Discussion:
Bach's Matthew Passion: Versions Selection
(too old to reply)
Steven Woody
2006-05-31 16:38:01 UTC
Permalink
i have only following choices:

1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422

i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?

i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?

on the above list, only Klemperer's version was listed on the Penguin
Guide. is it normal that Furtwangler and Richer are not seen on the
famouse list?

sorry for so many questions :-)
w***@comcast.net
2006-05-31 16:48:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
More choices. I don't know why you're limited to those, but there are
plenty of better alternatives (Rilling would head my list as a first
recording to recommend).

If those are really the only choices, I guess I'd pick Richter, but
only if I could hold my nose while doing so.
Post by Steven Woody
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
No, it means that his version is cut.

Bill
Paul Ilechko
2006-05-31 17:07:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by w***@comcast.net
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
More choices. I don't know why you're limited to those, but there are
plenty of better alternatives (Rilling would head my list as a first
recording to recommend).
I'll second that emotion.
d***@sympatico.ca
2006-05-31 20:14:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by w***@comcast.net
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
More choices. I don't know why you're limited to those, but there are
plenty of better alternatives (Rilling would head my list as a first
recording to recommend).
I'll second that emotion.
I'll third it.
JG
Michael Lehrman
2006-05-31 23:40:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by d***@sympatico.ca
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by w***@comcast.net
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
More choices. I don't know why you're limited to those, but there are
plenty of better alternatives (Rilling would head my list as a first
recording to recommend).
I'll second that emotion.
I'll third it.
I'll forth it. Otherwise, take Richter.
ML
Steven de Mena
2006-05-31 16:59:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
No. From the CD: "...Furtwaengler removed 14 numbers from the score, and
some of the recitative was slightly trimmed. A further two items had to be
cut because of insurmountable technical problems in the original recording."

CD Timings: 78:14, 72:26

Steve
Gabriel Parra
2006-05-31 17:08:16 UTC
Permalink
I would pick up all three, and do have all three, plus many others.
This is likely to spark a lively debate on this forum, but I will start
off by saying my taste is peculiar and strongly biased against
"historically informed" accounts of the Matthew Passion or any other
music, for that matter. Since by the nature of your email you do not
seem to be "historically informed" yourself, perhaps you ought to know
that since those recordings were first issued back in the 1950s and
60s, a certain disease some refer to as the "period instrument"
movement began to spread throughout the classical music industry like a
cancer. Today, the emaciated, disease-wrecked body of the industry is
so fatally afflicted that it rejects any attempts at a cure, of which
the three recordings you list represent very fine antidotes. I will let
other make their HIP recommendations, which may be more to your taste
than mine. However, my favorite among those you list is definitely
Furtwangler, the slowest performance of the three. Unfortunately, the
reason it only takes up two discs is because there are several numbers
missing from the performance. Sacrilegious heretic he was, Furtwangler
and others of his generation were known to offer abridged versions of
the Passion. Being the Heretic I am, I am not completely against such a
practice, given that many of the numbers left out consist of
recitatives I am not particularly roused by. However, Furtwangler gives
what is, to my ears, the most emotionally involving and spiritually
shattering performance of all. If you seek a complete version,
Klemperer is definitely the one to go for. He is almost as good as
Furtwangler, in his own, inimitable, granitic fashion. Where
Furtwangler is lava and molten metal, Klemperer is Michelangelo-esque
marble. One is an organic force of nature, the other an epic human will
imposed upon an inorganic structure. Both are indispensable, I think.
Richter is the least idiosyncratic of the three, the one "least
interpreted," as it were, and as such, the "safest" recommendation.
That said, it is still a better Passion than any new recording of the
piece to have been produced in decades. It at least recognizes any
performance of the Passion is first and foremost a spiritual, not an
academic, exercise. I would tell you to avoid at all costs any
performance that boasts of having a small orchestra and/or choir,
period instruments, extensively researched scores, whatever. The more
learning applied to music, the less music comes through the learning.
However, if for you music is all about museums and mausoleums and
pedantic exegesis and what not, then by all means, do look up
recordings by academic poseurs who like to pretend they are musicians.
Of course, what the hell do I know? I merely listen to music, I don't
study it.
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
on the above list, only Klemperer's version was listed on the Penguin
Guide. is it normal that Furtwangler and Richer are not seen on the
famouse list?
sorry for so many questions :-)
Ian Pace
2006-05-31 17:44:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would pick up all three, and do have all three, plus many others.
This is likely to spark a lively debate on this forum, but I will start
off by saying my taste is peculiar and strongly biased against
"historically informed" accounts of the Matthew Passion or any other
music, for that matter. Since by the nature of your email you do not
seem to be "historically informed" yourself, perhaps you ought to know
that since those recordings were first issued back in the 1950s and
60s, a certain disease some refer to as the "period instrument"
movement began to spread throughout the classical music industry like a
cancer.
You don't really need to patronise members of the group here about that
subject - we have discussed HIP a great many times.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Today, the emaciated, disease-wrecked body of the industry is
so fatally afflicted that it rejects any attempts at a cure,
So you think the problems in the industry stem from the HIP movement? Rather
than saturation of the CD market, illegal downloads and all the other
factors?
Post by Gabriel Parra
of which
the three recordings you list represent very fine antidotes. I will let
other make their HIP recommendations, which may be more to your taste
than mine. However, my favorite among those you list is definitely
Furtwangler, the slowest performance of the three. Unfortunately, the
reason it only takes up two discs is because there are several numbers
missing from the performance. Sacrilegious heretic he was, Furtwangler
and others of his generation were known to offer abridged versions of
the Passion. Being the Heretic I am, I am not completely against such a
practice, given that many of the numbers left out consist of
recitatives I am not particularly roused by. However, Furtwangler gives
what is, to my ears, the most emotionally involving and spiritually
shattering performance of all. If you seek a complete version,
Klemperer is definitely the one to go for. He is almost as good as
Furtwangler, in his own, inimitable, granitic fashion. Where
Furtwangler is lava and molten metal, Klemperer is Michelangelo-esque
marble. One is an organic force of nature, the other an epic human will
imposed upon an inorganic structure. Both are indispensable, I think.
Richter is the least idiosyncratic of the three, the one "least
interpreted," as it were, and as such, the "safest" recommendation.
That said, it is still a better Passion than any new recording of the
piece to have been produced in decades.
I would find your advocacy of these more convincing (and I certainly have
time for those types of performances, even if they are not my first
preferences) if you weren't trying to create this sort of heavy-handed
dualism.
Post by Gabriel Parra
It at least recognizes any
performance of the Passion is first and foremost a spiritual, not an
academic, exercise.
That's a meaningless statement. What do you mean by 'spiritual'?
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would tell you to avoid at all costs any
performance that boasts of having a small orchestra and/or choir,
Do you not think that small orchestras/choirs can have their own merits? In
terms of clarity of detail and the like? Of course you're absolutely
entitled to your preferences.
Post by Gabriel Parra
period instruments,
Fair enough if that's your preference.
Post by Gabriel Parra
extensively researched scores,
Really? What could possibly be the harm in playing from the most
well-researched edition? Would you sooner maintain errors in earlier
editions just because those are 'the way it used to be'?
Post by Gabriel Parra
whatever. The more
learning applied to music, the less music comes through the learning.
That's meaningless anti-intellectual nonsense. I greatly doubt that
Furtwangler in particular, who was an extremely thoughtful and analytical
performer, would have wanted to be associated with such sentiments.
Post by Gabriel Parra
However, if for you music is all about museums and mausoleums and
pedantic exegesis and what not, then by all means, do look up
There are those of us that find the results brought about by research make
the music less, rather than more, of a museum piece. This research is not
just about 'pedantic exegesis', it's about many things, including the
relationship between the score and the assumed and unnotated conventions
that the composer imagined, and how conception is affected by detail.
Post by Gabriel Parra
recordings by academic poseurs who like to pretend they are musicians.
So what is a 'musician' by your definition?
Post by Gabriel Parra
Of course, what the hell do I know? I merely listen to music, I don't
study it.
Anyone who plays music studies it in some sense of the word. And to set up
the performers of the past as some sort of anti-intellectual monolith is
ridiculous and not borne out by the reality.

Ian
Gabriel Parra
2006-05-31 22:01:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
You don't really need to patronise members of the group here about that
subject - we have discussed HIP a great many times.
I was not patronizing members of the group who "have discussed HIP a
great many times." Rather, my comments were explicitly directed toward
an individual who clearly is not familiar with the polemic in question.
Post by Ian Pace
So you think the problems in the industry stem from the HIP movement? Rather
than saturation of the CD market, illegal downloads and all the other
factors?
Yes, I most assuredly believe that. I believe HIP for decades made it
almost impossible for anyone to show the slightest degree of
personality or individuality in classical music lest they be branded
"incorrect" or "inauthentic." Fortunately, this tide now seems to have
turned, with even Harnoncourt scoffing at the total lack of flexibility
and individuality of his lesser imitators.
Post by Ian Pace
I would find your advocacy of these more convincing (and I certainly have
time for those types of performances, even if they are not my first
preferences) if you weren't trying to create this sort of heavy-handed
dualism.
I am sorry that you find my (openly professed) dislike and in some
cases even hatred of the HIP movement heavy-handed. I recognize it is,
but I very deeply resent what its proponents have been doing to
classical music now for more than three decades. I am, of course, not
the only person who is violently opposed to HIP's intellectually
fundamentalist and disingenuous approach. See Barenboim, Kovacevich,
Roberts and others.
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gabriel Parra
It at least recognizes any
performance of the Passion is first and foremost a spiritual, not an
academic, exercise.
That's a meaningless statement. What do you mean by 'spiritual'?
Do I really need to explain? Do you understand that Bach repeatedly
expressed he wrote music "to the glory of God?" Musical notation in
this context is merely a means to an end, which yes, in Bach's context,
is overwhelmingly spiritual in nature. And I say this as a secular,
very much agnostic Jew.
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would tell you to avoid at all costs any
performance that boasts of having a small orchestra and/or choir,
Do you not think that small orchestras/choirs can have their own merits? In
terms of clarity of detail and the like? Of course you're absolutely
entitled to your preferences.
Right. I think I inserted enough disclaimers in my "recommendation"
regarding my "preferences." I do not think "clarity of detail" and the
like is achieved exclusively through a small orchestra. That just makes
the conductor's job easier. Even a large orchestra, with a good
conductor, can have "transparent textures" and all that mumbo-jumbo so
often discussed by HIP advocates. I often hear more "clarity of detail"
in a Furtwangler performance--bad sound and all--than in the vast
majority of modern recordings. If a conductor can't balance his
orchestra so as to bring out the necessary details, he shouldn't be
conducting, no matter the size of his orchestra.
Post by Ian Pace
Really? What could possibly be the harm in playing from the most
well-researched edition? Would you sooner maintain errors in earlier
editions just because those are 'the way it used to be'?
If extensive research led to better music I would be all for it.
However, that has not been my experience. As for "errors" and such in
earlier editions, I think it is a case of "me thinks thou dost protest
too much." I have yet to encounter a performance of the latest urtext
that blows my mind, such a great improvement it has proved to be over
earlier versions. I think such "developments" satisfy only those who
approach music as an intellectual and historical exercise.
Post by Ian Pace
That's meaningless anti-intellectual nonsense. I greatly doubt that
Furtwangler in particular, who was an extremely thoughtful and analytical
performer, would have wanted to be associated with such sentiments.
Have you ever read his "Notes," edited by Michael Tanner? He repeatedly
rails against the overly intellectual approach of certain performers.
That is not to say he himself did not use his intellect in the service
of his music making. But he did not see intellect as the alpha and
omega of music. Furtwangler, actually, would have readily described
himself as "anti-intellectual" even if, in fact, he was still a man
possessed of an enormous intellect.
Post by Ian Pace
There are those of us that find the results brought about by research make
the music less, rather than more, of a museum piece. This research is not
just about 'pedantic exegesis', it's about many things, including the
relationship between the score and the assumed and unnotated conventions
that the composer imagined, and how conception is affected by detail.
If that were so, then I would hope HIP performers would stop talking so
much about their performances and just play. The contextualization of
music, like its parallel in the visual arts world, can have nothing but
negative effects.
Post by Ian Pace
So what is a 'musician' by your definition?
Someone who plays more than he talks.
Post by Ian Pace
Anyone who plays music studies it in some sense of the word. And to set up
the performers of the past as some sort of anti-intellectual monolith is
ridiculous and not borne out by the reality.
They were not anti-intellectual. They were merely pro-music.

