A FAN LETTER

Kate Shapero Glenn Gould 2 Comments

Early in October I received an e-mail from a site member named Patricia who lives in North Yorkshire, England. Patricia found our Website and wrote to us as a result. This message was dated October 4 2017 and was written on the anniversary of Glenn’s death.

This message echoed the exact feelings I experienced when I discovered Glenn through music. So many of Gould’s ‘followers’ it seems, have precisely the same experience if they are lucky enough to be drawn into Glenn’s orbit. Bruno Monsaingeon speaks about this phenomenon. He has met many people all over the world who have been instantly affected in exactly the same manner upon hearing Glenn play.

Patricia’s feelings and words were so heartfelt and eloquent that I feel compelled to share this wonderful letter with you all.

How many adoring women must have sent you ‘love’ letters! How many you may possibly have thrown in the bin and discarded?! I wonder if you kept any?! You would be a man with much correspondence and little time to be distracted by ‘our’ (possibly to you ) adolescent type ‘crushes’. And yet Glenn I am no adolescent. I am a sixty nine year old woman living with bi lateral menieres who can only hear by the means of a middle ear implant on one side of my head. I had four years without hearing at all until I had this operation (more of which later).

I really feel that you dear Glenn, cannot ever really begin to imagine the effect you have had on my own and many others lives. My feelings for you are no ‘crush’ -not in a million years, nor yet infatuation. Put simply you have made my life worth living.

I have only just found you! Can you imagine living sixty nine years without knowing of Glenn Gould? That is an atrocity! I am making up for lost time by listening to everything you have ever recorded 24/7 in my home, in my car, at night in bed -just all the time. You uplift me, comfort me, reduce me to tears, searing my heart with a previously unimaginable and even now inexplicable beauty that is almost painful at times.

There is a BBC film about you with a Russian lady who says, “Please help me, I am in love with a dead man!” The same for me and yet why should we need help?! You dedicated every day of your life to us, why could it possibly be wrong for us, why could it possibly be wrong for we of little consequence to dedicate every day of our lives to you?

Like many others, I have had an emotional and spiritual epiphany when I first heard you playing the Goldberg Variations, Bruno Monsaingeon and Jonathan Cott are just a couple of names that come to mind having stated experiencing this state of ecstasy, almost not of this world.

I ‘think I have read everything that has been written about you, and what a load of rubbish some of it it! (I think you would laugh at that!) There are some good books, but people will concentrate on your eccentricity, on the purported negatives in your life. What eccentricities? What is wrong with warming your hands before playing the piano? Why should you not wear plenty of clothes to keep you warm? Why shouldn’t you hum and sing as you play? Why is it deemed crazy to move your body with the rhythm of the music? You preferred solitude SO what’s strange about that? You preferred night to day, dark to light, me too. Does that make us strange then?

You lived with genius every day. That I think must not be so easy to do. I imagine your mind was going ten to the dozen all day long and even when you were sleeping, imageries and sounds that would leave a legacy of the very best of you for US. Cut out the trivia and let’s write (and talk) about the real Glenn Gould. The man of utmost sensitivity; the man of peace; the man of purity; the man of respect for others; the man of wit and humour with a wonderful laugh; the man of utmost passion; the man who made his own immortality through his creative genius.

For me perhaps I feel so intensely because I was deaf until I had a middle ear implant in 2011. To hear music again was a miracle! ‘Sound’ and ‘noise’ were just an incredible miracle I never thought I would experience again. No looking back on that time of revelation even that recedes into a minor experience compared to the major experience of finding you!

I have a dream, to come to Toronto and leave flowers for you on your grave. On this 35th Anniversary of your death- to the last and greatest love of my life – the tears fall as I listen to you playing Brahms, Rest in peace darling Glenn. I love you so much.

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About the Author

Kate Shapero

I am an avid classical music listener, Lover and Collector of Antiques, Environmentalist, Animal Lover, and Have a Passion For All Things Glenn Gould.

Comments 2

  1. Thank you SO much for posting this letter – it means the world to me that you think of putting it on this wonderful Glenn Gould web site – the ambience it is absolutely “Glenn” it’s a delight to be in this haven of peace with you all and with Glenn – thank you for making these visits possible. Patricia xx

    1. Hi Patricia, Thank you for your note and wonderful letter! You passion and appreciation for Glenn Gould shows through your dedication and thoughtful insight.

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