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CD: Glenn Gould, Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491 (Sony). Glenn Gould claimed to hate Mozart’s music and played it badly–with one towering exception. Never have the stern yet shapely melodic lines of Mozart’s greatest minor-key concerto been etched more incisively than in this 1961 recording, gracefully accompanied by Walter Susskind and the CBC Symphony. If you’re one of the many music lovers who finds Gould’s myriad eccentricities offputting, listen to this CD with an open mind and prepare to be surprised (TT).
NOVEL: John P. Marquand, Sincerely, Willis Wayde. Babbitt with a backstory. This undeservedly forgotten 1955 blockbuster follows a New England businessman along the twisty road that leads from youthful idealism to mature vengefulness. Less subtle than Point of No Return, Marquand’s masterpiece, it offers a harsher, explicitly satirical view of life among the capitalists, and though Marquand’s Lewis-like portrayal of his anti-hero’s philistinism is a bit heavy-handed, I can’t think of a more convincing fictional description of the high price of getting what you think you want (TT).