P.S. - I trust the foregoing is all in the spirit of respectful if not
friendly discussion. So long as no one brings out the "horseshit" as
another cromagnon did in another post I think this sort of exchange can
actually be rather enjoyable.
Ian Pace
2006-06-01 00:17:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
You don't really need to patronise members of the group here about that
subject - we have discussed HIP a great many times.
I was not patronizing members of the group who "have discussed HIP a
great many times." Rather, my comments were explicitly directed toward
an individual who clearly is not familiar with the polemic in question.
It wasn't clear who you were responding to - I'd reckon anyone who's been
posting to r.m.c.r. for more than a few weeks or so would be familiar with
the polemics. They come up pretty frequently!
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
So you think the problems in the industry stem from the HIP movement? Rather
than saturation of the CD market, illegal downloads and all the other
factors?
Yes, I most assuredly believe that. I believe HIP for decades made it
almost impossible for anyone to show the slightest degree of
personality or individuality in classical music lest they be branded
"incorrect" or "inauthentic."
I don't accept that interpretation. There has been a move in the direction
of 'correctness' on recordings over a long period of time, but that long
predates the advent of HIP, I feel.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Fortunately, this tide now seems to have
turned, with even Harnoncourt scoffing at the total lack of flexibility
and individuality of his lesser imitators.
But who exactly are you referring to here?
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
I would find your advocacy of these more convincing (and I certainly have
time for those types of performances, even if they are not my first
preferences) if you weren't trying to create this sort of heavy-handed
dualism.
I am sorry that you find my (openly professed) dislike and in some
cases even hatred of the HIP movement heavy-handed. I recognize it is,
Well...er....if you say it is heavy-handed, what's the big problem with me
agreeing with you?
Post by Gabriel Parra
but I very deeply resent what its proponents have been doing to
classical music now for more than three decades. I am, of course, not
the only person who is violently opposed to HIP's intellectually
fundamentalist and disingenuous approach. See Barenboim, Kovacevich,
Roberts and others.
Yes, I realise that - also Boulez, Colin Davis, Perlman, Zuckerman and
plenty of others.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gabriel Parra
It at least recognizes any
performance of the Passion is first and foremost a spiritual, not an
academic, exercise.
That's a meaningless statement. What do you mean by 'spiritual'?
Do I really need to explain? Do you understand that Bach repeatedly
expressed he wrote music "to the glory of God?"
Yes, but "the glory of God" is a human invention. I want to know what it
means in musical terms.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Musical notation in
this context is merely a means to an end, which yes, in Bach's context,
is overwhelmingly spiritual in nature. And I say this as a secular,
very much agnostic Jew.
I'm afraid I still don't know what 'spiritual' means.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would tell you to avoid at all costs any
performance that boasts of having a small orchestra and/or choir,
Do you not think that small orchestras/choirs can have their own merits? In
terms of clarity of detail and the like? Of course you're absolutely
entitled to your preferences.
Right. I think I inserted enough disclaimers in my "recommendation"
regarding my "preferences." I do not think "clarity of detail" and the
like is achieved exclusively through a small orchestra. That just makes
the conductor's job easier. Even a large orchestra, with a good
conductor, can have "transparent textures" and all that mumbo-jumbo so
often discussed by HIP advocates. I often hear more "clarity of detail"
in a Furtwangler performance--bad sound and all--than in the vast
majority of modern recordings. If a conductor can't balance his
orchestra so as to bring out the necessary details, he shouldn't be
conducting, no matter the size of his orchestra.
OK - but it's not all about the conductor. There are things one can achieve
with smaller forces that can't be achieved with bigger ones.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
Really? What could possibly be the harm in playing from the most
well-researched edition? Would you sooner maintain errors in earlier
editions just because those are 'the way it used to be'?
If extensive research led to better music I would be all for it.
However, that has not been my experience. As for "errors" and such in
earlier editions, I think it is a case of "me thinks thou dost protest
too much." I have yet to encounter a performance of the latest urtext
that blows my mind, such a great improvement it has proved to be over
earlier versions.
I wasn't saying that, just that well-researched editions are generally a
pretty good thing, that's all, after you said you turned away from any
recording that used them. The New Brahms Edition is correcting vast numbers
of things - whole hosts of accents/diminuendos mixed up on a single page,
for example (apparently 18 on the first page of the First Symphony). I'm
very interested to hear the results of using the new edition.
Post by Gabriel Parra
I think such "developments" satisfy only those who
approach music as an intellectual and historical exercise.
Looking at music intellectually and historical can, in my opinion, be one of
various strategies for producing a more incisive musical approach.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
That's meaningless anti-intellectual nonsense. I greatly doubt that
Furtwangler in particular, who was an extremely thoughtful and analytical
performer, would have wanted to be associated with such sentiments.
Have you ever read his "Notes," edited by Michael Tanner? He repeatedly
rails against the overly intellectual approach of certain performers.
I haven't read it, no (not being that much of a Furt fan), but that sounds
like typical side-swiping that many musicians indulge in - not the sort of
thing I take too seriously.
Post by Gabriel Parra
That is not to say he himself did not use his intellect in the service
of his music making. But he did not see intellect as the alpha and
omega of music.
Who does? Certainly very few of the HIPsters I know of.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Furtwangler, actually, would have readily described
himself as "anti-intellectual" even if, in fact, he was still a man
possessed of an enormous intellect.
Are you sure he would?
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
There are those of us that find the results brought about by research make
the music less, rather than more, of a museum piece. This research is not
just about 'pedantic exegesis', it's about many things, including the
relationship between the score and the assumed and unnotated conventions
that the composer imagined, and how conception is affected by detail.
If that were so, then I would hope HIP performers would stop talking so
much about their performances and just play. The contextualization of
music, like its parallel in the visual arts world, can have nothing but
negative effects.
Music always exists in a context. That is not to say it's totally bound by
such a context (that's an interpretation I reject emphatically), but to
assert that it is 100% independent of such is a pipe-dream, at least at
present, I believe.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
So what is a 'musician' by your definition?
Someone who plays more than he talks.
I think that's true of most HIPsters.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
Anyone who plays music studies it in some sense of the word. And to set up
the performers of the past as some sort of anti-intellectual monolith is
ridiculous and not borne out by the reality.
They were not anti-intellectual. They were merely pro-music.
But so are HIPsters. I'm a strong believer in the value of looking at music
in terms of its historical context and compositional intention, so far as
those can be discerned with some degree of plausible accuracy. I'm
interested in its relationship to its context, which can itself be quite
complex. That to me is part of the music itself. And that's not at all to
deny that the music can project out beyond such a context - indeed such
contextualisation can make that all the more clear sometimes. Harnoncourt
has interesting thoughts on this (in his volume of essays 'Baroque Music
Today').
Post by Gabriel Parra
P.S. - I trust the foregoing is all in the spirit of respectful if not
friendly discussion.
Absolutely, yes.
Post by Gabriel Parra
So long as no one brings out the "horseshit" as
another cromagnon did in another post I think this sort of exchange can
actually be rather enjoyable.
Sure. That's not my style when others approach such discourse with some
decorum.

Ian
Simon Roberts
2006-06-01 14:19:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
So you think the problems in the industry stem from the HIP movement? Rather
than saturation of the CD market, illegal downloads and all the other
factors?
Yes, I most assuredly believe that. I believe HIP for decades made it
almost impossible for anyone to show the slightest degree of
personality or individuality in classical music lest they be branded
"incorrect" or "inauthentic."
I don't accept that interpretation. There has been a move in the direction
of 'correctness' on recordings over a long period of time, but that long
predates the advent of HIP, I feel.
Not only that, the notion that HIP "for decades" made it "almost impossible" for
anyone to show "the slightest degree of personality or individuality" is hardly
borne out by the recorded evidence. True, there are bores in the HIP camp, but
some of the most individual performers around can be found there too -
Harnoncourt, MAK, etc.
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gabriel Parra
If extensive research led to better music I would be all for it.
However, that has not been my experience. As for "errors" and such in
earlier editions, I think it is a case of "me thinks thou dost protest
too much." I have yet to encounter a performance of the latest urtext
that blows my mind, such a great improvement it has proved to be over
earlier versions.
I wasn't saying that, just that well-researched editions are generally a
pretty good thing, that's all, after you said you turned away from any
recording that used them. The New Brahms Edition is correcting vast numbers
of things - whole hosts of accents/diminuendos mixed up on a single page,
for example (apparently 18 on the first page of the First Symphony). I'm
very interested to hear the results of using the new edition.
Sometimes the improvements (or however you want to put it) are far less subtle
than that. Consider, say, Haydn's symphonies. As I write I'm listening to van
Beinum's recording of 96 and wishing he had been able to use Landon's edition
rather than the corrupt old edition he had to use (and Beecham and others, even
Haitink if memory serves, could have used but didn't) - timpani playing when
they shouldn't, not playing when they should, brass parts significantly
rewritten (generally making the writing tamer), etc. Much the same is true,
albeit to an even more obvious extent, of 48 (and presumably others I'm
forgetting) and the Nelson Mass. To these ears, the results of research are
better music, whether performed by HIPsters or not.
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Gabriel Parra
I think such "developments" satisfy only those who
approach music as an intellectual and historical exercise.
Looking at music intellectually and historical can, in my opinion, be one of
various strategies for producing a more incisive musical approach.
Quite. Besides, for many, the point of HIP is to achieve music-making that's
more alive/dramatic/involving/personal etc. (They may not always achieve such
results, and one may not always like it when they do, but that's another
matter.) I would be amazed if anyone who enjoys, say, MAK's Telemann or
Brandenburg 3 & 6, or Giardino Armonico's or Sonatori della Gioiosa Marca's
Vivaldi, did so "as an intellectual and historical exercise".

Simon
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-01 14:48:16 UTC
Permalink
As I write I'm listening to van Beinum's recording of 96 and wishing he
had been able to use Landon's edition rather than the corrupt old
edition he had to use (and Beecham and others, even Haitink if memory
serves, could have used but didn't) - timpani playing when they
shouldn't, not playing when they should, brass parts significantly
rewritten (generally making the writing tamer), etc.
Not to change the subject, but how is van Beinum's Haydn (aside from the
corrupt old editions)? (I know only his Brahms, which I quite like.)

Matty
Simon Roberts
2006-06-01 14:53:32 UTC
Permalink
In article <17lpwm0dd54s6$.py4oxqnzypsp$***@40tude.net>, Matthew Silverstein
says...
Post by Matthew Silverstein
As I write I'm listening to van Beinum's recording of 96 and wishing he
had been able to use Landon's edition rather than the corrupt old
edition he had to use (and Beecham and others, even Haitink if memory
serves, could have used but didn't) - timpani playing when they
shouldn't, not playing when they should, brass parts significantly
rewritten (generally making the writing tamer), etc.
Not to change the subject, but how is van Beinum's Haydn (aside from the
corrupt old editions)? (I know only his Brahms, which I quite like.)
I need to listen again (this morning was my first encounter with it).
Occasionally there's some quite fetching phrasing from the strings and winds,
but nothing else grabbed me. Maybe next time I'll hear what all the fuss is
about.

Simon
Lena
2006-06-01 20:37:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
says...
Post by Matthew Silverstein
As I write I'm listening to van Beinum's recording of 96 and wishing he
had been able to use Landon's edition rather than the corrupt old
edition he had to use (and Beecham and others, even Haitink if memory
serves, could have used but didn't) - timpani playing when they
shouldn't, not playing when they should, brass parts significantly
rewritten (generally making the writing tamer), etc.
Not to change the subject, but how is van Beinum's Haydn (aside from the
corrupt old editions)? (I know only his Brahms, which I quite like.)
I need to listen again (this morning was my first encounter with it).
Occasionally there's some quite fetching phrasing from the strings and winds,
but nothing else grabbed me. Maybe next time I'll hear what all the fuss is
about.
I was curious about van Beinum's Haydn, too. Do you know which corrupt
old edition he uses? (In the unusual case the notes actually gleefully
advertise the corruptness of the edition used.)

Lena
Simon Roberts
2006-06-01 21:14:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lena
Post by Simon Roberts
says...
Post by Matthew Silverstein
As I write I'm listening to van Beinum's recording of 96 and wishing he
had been able to use Landon's edition rather than the corrupt old
edition he had to use (and Beecham and others, even Haitink if memory
serves, could have used but didn't) - timpani playing when they
shouldn't, not playing when they should, brass parts significantly
rewritten (generally making the writing tamer), etc.
Not to change the subject, but how is van Beinum's Haydn (aside from the
corrupt old editions)? (I know only his Brahms, which I quite like.)
I need to listen again (this morning was my first encounter with it).
Occasionally there's some quite fetching phrasing from the strings and winds,
but nothing else grabbed me. Maybe next time I'll hear what all the fuss is
about.
I was curious about van Beinum's Haydn, too. Do you know which corrupt
old edition he uses? (In the unusual case the notes actually gleefully
advertise the corruptness of the edition used.)
No. Are there more than one? Anyway, it seems to be the same as whatever it is
Beecham uses.

Simon
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 16:40:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by Ian Pace
I don't accept that interpretation. There has been a move in the direction
of 'correctness' on recordings over a long period of time, but that long
predates the advent of HIP, I feel.
Not only that, the notion that HIP "for decades" made it "almost impossible" for
anyone to show "the slightest degree of personality or individuality" is hardly
borne out by the recorded evidence. True, there are bores in the HIP camp, but
some of the most individual performers around can be found there too -
Harnoncourt, MAK, etc.
"About six months ago I purchased Susanne Lautenbacher's recording of
the Bach Sonatas and Partitas--a perfect cure for the glut of recent
"authentic instrument" butcherings."

This was written by another poster in the forum in another thread.
Perhaps we can all agree that just as there are people who like to hear
their Bach performed on gut strings, there are others who don't.
Problem is, those who don't have a very limited range of options
available today because it is no longer "fashionable" and HIP to play
Bach's string or orchestral works on modern instruments. Piano v.
harpsichord, thankfully, is another matter. There, I think most agree
with Beecham's assesment of the harpsichord's sound as being like that
of two skeletons copulating on a corrugated tin roof. At any rate,
"glut" is precisely what we have as far as period performances of
baroque music is concerned. How is that for what killed classical music?
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-01 17:19:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
At any rate,
"glut" is precisely what we have as far as period performances of
baroque music is concerned. How is that for what killed classical music?
Music was killed by too much music ?
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-01 18:39:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Perhaps we can all agree that just as there are people who like to hear
their Bach performed on gut strings, there are others who don't.
Problem is, those who don't have a very limited range of options
available today because it is no longer "fashionable" and HIP to play
Bach's string or orchestral works on modern instruments.
Eh? A cursory of Tower Records online evealed the following (available)
complete recordings of the Sonatas and Partitas on modern instruments:

Heifetz
Kremer
Szigeti
Perlman
Sitkovetsky
Lupu
Martzy
Fischer
Schmid
Enescu
Ehnes
Fulkerson
Tetzlaff
Zehetmair
Rosand
Szeryng
Suske
Buswell
Mintz
Grumiaux
Milstein
Menuhin
Silverstein (not me)
Milenkovich

I'm sure I missed several. Many of these were released in the past five
years, and the Kremer is brand new. Here are the ones on gut strings:

Podger
van Dael
Schroeder
Kuijken
Matthews
Huggett
Wallfisch

Doesn't seem like "a very limited range" to me!
Post by Gabriel Parra
How is that for what killed classical music?
But who said classical music is dead?

Matty
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-01 20:33:05 UTC
Permalink
Eh? A cursory of Tower Records online [snip]
Sorry. Obviously that should read "cursory search of Tower . . ."

Matty
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 22:36:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Eh? A cursory of Tower Records online evealed the following (available)
Heifetz
Kremer
Szigeti
Perlman
Sitkovetsky
Lupu
Martzy
Fischer
Schmid
Enescu
Ehnes
Fulkerson
Tetzlaff
Zehetmair
Rosand
Szeryng
Suske
Buswell
Mintz
Grumiaux
Milstein
Menuhin
Silverstein (not me)
Milenkovich
Lupu? As in Radu? Damn, that's news to me.
Post by Matthew Silverstein
I'm sure I missed several. Many of these were released in the past five
years, and the Kremer is brand new.
Question, is, how many were released decades ago? How many recently?
And how many of those recently released have not been, in some cases
overwhelmingly, influenced by HIP? And of those released decades ago,
how distinctive are they compared to those released recently? When was
the last time the Berlin Philharmonic played the Branderburg concerti?
Not since Karajan, and his Branderburgs are almost universally assailed
by critics for not being "historically correct." Moreover, one doesn't
need gut strings to sound HIP. Look at Abbado's Beethoven set. Or the
recent Norrington on modern instruments. Or Zinmman. Or Zander. Or a
whole host of other conductors who have taken perfectly respectable
modern orchestras and stamped a HIP aesthetic on them.
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Podger
van Dael
Schroeder
Kuijken
Matthews
Huggett
Wallfisch
Doesn't seem like "a very limited range" to me!
Again, HIP standards have been so pervasive that it is almost
impossible today to find a set that doesn't take its "findings" into
account. Do you have Abbado's Beethoven set? I forget whether it was in
an interview or in the liner notes themselves that he actually said
that although he loves Furtwangler's performances of the symphonies, he
could not in good conscience perform the symphonies without taking HIP
into account, given its "findings." That is precisely my point: that
many musicians today feel that unless they follow its strictures, they
may be accused of violating its sacrosanct mandates. HIP has created a
climate of intellectual and even moral intimidation in music.
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Post by Gabriel Parra
How is that for what killed classical music?
But who said classical music is dead?
Empirical observation. Median age at most concerts is about 98.
Steven de Mena
2006-06-01 22:43:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Eh? A cursory of Tower Records online evealed the following (available)
Heifetz
Kremer
Szigeti
Perlman
Sitkovetsky
Lupu
Martzy
Fischer
Schmid
Enescu
Ehnes
Fulkerson
Tetzlaff
Zehetmair
Rosand
Szeryng
Suske
Buswell
Mintz
Grumiaux
Milstein
Menuhin
Silverstein (not me)
Milenkovich
Lupu? As in Radu? Damn, that's news to me.
No. Violinist Sherban Lupu.

