Bach’s music was for [Glenn] Gould an archetype for the emergence of a rational system whose  intrinsic power was that it was, as it were, crafted resolutely against the negation and disorder that surround us on all sides. In enacting it on the piano, the performer aligns himself with the composer, not with the consuming public, which is impelled by the performer’s virtuosity to pay attention not so much to the performance, as a passively looked at and heard presentation, as to a rational activity being intellectually as well as aurally and visually transmitted to others.

–Edward Said, On Late Style: Music and Literature against the Grain


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