“Glenn Gould’s Bach hits the auction block”
Leah Rosenweig, The Art Newspaper
Almost forty years ago, the pianist Glenn Gould made his bid for musical immortality with his 1981 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, following up on his landmark 1955 version. Since then, it might be more accurate to call the piece the “Gouldberg Variations,” so closely have piece and artist become associated with each other. On Wednesday, the score Gould used for the recording was up for auction at Bonham’s books and manuscripts sale. The music critic and Gould scholar Tim Page says Gould was ahead of his time in his approach to his musical career: he focused almost exclusively on studio recordings instead of on live performances. His felt-tip markings, then, are notable for more than their penmanship: the directions are for cameras and microphones, not crescendoes and mezzo-pianos. The first of Gould’s manuscripts ever to be sold at auction, the score went for $125,000.
“Ideas still have consequences”
John M. Howting, First Things
Richard Weaver published Ideas Have Consequences in 1948 and helped plant the seeds of a renewed conservative intellectual movement in America. Weaver was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and studied in Kentucky and Tennessee (notably, the Southern poet and literary critic John Crowe Ransom was an adviser on his master’s thesis). A lapsed leftist by the time he finished graduate school, Weaver dug into his roots, developing his views of traditional conservatism and Southern agrarianism throughout his career. For the book’s seventieth anniversary, John M. Howting writes about why, in a time when the abstract rules of economics rule the day, such localism still matters. For more on Richard Weaver, read our own Roger Kimball’s essayin the September 2006 issue.
“In debt we trust: the rise of art-secured lending”
Georgina Adam, The Art Newspaper
Don’t have enough dough to expand your art collection? Just take out loans on what you already have. The art-lending market is rapidly expanding in America, where holdings have reached the billions, primarily in private banks like U.S. Trust. Lending against art isn’t new: Sotheby’s has $1 billion set aside for the practice, and many other auction houses and firms lend up to 40 to 50 percent of the value of an individual work. But using one’s private collection as a bank account is catching on even outside the debt-friendly United States, and could represent a shift from seeing an art collection as “a hobby or aesthetic pursuit” to a financial asset, according to the U.S. Trust executive Evan Beard. For more on the history and state of the art market, read Marco Grassi and Edward Chancellor’s essay in our current issue.
From our pages
Stanley Kubrick’s photo odyssey
Adam I. W. Schwartzman