Steve
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-01 23:11:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Lupu? As in Radu? Damn, that's news to me.
No, Lupu as in Sherban. See: http://tinyurl.com/ry2hv.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Question, is, how many were released decades ago? How many recently?
As I said, many of the recordings on modern strings were released in the
past five years. (If you want to count them, go ahead.)
Post by Gabriel Parra
And how many of those recently released have not been, in some cases
overwhelmingly, influenced by HIP?
I don't know, but your complaint was about gut strings, and about how
people who like to hear this music on modern violins can't do so anymore.
Post by Gabriel Parra
And of those released decades ago, how distinctive are they compared to
those released recently? When was the last time the Berlin Philharmonic
played the Branderburg concerti? Not since Karajan, and his Branderburgs
are almost universally assailed by critics for not being "historically
correct."
Really? The only recent review I read assailed them for being boring and
colorless.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Again, HIP standards have been so pervasive that it is almost
impossible today to find a set that doesn't take its "findings" into
account. Do you have Abbado's Beethoven set?
I borrowed it from the library and couldn't stand it. Have you heard
Barenboim's Beethoven set?
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Matthew Silverstein
But who said classical music is dead?
Empirical observation. Median age at most concerts is about 98.
Please. Read this:

http://tinyurl.com/qwndg

But even if you're right and the median age is increasing irreversibly, you
really think that HIP is to blame? There is much classical music I wouldn't
listen to at all if it weren't for HIP . . .

Matty
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-02 06:41:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Really? The only recent review I read assailed them for being boring and
colorless.
I think they sound gorgeous. Aesthete that he was, Karajan takes
otherwise mediocre music (and in the context of Bach's works, the
Branderburgs are his 1812 Overture--easy and vacuous classical music
for people who don't otherwise listen to classical music) and makes it
at least nice to listen to. Otherwise, save for Furtwangler's
completely idiosyncratic performance of the 5th, where I admit he finds
more music than is actually there, as it were, I am not a fan of the
Branderburgs.
Post by Matthew Silverstein
I borrowed it from the library and couldn't stand it. Have you heard
Barenboim's Beethoven set?
Predictably, perhaps, I love Barenboim's set. I am looking forward to
Eschenbach putting the Philadelphians through their paces in this
repertoire. I recently heard them perform Beethoven's 3rd and 7th, and
they were the best live accounts of both those works I've ever heard.
Came away thinking that here, at last, we have someone with guts in his
abdomen and not on his strings.
Post by Matthew Silverstein
http://tinyurl.com/qwndg
But even if you're right and the median age is increasing irreversibly, you
really think that HIP is to blame? There is much classical music I wouldn't
listen to at all if it weren't for HIP . . .
But where is today's Furtwangler, or Karajan, or Horrowitz, or
Bernstein, or Rubenstein, or... Lang Lang!? What an abomination!
Problem with classical music is not the audience, but its performers.
There are no larger than life personalities anymore to pack 'em in.
Part of the problem with HIP is that it has made it a crime to be a
showman rather than a mere academic, on top of being a musician. So
what's wrong with someone like Bernstein, who no matter what he
performed, was always Bernstein? What I mean to say is, unfortunately,
merely playing the music and expecting crowds to show up is not enough.
You need someone to transmit an inffectious love of the music to a
broad audience. Bernstein could do that. No one I can think of who is
playing today can do the same. Nevertheless, I was surprised to see
that the consensus conductor's conductor according to a recent
Gramopone survey was Bernstein. No HIPsters mentioned by any of the
conductors surveyed, but then again, none was a HIPster him or (in the
case of Alsop) herself. Still, it was relieving to see no one mentioned
Harnoncourt, which was surprising.
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-02 06:57:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
I think they sound gorgeous. Aesthete that he was, Karajan takes
otherwise mediocre music (and in the context of Bach's works, the
Branderburgs are his 1812 Overture--easy and vacuous classical music for
people who don't otherwise listen to classical music) and makes it at
least nice to listen to. Otherwise, save for Furtwangler's completely
idiosyncratic performance of the 5th, where I admit he finds more music
than is actually there, as it were, I am not a fan of the Branderburgs.
Ah well. I think the 5th Brandenburg is one of Bach's greatest non-vocal
compositions (and I think the other 5 are neither easy nor vacuous).
Perhaps if you heard performances better than Karajan's. Why don't you try
Alessandrini's recent recording on Naive?
Post by Gabriel Parra
Predictably, perhaps, I love Barenboim's set.
As do I. My point is simply that you're hardly deprived these days.
Post by Gabriel Parra
But where is today's Furtwangler, or Karajan, or Horrowitz, or
Bernstein, or Rubenstein, or... Lang Lang!? What an abomination!
Where is yesterday's Pletnev, or Pogorelich, or Wispelwey, or Podles, or
Pregardien, Il Giardino Armonic, or . . .
Post by Gabriel Parra
Problem with classical music is not the audience, but its performers.
There are no larger than life personalities anymore to pack 'em in.
Then why are there so many concerts that are actually sold out? As the
article I linked to indicates, Horowitz, Heifetz, and Rubinstein used to be
the only preformers that could regularly sell out Carnegie Hall. Now most
Philharmonic concerts (and most concerts at Carnegie Hall) are full. The
fact that we don't need "larger than life personalities" in order to "pack
'em in" shows just how healthy the classical music scene actually is! Did
you read the article?

Are you making these claims a priori? I ask that only because your
assertions fly in the face of readily available evidence.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Part of the problem with HIP is that it has made it a crime to be a
showman rather than a mere academic, on top of being a musician.
You should tell that to the various showmen among the HIPsters, such as
Carmignola and Biondi, to name a couple of my favorite HIP violinists.
Post by Gabriel Parra
So what's wrong with someone like Bernstein, who no matter what he
performed, was always Bernstein?
Nothing. I've never seen HIPsters complain about him (though I've met many
who admire him greatly). Bernstein was a HIPster of sorts in his
day--claiming that his Schumann cycle with the NYPO was the first to use
Schumann's unadulterated scores.
Post by Gabriel Parra
What I mean to say is, unfortunately, merely playing the music and
expecting crowds to show up is not enough. You need someone to transmit
an inffectious love of the music to a broad audience.
Perhaps they can't transmit such a love of music *to you*, but there are
plenty who manage to do so to quite a broad audience. You may not like the
performers around today (and that is of course your perogative), but it
hardly follows from your dislike that everyone dislikes them.

Matty
Simon Roberts
2006-06-02 13:36:33 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@h76g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, Gabriel
Parra says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
Part of the problem with HIP is that it has made it a crime to be a
showman rather than a mere academic, on top of being a musician.
You keep saying this without a shred of evidence. Of course, given your boast
elsewhere that you're willfully ignorant of HIPster and their performances,
that's unavoidable. Your fondness for making unsubstantiated comments like this
is regrettable.

So
Post by Gabriel Parra
what's wrong with someone like Bernstein, who no matter what he
performed, was always Bernstein?
Nothing. He's one of my favorite conductors. How many HIPsters have said
anything negative about any of his performances of anything?

What I mean to say is, unfortunately,
Post by Gabriel Parra
merely playing the music and expecting crowds to show up is not enough.
You need someone to transmit an inffectious love of the music to a
broad audience. Bernstein could do that. No one I can think of who is
playing today can do the same.
That's merely a reflection of your limited knowledge, your taste, or both.

Simon
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-02 00:00:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Lupu? As in Radu? Damn, that's news to me.
How does it feel to make an ass of yourself ?
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Matthew Silverstein
But who said classical music is dead?
Empirical observation. Median age at most concerts is about 98.
Not at the high school orchestra concerts I've been to recently, or the
regional junior orchestra concerts. Not to mention the fact that there
is a wider choice of recordings available now than ever before.
Simon Roberts
2006-06-01 18:42:47 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com>, Gabriel
Parra says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by Ian Pace
I don't accept that interpretation. There has been a move in the direction
of 'correctness' on recordings over a long period of time, but that long
predates the advent of HIP, I feel.
Not only that, the notion that HIP "for decades" made it "almost impossible" for
anyone to show "the slightest degree of personality or individuality" is hardly
borne out by the recorded evidence. True, there are bores in the HIP camp, but
some of the most individual performers around can be found there too -
Harnoncourt, MAK, etc.
"About six months ago I purchased Susanne Lautenbacher's recording of
the Bach Sonatas and Partitas--a perfect cure for the glut of recent
"authentic instrument" butcherings."
This was written by another poster in the forum in another thread.
Perhaps we can all agree that just as there are people who like to hear
their Bach performed on gut strings, there are others who don't.
It's hard to see why anyone would disagree on that. But as you surely know,
there's more to HIP than using gut strings (and shorter necks and different bows
etc.). It's as much about style as hardware.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Problem is, those who don't have a very limited range of options
available today because it is no longer "fashionable" and HIP to play
Bach's string or orchestral works on modern instruments.
Whether that's true of live performances I don't know. In the context of
recordings it's a non-issue. To avoid HIP recordings of the Bach violin sonatas
there's more out there than Miss Lautenbacher - there are dozens of non-HIP
recordings available.

Piano v.
Post by Gabriel Parra
harpsichord, thankfully, is another matter. There, I think most agree
with Beecham's assesment of the harpsichord's sound as being like that
of two skeletons copulating on a corrugated tin roof. At any rate,
"glut" is precisely what we have as far as period performances of
baroque music is concerned. How is that for what killed classical music?
Unpersuasive.

Simon
a***@aol.com
2006-06-01 21:44:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
Parra says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Simon Roberts
Post by Ian Pace
I don't accept that interpretation. There has been a move in the direction
of 'correctness' on recordings over a long period of time, but that long
predates the advent of HIP, I feel.
Not only that, the notion that HIP "for decades" made it "almost impossible" for
anyone to show "the slightest degree of personality or individuality" is hardly
borne out by the recorded evidence. True, there are bores in the HIP camp, but
some of the most individual performers around can be found there too -
Harnoncourt, MAK, etc.
"About six months ago I purchased Susanne Lautenbacher's recording of
the Bach Sonatas and Partitas--a perfect cure for the glut of recent
"authentic instrument" butcherings."
This was written by another poster in the forum in another thread.
Perhaps we can all agree that just as there are people who like to hear
their Bach performed on gut strings, there are others who don't.
It's hard to see why anyone would disagree on that. But as you surely know,
there's more to HIP than using gut strings (and shorter necks and different bows
etc.). It's as much about style as hardware.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Problem is, those who don't have a very limited range of options
available today because it is no longer "fashionable" and HIP to play
Bach's string or orchestral works on modern instruments.
Whether that's true of live performances I don't know. In the context of
recordings it's a non-issue. To avoid HIP recordings of the Bach violin sonatas
there's more out there than Miss Lautenbacher - there are dozens of non-HIP
recordings available.
Piano v.
Post by Gabriel Parra
harpsichord, thankfully, is another matter. There, I think most agree
with Beecham's assesment of the harpsichord's sound as being like that
of two skeletons copulating on a corrugated tin roof. At any rate,
"glut" is precisely what we have as far as period performances of
baroque music is concerned. How is that for what killed classical music?
Unpersuasive.
Simon
As an aside (and I have not heard her playing
Bach) I once heard Ms Lautenbacher give an absolutely inspired
performance of Pfitzner's Violin Concerto. Wonderful playing of a
beautiful concerto.

My experience of the harpsichord is that it depends on who is playing.
I learned such Couperin as I know from Kenneth Gilbert and treasure the
LPs he made and if anyone has done a better Rameau Fandango (D Minor)
than Rafael Puyana I would be surprised.

Spectacular music by a spectacular composer.

I realise this seriously dates me!

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 22:39:50 UTC
Permalink
Simon Roberts wrote:

Bach performed on gut strings, there are others who don't.
Post by Simon Roberts
It's hard to see why anyone would disagree on that. But as you surely know,
there's more to HIP than using gut strings (and shorter necks and different bows
etc.). It's as much about style as hardware.
Absolutely. Little or no vibrato, rigid tempi, consistently fast
speeds, clipped phrasing, etc. Made that point above. Just look at
Abbado, Norrington, Harnoncourt and others in Beethoven.
Post by Simon Roberts
Whether that's true of live performances I don't know. In the context of
recordings it's a non-issue. To avoid HIP recordings of the Bach violin sonatas
there's more out there than Miss Lautenbacher - there are dozens of non-HIP
recordings available.
Yes, but few non-HIP performers of Baroque music who are actually
alive.
Post by Simon Roberts
Piano v.
Post by Gabriel Parra
harpsichord, thankfully, is another matter. There, I think most agree
with Beecham's assesment of the harpsichord's sound as being like that
of two skeletons copulating on a corrugated tin roof. At any rate,
"glut" is precisely what we have as far as period performances of
baroque music is concerned. How is that for what killed classical music?
Beecham is not persuasive? Fine. But what a great sense of humor!
Ian Pace
2006-06-01 22:47:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Bach performed on gut strings, there are others who don't.
Post by Simon Roberts
It's hard to see why anyone would disagree on that. But as you surely know,
there's more to HIP than using gut strings (and shorter necks and different bows
etc.). It's as much about style as hardware.
Absolutely. Little or no vibrato, rigid tempi, consistently fast
speeds, clipped phrasing, etc. Made that point above. Just look at
Abbado, Norrington, Harnoncourt and others in Beethoven.
Post by Simon Roberts
Whether that's true of live performances I don't know. In the context of
recordings it's a non-issue. To avoid HIP recordings of the Bach violin sonatas
there's more out there than Miss Lautenbacher - there are dozens of non-HIP
recordings available.
Yes, but few non-HIP performers of Baroque music who are actually
alive.
Have you tried Perlman or Zuckerman? They are most definitely not HIP in any
sense.

