Discussion:
Schayegh / Schultsz revisionist Brahms sonatas
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Mandryka
2019-08-01 10:02:35 UTC
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There’s more on YouTube, Spotify etc

Here’s what they have to say for themselves

“Our present-day ears have become accustomed to the
fact that in Baroque music everything which is written down vertically does not necessarily sound in a
uniform, superimposed manner. However, at the latest starting from the Classical era, and especially in
Romantic music, a return to order can be welcomed,
one which is in no way “historical”. On the earliest
recordings this means that the performers do not
play together in an exact manner. That was certainly
part of the idea: a free and easy association with
tempo and notation was self-evident – anyone who
was incapable of doing this just wasn’t a proper musician! The fact that Brahms had instinctively incorporated this idea into his own thinking, and the point at
which following him sometimes proved difficult for
other, appear in many written statements. Allowing
one’s chamber music partner to develop without the need for intervention demands a great deal of
courage, practice, independence and tact. Drawing
close to this goal has been one of the great challenges
of this, our, version of the Brahms violin sonatas.”

I know nothing about late c19 music so I can’t comment on the appropriateness of what they do. It sounds like they make interesting music to me,
MiNe109
2019-08-01 14:38:22 UTC
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Post by Mandryka
I know nothing about late c19 music so I can’t comment on the
appropriateness of what they do. It sounds like they make interesting
music to me,
It's hard to imagine this independence of interpretation applied to the
cross-rhythms of Brahms.

Stephen
Mandryka
2019-08-01 15:33:27 UTC
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Is this true?

“On the earliest
recordings this means that the performers do not
play together in an exact manner. That was certainly
part of the idea: a free and easy association with
tempo and notation was self-evident – anyone who
was incapable of doing this just wasn’t a proper musician! ”
Andrew Clarke
2019-08-02 03:01:15 UTC
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Post by Mandryka
http://youtu.be/5lIrrhqLubU
There’s more on YouTube, Spotify etc
Here’s what they have to say for themselves
“Our present-day ears have become accustomed to the
fact that in Baroque music everything which is written down vertically does not necessarily sound in a
uniform, superimposed manner. However, at the latest starting from the Classical era, and especially in
Romantic music, a return to order can be welcomed,
one which is in no way “historical”. On the earliest
recordings this means that the performers do not
play together in an exact manner. That was certainly
part of the idea: a free and easy association with
tempo and notation was self-evident – anyone who
was incapable of doing this just wasn’t a proper musician! The fact that Brahms had instinctively incorporated this idea into his own thinking, and the point at
which following him sometimes proved difficult for
other, appear in many written statements. Allowing
one’s chamber music partner to develop without the need for intervention demands a great deal of
courage, practice, independence and tact. Drawing
close to this goal has been one of the great challenges
of this, our, version of the Brahms violin sonatas.”
I know nothing about late c19 music so I can’t comment on the appropriateness of what they do. It sounds like they make interesting music to me,
I can take the rubato and I'm all for 19th century pianos for Brahms, but the combination of thin violin tone and wailing portamento in this performance is too much for this listener. HIP performances just don't have to sound this way.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Mandryka
2019-08-02 07:34:46 UTC
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Of course she knew that the portamento would be a challenge, but she’s completely uncompromising about it

“We modern violinists attempt to change posi- tion as discretely as possible because we feel the sounds of sliding to be too affected, too Romantic. And there’s the problem: portamento is Romantic and forms part of the expressive repertoire of this era. If one is going to take ownership of the violinist tech- nique of the period, one has no alternative than to make the change of position discernible. Indeed, the bow must be held in a position that alters neither the pressure nor the speed through a slur. At the same time, one must let the fingers of the left hand rest as much as possible on the strings being played, even when changing position. The combination of con- stant bow contact in the right hand and finger pres- sure from the left necessarily entails a portamento, no margin being left for concealing what is thought to be undesirable. ”


Presumably she gets these ideas about authentic brahmsian violin technique from manuals, I must say I’m irritated that she doesn’t cite her sources. I’ve posted something to her asking for details of the early recordings she alludes to which show strong independence of piano and violin parts, I await a response.
Mandryka
2019-08-02 07:40:30 UTC
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By the way, the same violinist did a recording of the Bach keyboard and violin sonatas with a harpsichordist which is, she says, is heavily influenced by Mattheson’s ideas about the affect of keys. By coincidence Frank Agsteribbe released a CD of the same music at the same time based on the same ideas about affect, and the Agsteribbe captured by imagination more. I shall revisit the Schayegh though, I have a friend who raves about it.
Andrew Clarke
2019-08-02 12:17:16 UTC
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Post by Mandryka
Of course she knew that the portamento would be a challenge, but she’s completely uncompromising about it
“We modern violinists attempt to change posi- tion as discretely as possible because we feel the sounds of sliding to be too affected, too Romantic. And there’s the problem: portamento is Romantic and forms part of the expressive repertoire of this era. If one is going to take ownership of the violinist tech- nique of the period, one has no alternative than to make the change of position discernible. Indeed, the bow must be held in a position that alters neither the pressure nor the speed through a slur. At the same time, one must let the fingers of the left hand rest as much as possible on the strings being played, even when changing position. The combination of con- stant bow contact in the right hand and finger pres- sure from the left necessarily entails a portamento, no margin being left for concealing what is thought to be undesirable. ”
Presumably she gets these ideas about authentic brahmsian violin technique from manuals, I must say I’m irritated that she doesn’t cite her sources. I’ve posted something to her asking for details of the early recordings she alludes to which show strong independence of piano and violin parts, I await a response.
My comparison recording is of Robin Michael playing the Brahms cello sonatas on a gut-stringed 'cello, accompanied by Daniel Tong on an 1897 Bluethner. The tone is much fuller and warmer, there is little discernible portamento. There is some very light vibrato evident in the slower passages.

Andrew Clarke
Canberra
Mandryka
2019-08-03 20:24:28 UTC
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One other recent example of very marked portamento is in The Brooklyn Rider Quartet's op 131/i (Beethoven!) -- I don't know why they chose to do it, and I don't have the booklet to the CD.
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