New York Philharmonic concert of April 6, 1962

New York Philharmonic Concert Of April 6, 1962

New York Philharmonic concert of April 6, 1962

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The New York Philharmonic concert of April 6, 1962, is widely regarded as one of the most controversial in the orchestra's history. It featured a performance by Glenn Gould of the First Piano Concerto of Johannes Brahms, with the orchestra led by its music director, Leonard Bernstein. The concert became famous because of Bernstein's remarks from the podium prior to the concerto, with which he disassociated himself from the interpretation that was to come. Gould, for his part, claimed publicly to be in favor of Bernstein's remarks; however, fallout from the event has since been cited as one of the factors that led the pianist to withdraw from public performances in the last years of his career.

Background

The concert was planned as a regular subscription concert towards the end of the orchestra's 71st season – its last at Carnegie Hall – and was not expected to cause any great stir. But several days before beginning rehearsals, Gould called Bernstein regarding some discoveries he had made while studying the score. The conductor was curious, later writing that

Nevertheless, the novelty of Gould's ideas needed to be shared carefully with the orchestra, and later with the public. The issue at hand was that Gould chose to take three very slow tempi in playing the three movements; Bernstein, in urging them not to give up, referred to Gould as a "great man"<ref...
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