Ian
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-02 06:06:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Have you tried Perlman or Zuckerman? They are most definitely not HIP in any
sense.
I have, and love both. A dying breed.
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-01 23:12:17 UTC
Permalink
Absolutely. Little or no vibrato, rigid tempi, consistently fast speeds,
clipped phrasing, etc.
This really doesn't describe contemporary HIPsters at all, you know.

Matty
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-02 00:01:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Absolutely. Little or no vibrato, rigid tempi, consistently fast speeds,
clipped phrasing, etc.
This really doesn't describe contemporary HIPsters at all, you know.
He doesn't care. You can't use evidence with fundamentalists.
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-02 06:50:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
This really doesn't describe contemporary HIPsters at all, you know.
From what I gather, then, ever since I stopped listening to HIP
performances about fifteen years ago, HIP has undergone something of a
transformation. I will readily admit that due to many bad experiences,
like a woman becoming a lesbian or at least a nun after becoming
convinced there are no good men out there after one too many bad dates,
I simply stopped listening to HIP recordings. Okay, then. Matthew:
could you propose a list of, say, five recordings that in your
estimation present the best of what contemporary HIP has to offer?
Mainstream repertoire, please. Not the least interested in renaissance
music, for instance, which I find unbearably dull. How about one each
of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms?
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-02 07:06:06 UTC
Permalink
Okay, then. Matthew: could you propose a list of, say, five recordings
that in your estimation present the best of what contemporary HIP has to
offer? Mainstream repertoire, please. Not the least interested in
renaissance music, for instance, which I find unbearably dull. How about
one each of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms?
Bach: Cello Suites - Wispelwey (Channel Classics--his second recording,
actually cheaper than his first)

Mozart: 'Gran Partita' Serenade - Ensemble Zefiro (HM)

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 - Levin/Gardiner (DG)

Schubert: Winterreise - Pregardien/Staier (Teldec)

Brahms: Nothing really stands out here. Instead how about . . .

Vivaldi: Concerti - Carmignola (Sony or Divox)

Handel: Ariodante - Minkowski (DG)

Haydn: String Quartets - Mosaiques Quartet (Naive)

Matty
Ian Pace
2006-06-02 07:17:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Brahms: Nothing really stands out here.
Try the String Sexets with L'Archibudelli or the C Minor Piano Quartet and
Piano Quintet with La Gaia Scienza.

Ian
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-02 08:04:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Try the String Sexets with L'Archibudelli or the C Minor Piano Quartet and
Piano Quintet with La Gaia Scienza.
As I wrote above, I find L'Archibudelli to be a fine group so I am
looking forward to getting the recordings you list. As for the piano
quintet, is it played with a fortepiano? I shudder at the thought but
will give it a try nonetheless.

Speaking of pianofortes vs. fortepianos, do HIP adherents not agree
that instruments did not evolve in a vacuum, but rather in response to
the demands of the music they were called on to play? That is,
Beethoven's fortepianos were inadequate instruments for his
music--especially a piece like the Hammerklavier--and it was not until
playing styles evolved thanks to Liszt and fortepianos became
pianofortes that, say, his last sonatas finally were able to be
performed as Beethoven intended, with instruments he did not have at
his disposal when he composed music that did not depend on the
sonorities of the instruments of his time? Recall that after Op. 111 he
said he found the pianos available to him "inadequate," although he did
go on to compose Opp. 119, 120 and 126. I'm pretty sure he would have
been thrilled to have a modern concert grand. I also love it when he
told the Schuppanzigh quartet, after they complained they couldn't
perform one of his last quartets, "Do you suppose I care about a
fucking fiddle when the spirit moves me?" To me, that is the most
authoritative statement ever made against the idea that period
instruments make a significant contribution to the art (and I'm sure he
used the more uncouth "fucking" and not "wretched"). I also remember
reading the Cambridge music handbook of Beethoven's 9th where the
author writes that for a trully "authentic" performance of the work it
should be played by a band of badly trained amateurs on inadequate
instruments under wretched conditions and with innumerable mistakes.
Also, Mozart's enthusiasm for large orchestras. Problem with HIP is, it
takes an incidental and makes it a fundamental. Bach wrote for the
limited forces and instruments he composed for because they were what
was available to him as a court composer. Same goes for Mozart. When he
knew he would have clarinets available for a symphony, for instance, he
would throw them in. He salivated over the huge orchestra in Mannheim.
Anyway, point is, if you want to play HIP style, by all means, go ahead
and do so, but please don't be ridiculous and claim it was "what the
composer intended." I, for one, am thankful for professional musicians
who play on instruments that have evolved to meet the demands of the
score and not of history.
f***@hotmail.com
2006-06-02 08:38:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
Try the String Sexets with L'Archibudelli or the C Minor Piano Quartet and
Piano Quintet with La Gaia Scienza.
As I wrote above, I find L'Archibudelli to be a fine group so I am
looking forward to getting the recordings you list. As for the piano
quintet, is it played with a fortepiano? I shudder at the thought but
will give it a try nonetheless.
I have this recording of the sextets, too. And, while being very much
pro-HIP, I don't really like it. Comes across as a bit glassy and bland
- I miss the unbelievable richness of tone and of shadings and
colorations gut strings can offer. Instead, what you get here is a very
bright clarity with little variation of tone.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Speaking of pianofortes vs. fortepianos, do HIP adherents not agree
that instruments did not evolve in a vacuum, but rather in response to
the demands of the music they were called on to play? That is,
Beethoven's fortepianos were inadequate instruments for his
music--especially a piece like the Hammerklavier--and it was not until
playing styles evolved thanks to Liszt and fortepianos became
pianofortes that, say, his last sonatas finally were able to be
performed as Beethoven intended, with instruments he did not have at
his disposal when he composed music that did not depend on the
sonorities of the instruments of his time? Recall that after Op. 111 he
said he found the pianos available to him "inadequate," although he did
go on to compose Opp. 119, 120 and 126. I'm pretty sure he would have
been thrilled to have a modern concert grand. I also love it when he
told the Schuppanzigh quartet, after they complained they couldn't
perform one of his last quartets, "Do you suppose I care about a
fucking fiddle when the spirit moves me?" To me, that is the most
authoritative statement ever made against the idea that period
instruments make a significant contribution to the art (and I'm sure he
used the more uncouth "fucking" and not "wretched"). I also remember
reading the Cambridge music handbook of Beethoven's 9th where the
author writes that for a trully "authentic" performance of the work it
should be played by a band of badly trained amateurs on inadequate
instruments under wretched conditions and with innumerable mistakes.
Also, Mozart's enthusiasm for large orchestras. Problem with HIP is, it
takes an incidental and makes it a fundamental. Bach wrote for the
limited forces and instruments he composed for because they were what
was available to him as a court composer. Same goes for Mozart. When he
knew he would have clarinets available for a symphony, for instance, he
would throw them in. He salivated over the huge orchestra in Mannheim.
Anyway, point is, if you want to play HIP style, by all means, go ahead
and do so, but please don't be ridiculous and claim it was "what the
composer intended." I, for one, am thankful for professional musicians
who play on instruments that have evolved to meet the demands of the
score and not of history.
May I confess what makes your posts most interesting and enjoyable for
me?

Until 3 years ago, I was thinking exactly the way you write now. It all
sounds so familiar and makes me think about how I could change so
drastically...

I also preferred Klemperer's Bach to any HIP I knew - than came
Concerto Italiano/ Alessandrini and Nederlandse Bachvereniging/
Veldhoven (haven't got their St. Matthew yet, but their Christmas
Oratorio is stunning). And I agree about your remark about lacking
"spritual" content - when listening to the opening of the St. Matthew
Passion in Gardiner's recording, the music sounded in contrast with the
text rather than in tune with it.

I loathed harpsichords - then I discovered Richard Egarr and Christine
Schornsheim (Haydn).

I loathed fortepianos, too. This tinny, wiry, miserable sound! Well,
after Schornsheim (Haydn) and Brautigam (Beethoven), to name only two,
I am counting the days for the next installment of Brautigam's
Beethoven cycle.

All of which made me begin to read about performing practices in the
past. Currently, I am reading a book by a violin teacher of the
Sternsches Conservatorium in Berlin, Siegfried Eberhardt (a reference
to this book is made in the booklet of the Archibudelli sextets CD).
And in this book you find an important violin teacher active from the
late 19th century to the mid-1930s complaining about the changes in
violin playing that threatened to "kill" the art of violin playing.

The new, Russian way of holding the bow and the steel strings are his
main points of criticism. He goes into pretty much detail, but the
broad outlines are that these changes greatly diminished the subtlety
of the playing and it's tonal richness.

I don't know if Arthur Nikisch is HIP for you - but currently, I am
trying to analyze his recording of Beethoven 5 as closely as possible.
And to be sure, the pre-WWI gut stringed playing of the BPO fully bears
out Eberhardt's complaints about the deterioration of the art of violin
playing after WW I.

Obviously, the recording sounds very poor. But once I adjusted to it, I
could hear that the strings were playing with an amazingly broad tonal
palette. The tone has some kind of transparency and a very fragile,
velvety, subtle shine to it. And they use vibrato VERY sparingly, but
when used, to telling effect. The amount of vibrato which is standard
today they only use for the climaxes: and listen to those violins
roaring out in the finale - the contrast makes this much more
impressive than the increased volume of steel strings ever could.

In addition, they often use a typical HIP device called inequality:
they regularly dot important notes slightly in a sequence of undotted,
equal notes in the score.

And most of this subtlety of tone, of this nobility of tone, got
rapidly lost after WWI.

And I don't think that HIP has already fully regained the technical
mastery of getting all the sonic possibilities out of the gut strings,
but they have made great progress in the last years.

For romantic big repertoire, Herreweghe's new Bruckner 4 is a prime
example for this. They managed to rescue a lot of the subleties I so
greatly enjoy in Nikisch's recording.

Which were things that got lost under Furtwängler after 1922. Not to
speak about Klemperer's granitic Philharmonia or Karajan's
one-massive-silvery-tone-fits-all approach of the uniform golden glow
the Staatskapelle Dresden glutted over everything in Jochum's Bruckner.

I am really thrilled that now at last subtlety and tonal richness come
back into our present-day musicmaking. And I repeat it: they just do
what was still living practice before WWI under one of the most famous
and adventurous conductors.

Cheers,
Floor
Ian Pace
2006-06-02 14:10:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by f***@hotmail.com
I also preferred Klemperer's Bach to any HIP I knew - than came
Concerto Italiano/ Alessandrini and Nederlandse Bachvereniging/
Veldhoven (haven't got their St. Matthew yet, but their Christmas
Oratorio is stunning). And I agree about your remark about lacking
"spritual" content - when listening to the opening of the St. Matthew
Passion in Gardiner's recording, the music sounded in contrast with the
text rather than in tune with it.

A quick thought on this - it's possible that Bach envisaged the music as
following its own internal logic rather than simply 'colouring in' the text.
In which case text and music could communicate somewhat different things (in
fact I think this is to some extent true of all music with text). The
interplay can be part of the interest.

Ian

Simon Roberts
2006-06-02 13:44:34 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>, Gabriel
Parra says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
Speaking of pianofortes vs. fortepianos, do HIP adherents not agree
that instruments did not evolve in a vacuum, but rather in response to
the demands of the music they were called on to play? That is,
Beethoven's fortepianos were inadequate instruments for his
music--especially a piece like the Hammerklavier--and it was not until
playing styles evolved thanks to Liszt and fortepianos became
pianofortes that, say, his last sonatas finally were able to be
performed as Beethoven intended, with instruments he did not have at
his disposal when he composed music that did not depend on the
sonorities of the instruments of his time? Recall that after Op. 111 he
said he found the pianos available to him "inadequate," although he did
go on to compose Opp. 119, 120 and 126. I'm pretty sure he would have
been thrilled to have a modern concert grand.
Why? Do you know his reasons for finding the pianos he knew inadequate? For
all we know, he merely wanted a bigger, stronger, louder version of a Graf or
Broadwood.

I also love it when he
Post by Gabriel Parra
told the Schuppanzigh quartet, after they complained they couldn't
perform one of his last quartets, "Do you suppose I care about a
fucking fiddle when the spirit moves me?" To me, that is the most
authoritative statement ever made against the idea that period
instruments make a significant contribution to the art (and I'm sure he
used the more uncouth "fucking" and not "wretched").
What on earth does Beethoven's comment have to do with whether HIP is a good
idea or whether HIP performances are any good?

I also remember
Post by Gabriel Parra
reading the Cambridge music handbook of Beethoven's 9th where the
author writes that for a trully "authentic" performance of the work it
should be played by a band of badly trained amateurs on inadequate
instruments under wretched conditions and with innumerable mistakes.
Why would such a performance be "truly authentic".
Post by Gabriel Parra
Also, Mozart's enthusiasm for large orchestras. Problem with HIP is, it
takes an incidental and makes it a fundamental. Bach wrote for the
limited forces and instruments he composed for because they were what
was available to him as a court composer. Same goes for Mozart. When he
knew he would have clarinets available for a symphony, for instance, he
would throw them in. He salivated over the huge orchestra in Mannheim.
And we know this sort of thing in part because of the sort of research HIPsters
do; and one result is HIP performances which, in some cases, use huge
orchestras.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Anyway, point is, if you want to play HIP style, by all means, go ahead
and do so, but please don't be ridiculous and claim it was "what the
composer intended."
You seem very proud of (or at least attached to) the results of your willful
ignorance.

I, for one, am thankful for professional musicians
Post by Gabriel Parra
who play on instruments that have evolved to meet the demands of the
score and not of history.
Yeah, but you can play those instruments and still come up with a HIP
performance....

Simon
Ian Pace
2006-06-02 14:03:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Ian Pace
Try the String Sexets with L'Archibudelli or the C Minor Piano Quartet and
Piano Quintet with La Gaia Scienza.
As I wrote above, I find L'Archibudelli to be a fine group so I am
looking forward to getting the recordings you list. As for the piano
quintet, is it played with a fortepiano? I shudder at the thought but
will give it a try nonetheless.
It depends what you call a 'fortepiano'. Pianos changed hugely (in various
directions) in the first half of the 19th century. Federica Valli, from La
Gaia Scienza, plays on an 1842 Erard, a much lighter toned instrument than a
modern-day Steinway, but a much richer sound than either the Viennese or
Anglo-French instruments of 50 years earlier. The semiquavers from bar 5
onwards have a somewhat more incisive attack than you are probably used to -
I'm fond of that result- and the higher piano notes in the C# minor section
certainly don't sing out anything like as much as on a modern instrument
(but that itself gives a particular timbral effect).

