Post by Mandryka
A piano, or a modern one, is a less colourful instrument than a
proper harpsichord. And you lose as many opportunities for touch.
If music is well known, people should play it however they want,
IMO. I mean, I don't have to like it. Why should I like everything?
So this all seems kind of irrelevant to me, and the more variety
in performance, generally speaking, the more music is appreciated
and the more likely something interesting is to result....
When it comes to music people are still trying to figure out, i.e.
its phrasing and the rest, there's a different factor. I mean, in
some sense, lots of the warhorses aren't "figured out" since there
are always choices, but the tunes & rhythms & just the elements of
how the lines fit together have been thoroughly examined. But if
you're still trying to figure out what's going on with some silent
notes on a piece of paper, the actual equipment the author was using
can make a big difference in figuring that out. That part is as
straightforward as can be. And then once you've rendered something
like that in sound, everyone can hear & take their own conclusions.
And then maybe render a full mass with an orchestra of people blowing
into bottles or something... whatever.
Admittedly, sometimes doing something completely different can yield
insights to apply back to a more straightforward performance. But
more often, if you try to get into the earlier performance space,
you're more likely to gain insights. Again, if the piece is already
well known, then none of this applies (or more as an alternative
to just continuing the performance history you encounter). But
most of the earlier music of interest to me has never really had a
great performance (or not in my lifetime), so there's plenty more
to do in terms of familiarity with style. (I talk about many new
performances in positive terms, but are any of them really at the
actual level of detail etc. as a typical warhorse performance? No,
not even close.)
And then for a warhorse? Play it however you want. There's always
other options for anyone who doesn't like it. Inspiration can be
anything, after all.