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date: 28 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that visual and embodied dimensions of performance are integral to the experience of live music. The author describes this as the “old multimedia,” since the principles of intermedial alignment and meaning production in performance are in essence the same as in the “new multimedia” that forms the dominant mode of music consumption in the twenty-first century. The chapter largely consists of an extended case study based on two filmed performances by Glenn Gould of the first movement of Anton Webern’s Piano Variations, Op. 27. It addresses the role in Gould’s interpretations of hand lifts, body sway, and other physical gestures; the way in which his interpretation changed over time, as evidenced not only by these filmed performances but also by his audio recordings; the differences between interpretations designed for film and for sound recording; and what all this implies about the relationship between composer and performer.

Keywords: Glenn Gould, Anton Webern, gesture, multimedia, performance, music, filmed performance, interpretation, body, recording

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