The question of Brahms's preferences in pianos is a difficult one, which
I've just been writing about. There is evidence for his preferences for
instruments that resemble modern ones in most respects, when he played on
them in later years, as well as for the quite distinct pre-Steinway models
of Erard, Streicher and Bosendorfer from the mid-19th century (all quite
different from each other, also). My feeling is that, based on going through
all the evidence, his preferences were for modern-style instruments for the
concertos and the older pianos for the solo works. As for the chamber music,
that is a grey area. Of course, one can quite reasonably argue that Brahms's
own preferences are not what is important (advocates both of old and new
instruments can use that argument, of course).
Post by Gabriel Parra
Speaking of pianofortes vs. fortepianos, do HIP adherents not agree
that instruments did not evolve in a vacuum, but rather in response to
the demands of the music they were called on to play?
That's a bit too simple. They evolved in lots of ways, not least in terms of
the economics of the cut-throat business. The Anglo-French lineage (in which
I would locate modern Steinways and even to an extent Bosendorfers, despite
their national origins) eventually succeeded in driving the distinct
Viennese families of pianos out of business. But that is more akin to
Microsoft driving Apple out of business than some sort of 'natural
selection'.
Post by Gabriel Parra
That is,
Beethoven's fortepianos were inadequate instruments for his
music--especially a piece like the Hammerklavier--
Perhaps, but that by no means necessarily implies that a modern-day Steinway
would have been what he wished for. Pianos could have developed in quite
other directions (and indeed did for much of the 19th century). There is no
way of knowing for sure. Note also that Beethoven was familiar with a range
of quite different pianos. Grafs and Streichers on one hand were very
different from Broadwoods and Erards on the other.
Post by Gabriel Parra
and it was not until
playing styles evolved thanks to Liszt and fortepianos became
pianofortes that, say, his last sonatas finally were able to be
performed as Beethoven intended, with instruments he did not have at
his disposal when he composed music that did not depend on the
sonorities of the instruments of his time?
That's a huge conjecture. There is no way of asserting categorically that
later instruments (and in Liszt's times there were many very different
models around - Liszt himself had an Erard on one floor and a Bosendorfer on
the other in his place in Weimar) produced the sound that 'Beethoven
intended'. In-depth studies of Beethoven's expressed preferences would
suggest that those later instruments in the Viennese lineage would have
accorded more with his preferences than those in the Anglo-French line,
which gradually came to rule supreme.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Recall that after Op. 111 he
said he found the pianos available to him "inadequate," although he did
go on to compose Opp. 119, 120 and 126. I'm pretty sure he would have
been thrilled to have a modern concert grand.
That's what many people say in these sorts of debates (we've had them
often) - it is a total supposition.
Post by Gabriel Parra
I also love it when he
told the Schuppanzigh quartet, after they complained they couldn't
perform one of his last quartets, "Do you suppose I care about a
fucking fiddle when the spirit moves me?"
Sure (we're not absolutely sure if that famous remark mightn't be
apocryphal, like many other notorious pronouncements of composers).
Post by Gabriel Parra
To me, that is the most
authoritative statement ever made against the idea that period
instruments make a significant contribution to the art (and I'm sure he
used the more uncouth "fucking" and not "wretched").
You could use that statement the other way round, though, to use against the
idea that *modern* instruments make a significant contribution to the art,
which seems to be what you are advocating.
Post by Gabriel Parra
I also remember
reading the Cambridge music handbook of Beethoven's 9th where the
author writes that for a trully "authentic" performance of the work it
should be played by a band of badly trained amateurs on inadequate
instruments under wretched conditions and with innumerable mistakes.
The exact quote from Nick Cook's book is as follows:

'In fact, to the extent that the historical performance movement aims to
recreate the conditions of early performances, there is something distinctly
paradoxical about aiming for authenticity in performing the Ninth Symphony.
*Which* early performance might we want to recreate? The first one, in the
Kaerntnerthor Theater, with Umlauf haring the direction with Schuppanzigh
and possibly Beethoven as well, with the violinists setting down their bows
when the music got too hard and the sopranos falling out when their parts
got too high? Or the disastrous English premiere under Sir George Smart? Or
Berlioz's 1852 performance in London? Or Wagner's 1872 performance at
Bayreuth?' (Nicholas Cook - Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 (Cambridge: CUP,
1993), p. 64)

Nick makes a good point here; nonetheless, while it might not be desirable
to recreate some aspects of older performance (which it would be hard to
imagine the performers of the time thought to be ideal - I think there is a
categorical difference between suggesting the sopranos would have been able
to sing the high notes and suggesting that pianists would have preferred for
the upper registers of their instruments to have greater sustaining power,
but I appreciate you might disagree here - we can debate this further if you
like) it may be so with others.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Also, Mozart's enthusiasm for large orchestras.
Which is by no means definitively established for all cases. See the
following for some more detail on that subject - http://tinyurl.com/lrzzq
(post no. 27)
Post by Gabriel Parra
Problem with HIP is, it
takes an incidental and makes it a fundamental. Bach wrote for the
limited forces and instruments he composed for because they were what
was available to him as a court composer.
And might have written quite differently for other forces and instruments.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Same goes for Mozart.
Likewise.
Post by Gabriel Parra
When he
knew he would have clarinets available for a symphony, for instance, he
would throw them in.
But does that therefore mean we should throw them into all the other
symphonies?
Post by Gabriel Parra
He salivated over the huge orchestra in Mannheim.
See my post from last December on the subject.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Anyway, point is, if you want to play HIP style, by all means, go ahead
and do so, but please don't be ridiculous and claim it was "what the
composer intended."
There are degrees by which we can obtain some notion of a composer's
intentions. After all, isn't that what you were claiming above to know with
respect to Mozart and Beethoven?
Post by Gabriel Parra
I, for one, am thankful for professional musicians
who play on instruments that have evolved to meet the demands of the
score and not of history.
Continuous evolution and progress were ideals beloved of the 19th century.
In the 20th (and now 21st) century there have been lots of reasons for
increased scepticism about whether such ideals have been realised or not.

Ian
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-02 07:33:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Bach: Cello Suites - Wispelwey (Channel Classics--his second recording,
actually cheaper than his first)
Mozart: 'Gran Partita' Serenade - Ensemble Zefiro (HM)
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 - Levin/Gardiner (DG)
Schubert: Winterreise - Pregardien/Staier (Teldec)
Brahms: Nothing really stands out here. Instead how about . . .
Vivaldi: Concerti - Carmignola (Sony or Divox)
Handel: Ariodante - Minkowski (DG)
Haydn: String Quartets - Mosaiques Quartet (Naive)
Fair enough. Last time I let a friend badger me into giving HIPsters a
chance, I tried the Bylsma Bach Cello Suites on his recommendation. He
was aBylsmal! Instead of sounding more "natural" than Casals--who has
been accused of playing Bach in the manner of Brahms--he sounded to me
like was intent of playing "against" the music, as it were. I told my
friend that if that is really what the suites sounded like in Bach's
time, no wonder they went unplayed for nearly 200 years until Casals
"rediscovered" them!

However, I do remember being rather impressed by a performance of the
Schubert string quintet by L'Archibudelli, a CD I have since misplaced
and seems to have been deleted from the catalogue.

That said, I will go about trying to get some of the recordings you
listed. I appreciate your indulgence.
f***@hotmail.com
2006-06-02 07:35:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Okay, then. Matthew: could you propose a list of, say, five recordings
that in your estimation present the best of what contemporary HIP has to
offer? Mainstream repertoire, please. Not the least interested in
renaissance music, for instance, which I find unbearably dull. How about
one each of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms?
Bach: Cello Suites - Wispelwey (Channel Classics--his second recording,
actually cheaper than his first)
Mozart: 'Gran Partita' Serenade - Ensemble Zefiro (HM)
I have one recording of the Gran Partita with Ensemble Zefiro, but it's
on Astrée and not on HM. And I couldn't find it on the HM website - be
this as it may, I didn't like it very much. I found the recording
damagingly bass-shew and the intonation problematic.

Cheers, Floor
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 - Levin/Gardiner (DG)
Schubert: Winterreise - Pregardien/Staier (Teldec)
Brahms: Nothing really stands out here. Instead how about . . .
Vivaldi: Concerti - Carmignola (Sony or Divox)
Handel: Ariodante - Minkowski (DG)
Haydn: String Quartets - Mosaiques Quartet (Naive)
Matty
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-02 12:34:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Okay, then. Matthew: could you propose a list of, say, five recordings
that in your estimation present the best of what contemporary HIP has to
offer? Mainstream repertoire, please. Not the least interested in
renaissance music, for instance, which I find unbearably dull. How about
one each of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms?
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 - Levin/Gardiner (DG)
or op. 18 with the Quatour Turner
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Schubert: Winterreise - Pregardien/Staier (Teldec)
or the Piano Trios with Beths/Bylsma/Van Immerseel
Simon Roberts
2006-06-02 03:04:07 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@y43g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>, Gabriel Parra
says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
Bach performed on gut strings, there are others who don't.
Post by Simon Roberts
It's hard to see why anyone would disagree on that. But as you surely know,
there's more to HIP than using gut strings (and shorter necks and different bows
etc.). It's as much about style as hardware.
Absolutely. Little or no vibrato, rigid tempi, consistently fast
speeds, clipped phrasing, etc. Made that point above. Just look at
Abbado, Norrington, Harnoncourt and others in Beethoven.
Harnoncourt does *not* employ rigid tempi, consistently fast speeds and clipped
phrasing.
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Simon Roberts
Whether that's true of live performances I don't know. In the context of
recordings it's a non-issue. To avoid HIP recordings of the Bach violin sonatas
there's more out there than Miss Lautenbacher - there are dozens of non-HIP
recordings available.
Yes, but few non-HIP performers of Baroque music who are actually
alive.
Post by Simon Roberts
Piano v.
Post by Gabriel Parra
harpsichord, thankfully, is another matter. There, I think most agree
with Beecham's assesment of the harpsichord's sound as being like that
of two skeletons copulating on a corrugated tin roof. At any rate,
"glut" is precisely what we have as far as period performances of
baroque music is concerned. How is that for what killed classical music?
Beecham is not persuasive? Fine.
He was expressing his opinion, not supporting your idiotic contention that HIP
"killed classical music".
Post by Gabriel Parra
But what a great sense of humor!
Indeed. I wonder what he would have made of you.

Simon
w***@comcast.net
2006-05-31 18:20:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Of course, what the hell do I know? I merely listen to music, I don't
study it.
Actually, your prose suggests that you judge the merits of recordings
before you've listened to them.

Bill
Gabriel Parra
2006-05-31 22:09:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by w***@comcast.net
Actually, your prose suggests that you judge the merits of recordings
before you've listened to them.
Actually, Bill, I probably own a few dozen St. Matthews. But you're
right. I do not often listen to HIP recordings, even if I have heard
almost all at least once. I continue to believe that cat gut strings
and the sound they make are very much related to the unfortunate murder
of felines, which is what is suggested by the sound of HIP orchestras.
Nails on a chalkboard. Like having my inner ear drawn and quartered.
Ech.
Richard Loeb
2006-05-31 22:22:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by w***@comcast.net
Actually, your prose suggests that you judge the merits of recordings
before you've listened to them.
Actually, Bill, I probably own a few dozen St. Matthews. But you're
right. I do not often listen to HIP recordings, even if I have heard
almost all at least once. I continue to believe that cat gut strings
and the sound they make are very much related to the unfortunate murder
of felines, which is what is suggested by the sound of HIP orchestras.
Nails on a chalkboard. Like having my inner ear drawn and quartered.
Ech.
I don't really care about HIP or not as long as the interpretation is
interesting, dramatic and moving - strictly personal. I love the first
Richter (even though Seefried is a bit too operatic) - esp the second half
which really is wonderful. I have to be in the mood for the Klemperer - but
the mood doesn;t come on me too often. Of recent issues I really like the
second Herreweghe (very different from his first version though that is nice
in its more contemplative way) - very strongly cast with Bostridge and
Scholl. I have lots of versions and most have elements which draw me back -
I don't think I have a desert island version. Richard
Bill Satterthwaite
2006-06-01 16:48:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by w***@comcast.net
Actually, your prose suggests that you judge the merits of recordings
before you've listened to them.
... I continue to believe that cat gut strings
and the sound they make are very much related to the unfortunate murder
of felines...
Gut string aren't (and never were) made of cat gut. (Think sheep...)

Bill in Seattle
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 16:54:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Satterthwaite
Gut string aren't (and never were) made of cat gut. (Think sheep...)
Bill in Seattle
Hello Bill in Seattle. Of course, I know no cats are murdered for the
sake of HIP performances. It just sounds like they are. Still, poor
sheep. Maybe we can set the PETA people on the HIPsters. Wouldn't it be
wonderful if HIP music were banned on the basis of it constituting
cruelty to animals? Not to mention cruelty to good taste...
Jan Winter
2006-05-31 18:52:11 UTC
Permalink
On 31 May 2006 10:08:16 -0700, "Gabriel Parra"
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would pick up all three, and do have all three, plus many others.
This is likely to spark a lively debate on this forum, but I will start
off by saying my taste is peculiar and strongly biased against
"historically informed" accounts of the Matthew Passion or any other
music, for that matter.
I'm glad you so strongly state your bias. Makes further discussion
superfluous.

About MP versions: I love Mendelssohns version. The one with the
clarinets. That's really Bachs only flaw; that he didn't know about
clarinets.

-----
jan winter, amsterdam
email: name = j.winter; provider = xs4all; com = nl
Eric Grunin
2006-05-31 18:59:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Being the Heretic I am
You are not a heretic, merely narrow minded and grandiose.

That said, I vote for the Richter.

Regards,
Eric Grunin
www.grunin.com/eroica
makropulos
2006-05-31 19:13:54 UTC
Permalink
Of the three mentioned, I'd personally go for Klemperer. But in a
multiple-version world, there are several Matthew Passion recordings I
am always moved by, each distinctive from the others, including
Koussevitzky (suprisingly fast), Mengelberg, Furtwängler (cuts
notwithstanding), Klemperer, Jochum, Münchinger, Harnoncourt (first
recording), Gardiner, McCreesh... The list could go on (and on).
Roland van Gaalen
2006-05-31 19:21:47 UTC
Permalink
It seems to me that all of the above are worth hearing.

But I can't imagine listening to any particular one more than a few times
per decade.
--
Roland van Gaalen
Amsterdam
r.p.vangaalenATchello.nl (AT=@)
Gabriel Parra
2006-05-31 22:51:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by makropulos
Of the three mentioned, I'd personally go for Klemperer. But in a
multiple-version world, there are several Matthew Passion recordings I
am always moved by, each distinctive from the others, including
Koussevitzky (suprisingly fast), Mengelberg, Furtwängler (cuts
notwithstanding), Klemperer, Jochum, Münchinger, Harnoncourt (first
recording), Gardiner, McCreesh... The list could go on (and on).
I second all of the above up to and including Münchinger.
Gabriel Parra
2006-05-31 22:48:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Grunin
You are not a heretic, merely narrow minded and grandiose.
As one ages, one tends to become more selective. Discrimination, as
one's time on this earth gets shorter and shorter, is of the essence.
If that makes me "narrow minded," so be it. However, "narrow minded" is
precisely how I would describe an advocate of music that makes a claim
of "authenticity." I've said it before and I'll say it again: should
one be tolerant of intollerance? I choose not to tolerate intollerance.

