On Thu, 30 Mar 2006, Steven Smolian wrote:
> I couldn't think of a better way to prove my point that without completely
> annotated music, for thosw wishing to perform the music as its creators
> intended, a properly qualified recording is a defining document.
I agree, but sometimes I think we can easily make the wrong assumptions
about things. When I first heard the Koussevitzky broadcast performance of
the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra (via a tape) I thought to myself that
this must be the way Bartok meant for it to be done. Then I read the story of
how Bartok kept interrupting Koussevitzky during the rehearsal. As the story
goes, at the break in the rehearsal, Koussevitzky and Bartok had a
"discussion." When they returned, Koussevitzky was reported to have said
to the orchestra, "Gentlemen, the composer and I have had a discussion and
everything is just fine."
> A qualified recording is one made by the creator(s) of the music or those
> known to be aware of and to deliberately implement that tradition.
Which reminds me of those who attempt "historically informed"
performances...yet, they are amongst the first to dismiss documents like
Nikisch and d'Albert performances of Beethoven. Somehow the musicological
musician will dismiss the rubato of those performances as either..."well
d'Albert wasn't much of pianist and he was so self indulgent"...or..."Nikisch
was just an example of the slovenly excessive mannerisms of the late
Getting back to the waltz, if you listen to recordings of the Viennese
tradition, there is a slight hesitation on the third beat...guess many
conductors just haven't listened.
And then, on the other side of the coin was a musician like Byron Janis
who used to say that he did not like to listen to other interpretations of
a particular piece of music as he did not want to be influenced by the
thoughts of others.