Anyone hear the Zenph Art Tatum disc yet? I have to be honest, no matter how many people loved it, the Zenph Glenn Gould Goldberg was not the Glenn Gould Goldberg, IMHO. But they do know how to pick the pianists I adore! And I'd love to learn that the Tatum disc is a success... I just don't want to buy the disc only to have the Zenph/Gould type of disappointment to hit me.
I received the Tatum disc as a gift but haven't yet had the opportunity to listen to more than the first track. Just what is the "Zenph/Gould type of disappointment" you experience and I'll let you know if I suffer from the same malady once I've given a good listen to the entire disc.
That'd be great if you'd do that for me, Jan. Appreciate it. For me, the Zenph Goldberg was strangely over-relaxed & prettified in sound. As we all know, Gould's playing was a lot of things but it wasn't "pretty." A big minus there. I think a big part of the discrepancy, of course, is that the Zenph uses Yamaha whereas Gould's performance was on a Steinway. The tone on the Zenph disc is really pretty & refulgent & singing, whereas the original Goldberg is dry, wired & intense. Some people don't like Gould's Bach for being idiosyncratically intense, but that's why I treasure his playing. On the Zenph, this super-articulate voicing by Gould is just nulled. And I don't think it's just the Yamaha vs Steinway issue. The polyphonic lines don't have that febrile quality and focus of drive on the Zenph version, which, again, many people hate but I love in Gould's Bach. Which means that the Zenph version, no matter how great a technical feat it is, counts as a failure for me as it did not capture that kind of Gould-ness.
So I guess the issue is the matter of touch, texture, articulation. The intensity & drive of the melodic lines...
Again, many thanks.
The polyphonic lines don't have that febrile quality and focus of drive on the Zenph version, which, again, many people hate but I love in Gould's Bach.
Not sure I can comment on the "febrile" quality of anything any longer. Sorry this has taken so long, things were changing in my main room and I didn't have time to listen until the other day. I'd say your response to the "prettyfication" of the sound is what you are going to find here also. I don't listen to Tatum on a regular basis but I do on ocassion find his music interesting and invigorating. I consider this recording an "interesting" experiment that misses out on the invigorating ingredient. It is too pretty and maybe that's just because of what I expect from Tatum after becoming familiar with the original recordings. Maybe it's because the recordings here are done with 2008 sensibilities. They miss the ragged edge of Tatum playing his own works despite the transcription origins. There's really no sense of the playfulness of the original Tatum recordings. Things are too clean and too "look what we can do". I might pull this out on ocassion but when I want to hear Tatum I'll listen to the real thing.