As for being grandiose, I am not so sure I would put it quite like
that. Arrogant, maybe, but not grandiose.

May I ask, what is the necessity for an unprovoked ad hominem assault?
In my experience, people who are quick to attack are sexually
repressed, usually the result of an intensely perverse psyche brought
about by childhood sexual abuse. I would advocate increased sexual
activity, preferably with another human being and if the latter is not
available, masturbation. If that fails to control agressive behavior,
one can always join the military, the usual repository for psychopaths
and sexual predators who are not otherwise in jail.

I'm only trying to help.
Matthew Silverstein
2006-05-31 23:20:00 UTC
Permalink
As one ages, one tends to become more selective. Discrimination, as one's
time on this earth gets shorter and shorter, is of the essence. If that
makes me "narrow minded," so be it. However, "narrow minded" is
precisely how I would describe an advocate of music that makes a claim
of "authenticity."
Even if that is so, most serious HIPsters abandoned claims of authenticity
years ago. You'll never hear the prominent contemporary HIPsters
(Wispelwey, Podger, Biondi, and Minkowski, for example) talking about the
idea of authenticity (except to repudiate it).
I've said it before and I'll say it again: should one be tolerant of
intollerance? I choose not to tolerate intollerance.
I don't see how you could characterize the attitude even of a "mainstream"
HIPster like Gardiner as intolerant.

Matty
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 14:08:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Even if that is so, most serious HIPsters abandoned claims of authenticity
years ago. You'll never hear the prominent contemporary HIPsters
(Wispelwey, Podger, Biondi, and Minkowski, for example) talking about the
idea of authenticity (except to repudiate it).
If that is so, then I welcome the change in mindset. I do believe there
is ample room for a wide variety of interpretations of Bach's music,
from Stokowski arrangements to Harnoncourt's revisionist accounts. We
can only be thankful there is a freedom of choice in music that no
supreme court will ever strike down.
Post by Matthew Silverstein
I don't see how you could characterize the attitude even of a "mainstream"
HIPster like Gardiner as intolerant.
Have you ever heard/read the declarations from one Reinhard Goebel of
(the now deceased) Musica Antiqua Koln? The man is practically a
musical fascist.
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-01 14:42:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
If that is so, then I welcome the change in mindset. I do believe there
is ample room for a wide variety of interpretations of Bach's music,
from Stokowski arrangements to Harnoncourt's revisionist accounts.
I love both!
Post by Gabriel Parra
Have you ever heard/read the declarations from one Reinhard Goebel of
(the now deceased) Musica Antiqua Koln? The man is practically a
musical fascist.
I haven't, but I'm interested. Any idea where I could find them?

Matty
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-01 15:43:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Have you ever heard/read the declarations from one Reinhard Goebel of
(the now deceased) Musica Antiqua Koln? The man is practically a
musical fascist.
Have you listened to his amazingly good Brandenburgs ?

Who cares what artists say? It's what they do that counts.
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 16:04:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Ilechko
Have you listened to his amazingly good Brandenburgs ?
Yes, and I've also listened to Bach's.
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-01 17:20:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Paul Ilechko
Have you listened to his amazingly good Brandenburgs ?
Yes, and I've also listened to Bach's.
So you're a time-traveller too. Or you're just saying that you've heard
an *authentic* performance ...
Thomas Wood
2006-06-01 23:20:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Have you ever heard/read the declarations from one Reinhard Goebel of
(the now deceased) Musica Antiqua Koln? The man is practically a
musical fascist.
Have you read anything Goebel has written? I sincerely doubt it. Here's an
example of one of his rigid, Fascistic decalarations:

""
The modern cultivation of old music does not begin where Monteverdi, Biber,
Bach, Telemann or Mozart left off, but has (partly as a result of
mistanslations in the secondary sources) taken on laws and a momentum of its
own, with the result that it should be seen as a stylistic phenomenon of the
20th century, and sometimes, in fact, far removed from historical
truth....The "authentic" style presents us with anachronisms of every kind:
a violin by Jacobus Stainer-- undoubtedly the "original instrument" par
excellence for Biber, Bach and Mozart -- is certainly not "original" for
Monteverdi, while a Dulcken harpsichord (certainly an "original instrument"
in the appropriate context) is not the correct instrument for
Froberger...This can be taken as an admission on our part that the
"remembrance of things past" is a difficult undertaking. Sometimes as in
interpreter one is nearer to "how is most certainly wasn't" than to "how it
might actually have been"; but that sentiment can also be taken as a sigh of
relief that there is life in the "old music" yet.

{from Reinhard Goebel's notes to his Archiv recording of the Bach Orchestral
Suites)
""

That sounds like a rather modest, self-effacing statement for a musical
Fascist. C'mon, I want to hear some of his alleged Fascist statements. Cite
me one or two.

Tom Wood
Jon Alan Conrad
2006-06-01 23:34:35 UTC
Permalink
On the (probably unlikely) assumption that we're still talking about
recorded versions of the St. Matthew Passion, I would put in a word for
Solti. To my ears, he does much of what Klemperer is praised for, but
within a range of tempos that I find more convincing. Some have called
this a performance in the Mendelssohnian tradition, and I don't know
about that (how can any of us know how Mendelssohn led it?), but it has
a convincing combination of lilt in the underlying rhythms, with drama
and intent (maybe some would call it "spirituality") as appropriate.
And he has the CSO and its superb professional choir to work with, as
well as fine soloists (including Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Tom Krause, and
best-form Kiri Te Kanawa). Colleagues always start out skeptical about
it until I play it for them, and then they're converted.

JAC
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-02 07:05:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Thomas Wood
Have you read anything Goebel has written?
Unfortunately, I am not somewhere where I have access to Tanner's
introduction to the Furtwangler Notes he edited where he mentioned
Goebel describing a Furtwangler performance of Bach as being
"disgusting." As one of the earliest proponents of the "authentic"
mantle for HIP, that attitude speaks for itself.

I sincerely doubt it. Here's an
Post by Thomas Wood
The modern cultivation of old music does not begin where Monteverdi, Biber,
Bach, Telemann or Mozart left off, but has (partly as a result of
mistanslations in the secondary sources) taken on laws and a momentum of its
own, with the result that it should be seen as a stylistic phenomenon of the
20th century, and sometimes, in fact, far removed from historical
a violin by Jacobus Stainer-- undoubtedly the "original instrument" par
excellence for Biber, Bach and Mozart -- is certainly not "original" for
Monteverdi, while a Dulcken harpsichord (certainly an "original instrument"
in the appropriate context) is not the correct instrument for
Froberger...This can be taken as an admission on our part that the
"remembrance of things past" is a difficult undertaking. Sometimes as in
interpreter one is nearer to "how is most certainly wasn't" than to "how it
might actually have been"; but that sentiment can also be taken as a sigh of
relief that there is life in the "old music" yet.
Interesting that you read that as being "modest" and "self-effacing."
Seems to me he's complaining the authenticists (authentic cysts?) are
not sufficiently authentic. Still striving for an authentic and
fundamentalist ideal.
Simon Roberts
2006-06-01 14:27:13 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>, Gabriel Parra
says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Eric Grunin
You are not a heretic, merely narrow minded and grandiose.
As one ages, one tends to become more selective.
That may be true of you; it's not true of everyone, including me.

Discrimination, as
Post by Gabriel Parra
one's time on this earth gets shorter and shorter, is of the essence.
If that makes me "narrow minded," so be it. However, "narrow minded" is
precisely how I would describe an advocate of music that makes a claim
of "authenticity." I've said it before and I'll say it again: should
one be tolerant of intollerance? I choose not to tolerate intollerance.
I'm afraid you're coming across not merely as narrow minded but also as
ignorant. Your comments about what HIPsters say and think suggests that you
know very little about them except maybe a few utterances of a few extremists a
generation ago.
Post by Gabriel Parra
As for being grandiose, I am not so sure I would put it quite like
that. Arrogant, maybe, but not grandiose.
May I ask, what is the necessity for an unprovoked ad hominem assault?
In my experience, people who are quick to attack are sexually
repressed, usually the result of an intensely perverse psyche brought
about by childhood sexual abuse. I would advocate increased sexual
activity, preferably with another human being and if the latter is not
available, masturbation. If that fails to control agressive behavior,
one can always join the military, the usual repository for psychopaths
and sexual predators who are not otherwise in jail.
I'm only trying to help.
Obviously.

Simon
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 16:16:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Simon Roberts
I'm afraid you're coming across not merely as narrow minded but also as
ignorant. Your comments about what HIPsters say and think suggests that you
know very little about them except maybe a few utterances of a few extremists a
generation ago.
We all live in a state of willful ignorance to one degree or another.
Disliking raisins and other dried fruits, for instance, I don't care to
try all the varities of desserts that include them as an ingredient.
So, I do not shy from being termed ignorant of those things I don't
care to become knowledgeable about. Intellectual dishonesty is another
matter. When certain "musicians" attempt to claim the mantle of
"objectivity," from Toscanini to Goebel, that's where I do object
strongly on a purely epistemological basis. What arrogance! And I do
continue to recoil from HIP on the basis of first principles, that is,
the principle that brought about its existence being fundamentally,
epistemologically flawed, in the same manner that Judaism and
Christianity diverge principally on the basis of whether Jesus was the
messiah or not. Just as I will never become a Jew for Jesus, I do not
see it likely that I will be able to accept HIP or any of its
unfortunate variations.
Matthew Silverstein
2006-06-01 18:22:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
We all live in a state of willful ignorance to one degree or another.
Disliking raisins and other dried fruits, for instance, I don't care to
try all the varities of desserts that include them as an ingredient. So,
I do not shy from being termed ignorant of those things I don't care to
become knowledgeable about.
And there's no problem with that. But would you barge into a meeting of
food critics and chefs and start making declarations about the nature and
value of such desserts?
Post by Gabriel Parra
And I do continue to recoil from HIP on the basis of first principles,
that is, the principle that brought about its existence being
fundamentally, epistemologically flawed, in the same manner that Judaism
and Christianity diverge principally on the basis of whether Jesus was
the messiah or not. Just as I will never become a Jew for Jesus, I do
not see it likely that I will be able to accept HIP or any of its
unfortunate variations.
Even if you're right that HIP came into being based on those principles, it
seems strange to reject the music on that account (and not only because so
few HIPsters actually accept those principles nowadays). Do you listen to
Wagner? I shudder to think about the principles that brought about his
music's existence. But the music is beautiful, and that is why I listen to
it.

Matty
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 22:17:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Silverstein
And there's no problem with that. But would you barge into a meeting of
food critics and chefs and start making declarations about the nature and
value of such desserts?
I would if they claimed only deserts with raisins and other dried
fruits could be considered authentic, making say, coffee ice cream
therefore inauthentic.
Post by Matthew Silverstein
Even if you're right that HIP came into being based on those principles, it
seems strange to reject the music on that account (and not only because so
few HIPsters actually accept those principles nowadays). Do you listen to
Wagner? I shudder to think about the principles that brought about his
music's existence. But the music is beautiful, and that is why I listen to
it.
Thankfully, Wagner's anti-Semitism does not figure in his music. I've
never heard an anti-Semitic high C, for instance. Again, had the
HIPsters not barged into a meeting of food critics and chefs and
insisted everyone had to use raisins and other dried fruits so that
their desserts could be considered authentic, I would not today have a
problem with them at all. Moreover, if today's HIPsters were so damned
open minded, then how come every recording of theirs comes with an
insert whose text almost invariably starts, "In Bach's time..." How
many critics do I have to read who keep carping about how the latest
period performance "remedies decades if not centuries of mistakes and
misconceptions"? Pick up a Gramophone or a BBC music magazine and at
least one review will talk about how this or that performance finally
presents the music in the way it should have always been played, "as
the composer intended." This means that generations of interpreters
were in essence playing the music "wrong." Well, I'd rather hear
Furtwangler's wrong notes than Goebel's right notes.
Simon Roberts
2006-06-01 18:48:44 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, Gabriel Parra
says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Simon Roberts
I'm afraid you're coming across not merely as narrow minded but also as
ignorant. Your comments about what HIPsters say and think suggests that you
know very little about them except maybe a few utterances of a few extremists a
generation ago.
We all live in a state of willful ignorance to one degree or another.
Disliking raisins and other dried fruits, for instance, I don't care to
try all the varities of desserts that include them as an ingredient.
So, I do not shy from being termed ignorant of those things I don't
care to become knowledgeable about. Intellectual dishonesty is another
matter.
If you want to remain ignorant about topic x, fine. But you should probably
also stop talking about x. E.g.:

When certain "musicians" attempt to claim the mantle of
Post by Gabriel Parra
"objectivity," from Toscanini to Goebel, that's where I do object
strongly on a purely epistemological basis. What arrogance!
Perhaps. But few HIPsters do that.

And I do
Post by Gabriel Parra
continue to recoil from HIP on the basis of first principles, that is,
the principle that brought about its existence being fundamentally,
epistemologically flawed, in the same manner that Judaism and
Christianity diverge principally on the basis of whether Jesus was the
messiah or not.
I wonder how many people reading that sentence understand it. Either way, it's
pointless to apply "first principles" unless you have some knowledge of the
subject area.

