played in measured notes
by a single deliberate finger
then joined by another
tapping out a quiet drone
and then by others filling it
with gentle, comfortable sadness
One two three, One two three

but then

this wistful waltz
is replaced by sounds
complex and masculine
the rhythm, the tune
unsteady, unfamiliar
almost out of control

but then

the melody returns
as before, but more
caressed by grace notes
teased with trills
rich with improvisations
no longer a girl's tune
but a woman's aria that soars
and then sighs

Article © Cheryl Haimann. All rights reserved.
Published on 2005-07-18
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