The secret life of Glenn Gould
Special to the Star
BRIDGEHAMPTON, N.Y.--When Glenn Gould died young 25 years ago,
friends were stunned to find a love letter in his cluttered
Toronto apartment, among the empty pill pots and records.
"I am deeply in love with a certain beautiful girl. I asked her
to marry me, but she turned me down but I still love her more
than anything in the world and every minute I can spend with her
is pure heaven . . ."
It was the curtain call of not so much a life as an opera for
perhaps the greatest piano virtuoso of the 20th century, who
moved millions with his spiritual renditions of Bach, but was
so afraid of intimacy and germs he was reluctant to let people
"No supreme pianist has ever given of his heart and mind so
overwhelmingly while showing himself so sparingly," said renowned
violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
History tells us that Gould, like so many geniuses, attained
musical nirvana by giving up earthly desires for his work and
that he could not love unless his Steinway was in the room.
And yet, for four-and-a-half years, Gould allowed a beautiful,
married artist to care for him, to caress him. In the words of
his favourite Barbra Streisand song, "He Touched Me" -- "Suddenly
. . . nothing was the same." To this day, Gould is remembered
as a Canadian cultural giant, yet his private life remains
shrouded in mystery. For most of his adult life, rumours abounded
that he was asexual or gay.
Gould was so paranoid about exposing his private life, he would
cut off any colleagues or friends who discussed it and once fired
a cleaning lady for gossiping about him. ....
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