Simon
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-01 00:22:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
It at least recognizes any
performance of the Passion is first and foremost a spiritual, not an
academic, exercise.
No, it's first and foremost a *musical* exercise.
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would tell you to avoid at all costs any
performance that boasts of having a small orchestra and/or choir,
How exactly did you come upon this correlation between spirituality and
choir size?
Post by Gabriel Parra
I merely listen to music
But apparently you don't hear it. You just hear what your preconceptions
tell you you should hear.
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 15:56:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by Gabriel Parra
It at least recognizes any
performance of the Passion is first and foremost a spiritual, not an
academic, exercise.
No, it's first and foremost a *musical* exercise.
I think that's precisely the source of disagreement between conductors
such as Furtwangler on the one hand and Toscanini on the other. The
former saw music as a spiritual exercise, the latter as a musical one.
Recall Toscanini's famous exhortation about the first movement of the
Eroica, "It's not Hitler, it's not Mussolini, it's allegro con brio."
That sounds pithy enough. Problem is, Beethoven himself titled his
symphony "Eroica," which means that his conception of it included a
significant extra-musical component. Anyone who listens to that funeral
march and refuses to see in it something more than the notes is just as
likely to say a Shakespearean soliloquoy is just words and iambic
pentameter. Except, Beethoven himself would disagree with that
assesment. Thus, you can hear after a few bars that there are indeed
musicians who see nothing more than notes in music. It's like saying a
fine French meal is just organic material, fats, vitamins and protein,
or that a human being is biped and a primate. To not go beyond those
facts ignores that which many musicians seem unable to grapple with:
subjectivity. Objectivity? Please. Performing a musical score is not a
science project.
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would tell you to avoid at all costs any
performance that boasts of having a small orchestra and/or choir,
How exactly did you come upon this correlation between spirituality and
choir size?
I didn't realize I had made such a correlation. But I guess that for
some, if it can't be measured, it doesn't exist. I refuse to exist in a
reductionist vacuum.
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by Gabriel Parra
I merely listen to music
But apparently you don't hear it. You just hear what your preconceptions
tell you you should hear.
If that were so, I would have just one recording of each work in the
repertoire and it would always sound wonderful!
Steven Woody
2006-06-01 08:58:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
I would pick up all three, and do have all three, plus many others.
This is likely to spark a lively debate on this forum, but I will start
off by saying my taste is peculiar and strongly biased against
"historically informed" accounts of the Matthew Passion or any other
music, for that matter. Since by the nature of your email you do not
seem to be "historically informed" yourself, perhaps you ought to know
that since those recordings were first issued back in the 1950s and
60s, a certain disease some refer to as the "period instrument"
movement began to spread throughout the classical music industry like a
cancer. Today, the emaciated, disease-wrecked body of the industry is
so fatally afflicted that it rejects any attempts at a cure, of which
the three recordings you list represent very fine antidotes. I will let
other make their HIP recommendations, which may be more to your taste
than mine. However, my favorite among those you list is definitely
Furtwangler, the slowest performance of the three. Unfortunately, the
reason it only takes up two discs is because there are several numbers
missing from the performance. Sacrilegious heretic he was, Furtwangler
and others of his generation were known to offer abridged versions of
the Passion. Being the Heretic I am, I am not completely against such a
practice, given that many of the numbers left out consist of
recitatives I am not particularly roused by. However, Furtwangler gives
what is, to my ears, the most emotionally involving and spiritually
shattering performance of all. If you seek a complete version,
Klemperer is definitely the one to go for. He is almost as good as
Furtwangler, in his own, inimitable, granitic fashion. Where
Furtwangler is lava and molten metal, Klemperer is Michelangelo-esque
marble. One is an organic force of nature, the other an epic human will
imposed upon an inorganic structure. Both are indispensable, I think.
Richter is the least idiosyncratic of the three, the one "least
interpreted," as it were, and as such, the "safest" recommendation.
That said, it is still a better Passion than any new recording of the
piece to have been produced in decades. It at least recognizes any
performance of the Passion is first and foremost a spiritual, not an
academic, exercise. I would tell you to avoid at all costs any
performance that boasts of having a small orchestra and/or choir,
period instruments, extensively researched scores, whatever. The more
learning applied to music, the less music comes through the learning.
However, if for you music is all about museums and mausoleums and
pedantic exegesis and what not, then by all means, do look up
recordings by academic poseurs who like to pretend they are musicians.
Of course, what the hell do I know? I merely listen to music, I don't
study it.
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
on the above list, only Klemperer's version was listed on the Penguin
Guide. is it normal that Furtwangler and Richer are not seen on the
famouse list?
sorry for so many questions :-)
Hi, Para

i till today carefully read your reply, sorry for the late. and, i
think i should highly appreciate what you saild. thank you very much!
it gives me more solid information of how to think about these
recordings, and i can tell you i decided to buy the Furtwangler version
of the Passion!

another thing was confusing me. i so much like Pinoch's performance of
the Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, he is also known as 'period
instructment', isn't he?

-
woody
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 13:59:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Woody
Hi, Para
i till today carefully read your reply, sorry for the late. and, i
think i should highly appreciate what you saild. thank you very much!
it gives me more solid information of how to think about these
recordings, and i can tell you i decided to buy the Furtwangler version
of the Passion!
My work here is done, then! I've always derived a great deal of
satisfaction whenever I've been able to steer someone toward
Furtwangler. Nine times out of ten, those who encounter Furtwangler for
the first time are blown away by the experience. Such was my own
reaction many years ago in a used classical record shop, hearing the
first few bars of Beethoven's Eroica played as I always imagined it
should be played. Of course, while there are not many who would argue
Furtwangler is at least one of the greats of Beethoven interpretation,
Bach is a very different and far more contentious matter. Of course,
there are critics like Osborne who feel that although Furtwangler's
Bach may not be "authentic" as defined by HIP adherents, it is at the
very least a fascinating example of highly individual music making.
Others, however, have characterized it as "disgusting." You, my friend,
will be your own best judge as to what suits you best. Thankfully,
there are enough different versions out there to suit everybody's
taste.
Post by Steven Woody
another thing was confusing me. i so much like Pinoch's performance of
the Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, he is also known as 'period
instructment', isn't he?
Yes, Trevor Pinnock. If you like his style, you should deffinitely seek
out another Matthew Passion played on period instruments. I will let
others on this board who are more atuned to that style make their own
recommendations, as I stated in my first post (so much for being narrow
minded). I would be tempted to go for Harnoncourt myself, who, to my
ears, seems the most personally commited of the bunch.
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-01 15:44:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
My work here is done, then!
Don't let the door hit you ...
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 16:07:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by Gabriel Parra
My work here is done, then!
Don't let the door hit you ...
Such hostility! I continue to marvel at those who, for whatever reason,
become hostile when one doesn't like what they like. Are you in such
need of validation? It's like muslim extremists who want to kill "the
infidels." As I've said, yet more evidence of a fundamentalist
mentality.
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-01 17:22:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Paul Ilechko
Post by Gabriel Parra
My work here is done, then!
Don't let the door hit you ...
Such hostility! I continue to marvel at those who, for whatever reason,
become hostile when one doesn't like what they like. Are you in such
need of validation? It's like muslim extremists who want to kill "the
infidels." As I've said, yet more evidence of a fundamentalist
mentality.
No-one, except Tom Deacon, has shown the level of hostility that you
have done from your very first post. Not to mention a well-developed
persecution complex, that allows you to reflect your antagonism back to
others. You wonder why you're not welcome?
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 22:05:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul Ilechko
No-one, except Tom Deacon, has shown the level of hostility that you
have done from your very first post. Not to mention a well-developed
persecution complex, that allows you to reflect your antagonism back to
others. You wonder why you're not welcome?
I wasn't aware I was not welcome, nor that there was a committee in
place that determined membership. Moreover, I think the person who
first started this thread would disagree with you, as I have been
sufficiently persuasive for someone without any preconceptions about
HIP and other currents to convince him to go out an purchase the
Furtwangler St. Matthew Passion. The only people who have opposed my
statements are those with their own preconceptions regarding HIP trying
to defend their own tastes. It is just astounding to me how anyone who
disagrees with HIP adherents are close minded bigots, while HIPsters
are apparently newly born savants whose minds, like parachutes, only
function when open. Again, it is intellectually dishonest to suggest
anyone who is past the age of six does not have a pretty firm and long
set of preconceptions about a whole host of issues, from matters of
taste and belief to religion, culture and behavior, etc. Moreover, you
seem to conveniently overlook the fact that I in fact encouraged the
originaly poster of this thread to seek out a period performance of the
Passion so he could make up his own mind as to what best suits his
taste. Perhaps he'll find room for both. Perhaps not. Again,
thankfully, he has the freedom to choose. Finally, I stated at the
beginning of my very first post on this thread that I am decidedly
antagonistic toward HIP performances. Why can't you seem to live with
that? Why must I agree with you that there are any redeeming values to
such performances? How can you argue a matter of taste? Again, it is
the behavior of someone who insists one should believe in his god and
his god only. Let's just live with the fact that you think HIP has
advanced the cause of music and that I disagree and contend it has set
music back. We'll let someone else who is not already set in his ways
to decide for himself whether he likes HIP performances or not.

As for Tom Deacon, it is interesting that you mention his name because
the reason I first got on this board is to congratulate him on his
notes in the Arrau Herritage series. You think Tom Deacon and I are
hostile because we both clearly are of a mindset radically different
than yours. That we may disagree with you does not make us hostile,
merely opposite parties to yours in an ongoing argument. Basically,
it's one bias against another. And I cannot believe that you would
state he is so terribly hostile considering the vulgar invective that
has been hurled at him, including being called a "dipshit" by one of
the people in your committee that, according to you, determines who is
welcome on this board. That is what I call a class act...
Lena
2006-06-01 22:59:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
Post by Paul Ilechko
No-one, except Tom Deacon, has shown the level of hostility that you
have done from your very first post. Not to mention a well-developed
persecution complex, that allows you to reflect your antagonism back to
others. You wonder why you're not welcome?
I wasn't aware I was not welcome,
You're very welcome in rmcr, and not because I agree with you on the
HIP matter. I don't, really :) - but I think your posts have, so far,
been fun to read.
Post by Gabriel Parra
As for Tom Deacon, it is interesting that you mention his name because
the reason I first got on this board is to congratulate him on his
notes in the Arrau Herritage series. You think Tom Deacon and I are
hostile because we both clearly are of a mindset radically different
than yours. That we may disagree with you does not make us hostile,
merely opposite parties to yours in an ongoing argument. Basically,
it's one bias against another. And I cannot believe that you would
state he is so terribly hostile
If you didn't follow this newsgroup in about 2002-2003, you don't quite
know this matter, I think. Tom Deacon can post normally too, but he's
had a large propensity for unprovoked hostility and lack of tolerance -
that eventually prompts people to get hostile in turn.

Actually, this was a pretty civil newsgroup, for the most part, until
he showed up. Now, quite a few calm and sensible people have stopped
posting here because of the ubiquitously contentious atmosphere, with
TD unfortunately stated as a main reason.

Obviously, TD alone isn't responsible for the bad atmosphere, but he
does engage in quite a lot of socially destructive behavior, as you may
see if you look at many of his answers to recent completely polite
posts.
Post by Gabriel Parra
considering the vulgar invective that
has been hurled at him, including being called a "dipshit" by one of
the people in your committee that, according to you, determines who is
welcome on this board. That is what I call a class act...
Tom Deacon is pretty far from a class act, IMO. But I'm sorry you got
a bad reception, and, in any case, I thought your posts were
interesting and amusing.

Lena
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-02 06:15:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lena
If you didn't follow this newsgroup in about 2002-2003, you don't quite
know this matter, I think. Tom Deacon can post normally too, but he's
had a large propensity for unprovoked hostility and lack of tolerance -
that eventually prompts people to get hostile in turn.
Actually, this was a pretty civil newsgroup, for the most part, until
he showed up. Now, quite a few calm and sensible people have stopped
posting here because of the ubiquitously contentious atmosphere, with
TD unfortunately stated as a main reason.
Obviously, TD alone isn't responsible for the bad atmosphere, but he
does engage in quite a lot of socially destructive behavior, as you may
see if you look at many of his answers to recent completely polite
posts.
I wasn't aware of TD's apparent transgressions. A chicken and egg type
situation, probably. That's the danger with unmoderated boards, I
suppose. Prior to the advent of the internet, I always though humans
pretty much tended towards order rather than chaos. I realize now
entropy applies to human behavior as well. Sad to say, I am beginning
to understand my father's contention that were it not for religion, we
would have all killed each other long ago. Religion just retards that
process somewhat, makes it more organized and divinely inspired. So
much for Rousseau's noble savage...
Paul Ilechko
2006-06-02 00:49:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gabriel Parra
The only people who have opposed my
statements are those with their own preconceptions regarding HIP trying
to defend their own tastes.
How can you possibly know that - you don't even know who these people
are. In fact, most, if not all, of the people disagreeing with you most
strongly are in no way HIP bigots. In fact, I'm not sure that such a
thing actually exists, if this NG is reflective of the classical music
listening public. Most people here love music, and are pleased to have a
wide range of possible interpretations. I happen to think Gardiner is a
superb Bach interpreter, but I can't stand his Beethoven - give me
Furtwangler, Harnoncourt, Szell, Walter or Blomstedt any day. I see
similar wide-ranging tastes from almost everyone on this group. The only
people who ever get antagonistic about interpretation style are the
anti-HIP types, who seem to need a strawman of the closed-minded HIPster
to rail against, while it's actually their own minds that are welded shut.
Simon Roberts
2006-06-02 03:09:02 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>, Gabriel
Parra says...
Post by Gabriel Parra
It is just astounding to me how anyone who
disagrees with HIP adherents are close minded bigots
No-one has suggested you shouldn't like what you like or should like what you
don't like. The disagreement is with your factual statements about HIPsters,
just about all of which are unsupported/false.

Simon
a***@aol.com
2006-05-31 18:50:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
on the above list, only Klemperer's version was listed on the Penguin
Guide. is it normal that Furtwangler and Richer are not seen on the
famouse list?
sorry for so many questions :-)
I like Mr Klemperer's performance musically and it is a favourite of
many I think and it is certainly recommendable but I find it just a
shade too slow and a bit too "heavy" for repeated listening. That
said, there are marvellous moments, but I think the "story telling"
drags a little bit.

Furtwangler is, well, Furtwangler cuts and all. But a wonderful take
on a score he loved and performed often and all over the world.

I don't have a big collection of recordings but for a complete version
in good modern sound (but not HIP) I would join with another poster in
recommending Helmut Rilling's performance for the Hanssler label. The
orchestral playing, particularly, is of a very high standard and there
is some marvellous artistry from Thomas Quasthoff who sings all the
bass parts. No one in the singing department, although not famous
names, let either Mr Bach or Mr Rilling down in my opinion.

The choral singing is outstanding, as often on Mr Rilling's recordings
of choral works.

No doubt others can come up with further recommendations for you. I
went off Mr Klemperer's recording a bit when I heard the Hanssler. My
minor "issue" with Mr Klemperer is not old fashioned Bach but with the
tempi he sometimes chooses. However, this is very much a matter of
opinion and I know many people speak highly of Mr Klemperer's
performance. He has distinguished soloists, a large all star cast who
perform for him very well.

In a way, I suppose, Mr Klemperer's performance is possibly close to
the large forces revival that Mendelssohn engineered whereas Mr Rilling
is a sort of mid point between that and out and out HIP.

The Richter recording you mention I do not know.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Gabriel Parra
2006-05-31 22:23:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by a***@aol.com
I don't have a big collection of recordings but for a complete version
in good modern sound (but not HIP) I would join with another poster in
recommending Helmut Rilling's performance for the Hanssler label. The
orchestral playing, particularly, is of a very high standard and there
is some marvellous artistry from Thomas Quasthoff who sings all the
bass parts. No one in the singing department, although not famous
names, let either Mr Bach or Mr Rilling down in my opinion.
Agreed. Rilling's is one of the better versions in modern sound.
Simon Roberts
2006-05-31 17:59:41 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@c74g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>, Steven Woody
says...
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
I can't imagine anyone finding it too fast. It is, however, cut. It's also
mono and has less good sound than the other two.
Post by Steven Woody
on the above list, only Klemperer's version was listed on the Penguin
Guide. is it normal that Furtwangler and Richer are not seen on the
famouse list?
I bet you'll find them in older editions of Penguin.

As for a recommendation, that would depend on what sort of Bach performances you
like. None of those three is to my taste. Critical consensus, if there is such
a thing, would probably favor Richter (if that's his first recording rather than
his second), so in that sense it might be the safest choice. You might also
want to consider finding a way to expand the available selection....

Simon
Juan I. Cahis
2006-05-31 19:29:34 UTC
Permalink
Richter, if it is the first of the two he did, no doubt.

It is, to my taste, the best non-HIP (or semi-HIP) ever made. And in
its last incarnation, the sound recording quality is simply superb.
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
on the above list, only Klemperer's version was listed on the Penguin
Guide. is it normal that Furtwangler and Richer are not seen on the
famouse list?
sorry for so many questions :-)
Thanks
Juan I. Cahis
Santiago de Chile (South America)
Note: Please forgive me for my bad English, I am trying to improve it!
sechumlib
2006-05-31 21:13:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
I have the Klemperer. If you don't demand a "historically correct"
version, it's great.
petrushka
2006-05-31 23:31:37 UTC
Permalink
Contrary to some opinions on this board, I am of the opinion that a large
orchestra and choir is the last thing that should ever be done to any music
of Bach. I would also take issue with the notion that HIP leaves little for
interpretation. I see great differences in the performances of Harnoncourt,
Herreweghe, and especially McCreesh. While I don't feel that period
instruments are essential to this work, a chamber choir and orchestra allow
the counterpoint to come through. A big orchestra and choir just sound big
to me.

By the way, I couldn't care less if HIP recordings are truly authentic in
the least. I just like the way they sound.

Petrushka
Ian Pace
2006-05-31 23:34:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by petrushka
Contrary to some opinions on this board, I am of the opinion that a large
orchestra and choir is the last thing that should ever be done to any
music of Bach. I would also take issue with the notion that HIP leaves
little for interpretation. I see great differences in the performances of
Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, and especially McCreesh. While I don't feel that
period instruments are essential to this work, a chamber choir and
orchestra allow the counterpoint to come through. A big orchestra and
choir just sound big to me.
By the way, I couldn't care less if HIP recordings are truly authentic in
the least. I just like the way they sound.
I tried an interesting experiment with students a little while ago. I played
them first Klemperer's recording of the opening movement from the St Matthew
Passion, followed by the McCreesh one (a whole 2:1 difference in tempo).
After that I played them Gardiner, which sounded, relatively speaking, quite
moderate and mainstream (that was their reaction). Now, not so long ago, the
Gardiner might have sounded far-out. Tastes in this respect are culturally
defined. What one recording sounds like in one context is not necessarily
the same as what it sounds like in another. How we hear performances relates
to the other performances we have heard previously.

Ian
Richard Loeb
2006-05-31 23:42:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Post by petrushka
Contrary to some opinions on this board, I am of the opinion that a large
orchestra and choir is the last thing that should ever be done to any
music of Bach. I would also take issue with the notion that HIP leaves
little for interpretation. I see great differences in the performances
of Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, and especially McCreesh. While I don't feel
that period instruments are essential to this work, a chamber choir and
orchestra allow the counterpoint to come through. A big orchestra and
choir just sound big to me.
By the way, I couldn't care less if HIP recordings are truly authentic
in the least. I just like the way they sound.
I tried an interesting experiment with students a little while ago. I
played them first Klemperer's recording of the opening movement from the
St Matthew Passion, followed by the McCreesh one (a whole 2:1 difference
in tempo). After that I played them Gardiner, which sounded, relatively
speaking, quite moderate and mainstream (that was their reaction). Now,
not so long ago, the Gardiner might have sounded far-out. Tastes in this
respect are culturally defined. What one recording sounds like in one
context is not necessarily the same as what it sounds like in another. How
we hear performances relates to the other performances we have heard
previously.
Ian
Ian - how did the experiment turn out - did they prefer one over the
other???? Richard
Ian Pace
2006-05-31 23:47:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Post by petrushka
Contrary to some opinions on this board, I am of the opinion that a
large orchestra and choir is the last thing that should ever be done to
any music of Bach. I would also take issue with the notion that HIP
leaves little for interpretation. I see great differences in the
performances of Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, and especially McCreesh. While
I don't feel that period instruments are essential to this work, a
chamber choir and orchestra allow the counterpoint to come through. A
big orchestra and choir just sound big to me.
By the way, I couldn't care less if HIP recordings are truly authentic
in the least. I just like the way they sound.
I tried an interesting experiment with students a little while ago. I
played them first Klemperer's recording of the opening movement from the
St Matthew Passion, followed by the McCreesh one (a whole 2:1 difference
in tempo). After that I played them Gardiner, which sounded, relatively
speaking, quite moderate and mainstream (that was their reaction). Now,
not so long ago, the Gardiner might have sounded far-out. Tastes in this
respect are culturally defined. What one recording sounds like in one
context is not necessarily the same as what it sounds like in another.
How we hear performances relates to the other performances we have heard
previously.
Ian
Ian - how did the experiment turn out - did they prefer one over the
other???? Richard
It would be impossible to give a singular answer to that (this was a class
of about 35-40 students) - there were widely differing views. Various people
found each of the three recordings more emotionally immediate than the
others. Which at the very least suggests to me that a simple dichotomy
between 'correctness' and 'emotionality' is very simplistic - both
categories can be constructed in a highly subjective manner.

Ian
Ian Pace
2006-05-31 23:50:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Post by Ian Pace
Post by petrushka
Contrary to some opinions on this board, I am of the opinion that a
large orchestra and choir is the last thing that should ever be done to
any music of Bach. I would also take issue with the notion that HIP
leaves little for interpretation. I see great differences in the
performances of Harnoncourt, Herreweghe, and especially McCreesh.
While I don't feel that period instruments are essential to this work,
a chamber choir and orchestra allow the counterpoint to come through.
A big orchestra and choir just sound big to me.
By the way, I couldn't care less if HIP recordings are truly authentic
in the least. I just like the way they sound.
I tried an interesting experiment with students a little while ago. I
played them first Klemperer's recording of the opening movement from the
St Matthew Passion, followed by the McCreesh one (a whole 2:1 difference
in tempo). After that I played them Gardiner, which sounded, relatively
speaking, quite moderate and mainstream (that was their reaction). Now,
not so long ago, the Gardiner might have sounded far-out. Tastes in this
respect are culturally defined. What one recording sounds like in one
context is not necessarily the same as what it sounds like in another.
How we hear performances relates to the other performances we have heard
previously.
Ian
Ian - how did the experiment turn out - did they prefer one over the
other???? Richard
It would be impossible to give a singular answer to that (this was a class
of about 35-40 students) - there were widely differing views. Various
people found each of the three recordings more emotionally immediate than
the others. Which at the very least suggests to me that a simple dichotomy
between 'correctness' and 'emotionality' is very simplistic - both
categories can be constructed in a highly subjective manner.
Incidentally, when at another class I played the Goebel/MAK Brandenburg 3,
one person found it very mainstream, another really extreme. A lot had to do
with what types of performances of this work they were familiar with, I
think. The reception of certain interpretations is, in my opinion,
culturally and historically affected. What few such people found in any way
strange, in various recordings I played, was the use of non-vibrato, leaner
textures, relatively brisk speeds (obviously Goebel/MAK is quite extreme in
these respects). It was interesting trying to explain to them how radically
different such performance attributes sounded 20-25 years ago, when they
were on the fringe.

Ian
makropulos
2006-06-01 00:03:28 UTC
Permalink
As a slight aside to this discussion - but developing the point about
using chamber forces - in a live performance of the St Matthew
Passion there is no doubt whatever in my experience that intimate
forces (both vocal and instrumental) give the work a dramatic immediacy
that is quite different - and to my mind more involving - from its
impact (deep as that is) with large forces. Mind you, I would happily
travel back through time to hear Mengelberg (or Mendelssohn for that
matter) performing this work in concert. But for preference I'd go a to
small-scale (and thus almost certainly more-or-less HIP) performance of
the work. Just a thought.
Simon Roberts
2006-06-01 14:32:22 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@f6g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>, makropulos
says...
Post by makropulos
As a slight aside to this discussion - but developing the point about
using chamber forces - in a live performance of the St Matthew
Passion there is no doubt whatever in my experience that intimate
forces (both vocal and instrumental) give the work a dramatic immediacy
that is quite different - and to my mind more involving - from its
impact (deep as that is) with large forces.
At least, with the right musicians and the right acoustic. Several months
before the recording was released, I attended McCreesh's SMP in St John's Smith
Sq, from the middle of the third row. One of the two or three most gripping
musical experiences I've ever had (and which their recording doesn't come close
to matching, partly because the rather distant microphone placement in a much
more resonant acoustic kills the immediacy/intimacy).

Mind you, I would happily
Post by makropulos
travel back through time to hear Mengelberg (or Mendelssohn for that
matter) performing this work in concert.
Me too!

Simon
Matt
2006-06-01 03:37:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
Incidentally, when at another class I played the Goebel/MAK Brandenburg 3,
one person found it very mainstream, another really extreme. A lot had to
do with what types of performances of this work they were familiar with, I
think. The reception of certain interpretations is, in my opinion,
culturally and historically affected. What few such people found in any
way strange, in various recordings I played, was the use of non-vibrato,
leaner textures, relatively brisk speeds (obviously Goebel/MAK is quite
extreme in these respects). It was interesting trying to explain to them
how radically different such performance attributes sounded 20-25 years
ago, when they were on the fringe.
Tonight I was watching Ingmar Bergman's Persona for the first time, and
there's a scene where one of the characters is listening to the radio. I
knew I recognized the music but couldn't place it until I realized it was a
very un-HIP performance of a Bach violin concerto. I've become so
conditioned to listening for those leaner textures in baroque music that it
actually sounded like a different piece of music to me.

Regards,
Matt
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 16:00:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matt
Tonight I was watching Ingmar Bergman's Persona for the first time, and
there's a scene where one of the characters is listening to the radio. I
knew I recognized the music but couldn't place it until I realized it was a
very un-HIP performance of a Bach violin concerto. I've become so
conditioned to listening for those leaner textures in baroque music that it
actually sounded like a different piece of music to me.
Precisely. What was once thought of as sounding "old and tired" today
sounds new and novel and what was formerly groundbreaking is now the
mainstream, boring norm. Once the novelty of both is taken out of the
equation, then a real judgment of merit can be made. As Brahms said,
and Furtwangler echoed, there is no such thing as "progress" in music.
Gabriel Parra
2006-06-01 14:31:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ian Pace
I tried an interesting experiment with students a little while ago. I played
them first Klemperer's recording of the opening movement from the St Matthew
Passion, followed by the McCreesh one (a whole 2:1 difference in tempo).
After that I played them Gardiner, which sounded, relatively speaking, quite
moderate and mainstream (that was their reaction). Now, not so long ago, the
Gardiner might have sounded far-out. Tastes in this respect are culturally
defined. What one recording sounds like in one context is not necessarily
the same as what it sounds like in another. How we hear performances relates
to the other performances we have heard previously.
I couldn't agree more. My experience was probably the reverse of most
people on this board. My first experiences with Baroque music were
almost exclusively HIP. Then I heard Furwangler, Klemperer, Mengelberg
et al. Far from sounding like the repositories of bad habits accrued
over the years, today they sound like mavericks, even radical. On the
other hand, whenever I read a review of the latest HIP account and see
it described as fresh, sprightly, lean, mean and what not, I keep
picturing museums. To me, HIP interpretations date the music, and then
I feel as if I'm listening to a lecture of how things ought to go.
That's the problem with a lot of Mozart's music, for instance, and what
prevents me from liking him as much as I love, say, Bach, Beethoven or
Schubert: his rococo mannerisms and affectations make him sound very
much like a composer from the 18th century. Even his more
"Beethovenian" pieces still sound like proto-Beethoven. Which is not to
say I don't find his PC 27, for instance, one of the very greatest
pieces of music ever written. So, the more performers like Barenboim,
for instance, make Mozart sound less like what a lot of people think
Mozart should sound like and more like a proto-romantic, the less I am
conscious of the fact that much of Mozart's music hasn't aged as well
as that of Bach's or Beethoven's or Schubert's. Bach can sound
distinctly modern, and I agree with Furtwangler who described Bach as a
"romantic" composer and Bruckner as "baroque," for the sake of
argument, of course. But there is something to that notion.
a***@aol.com
2006-06-01 00:13:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by petrushka
Contrary to some opinions on this board, I am of the opinion that a large
orchestra and choir is the last thing that should ever be done to any music
of Bach. I would also take issue with the notion that HIP leaves little for
interpretation. I see great differences in the performances of Harnoncourt,
Herreweghe, and especially McCreesh. While I don't feel that period
instruments are essential to this work, a chamber choir and orchestra allow
the counterpoint to come through. A big orchestra and choir just sound big
to me.
By the way, I couldn't care less if HIP recordings are truly authentic in
the least. I just like the way they sound.
Petrushka
No argument but let us all (?) be grateful that one Felix Mendelssohn
rescued much of this stuff after the best part of two centuries of
silence.

In whatever version we now prefer I believe we should thank the man who
saw "something" in this music and set about getting it performed,
unathentic or not.

And I believe put his own hand in his own pocket to do so.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins
Terry Simmons
2006-06-01 07:53:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven Woody
1, Richer, DG/3CDs, 4636352
2, Furtwangler, EMI/2CDs, 5655092
3, Klemperer, EMI/3CDs, 5675422
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
i noticed, the furtwangler's verion only takes 2CDs, and others takes
3CDs. does it mean the furtwangler is too fast?
on the above list, only Klemperer's version was listed on the Penguin
Guide. is it normal that Furtwangler and Richer are not seen on the
famouse list?
sorry for so many questions :-)
I would choose the Richter, if only because Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is in the
best form of his life in this recording. His final arioso and aria represent the
most piercingly beautiful singing I've ever heard.
--
Cheers!

Terry
MELMOTH
2006-06-02 01:44:43 UTC
Permalink
Ce cher mammifère du nom de Steven Woody nous susurrait, le mercredi
31/05/2006, dans nos oreilles grandes ouvertes mais un peu sales quand
même, et dans le message
Post by Steven Woody
i am not sure which one to pick up. what's your suggestion?
H.Scherchen
G.Leonhardt
K.Richter
--
Car avec beaucoup de science, il y a beaucoup de chagrin; et celui qui
accroît sa science, accroît sa douleur.
[Ecclésiaste, 1]
Melmoth - souffrant
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