Bravo, Lani Spahr !
- especially for your comment at the end of your
message: " Not "better" (or "worse"), just
different", which is a most useful way to think
of earlier performance practices.
Parts of this discussion remind me of a
(departed) well-known instrumental player who
taught at Yale and who used to use early string
recordings to illustrate how he could play Work X
so much better than anyone ever had (it was
difficult to keep mouth shut and be polite to
him). On the other hand, other performers who
taught here (and were fine teachers and great
performers) tended to talk about changes and
differences in performing styles when dealing with historical recordings.
At 11:32 AM 3/31/2006, you wrote:
>Hello all -
>I thought I'd chime in here....
>--- Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Which reminds me of those who attempt "historically informed"
> > performances...
>I'm a professional oboist who specializes in period performance (with
>Tafelmusik, Boston Baroque, Handel&Haydn Soc and many others). I play
>copies of instruments from 1650-1805.
> > yet,they are amongst the first to dismiss documents
> > like Nikisch and d'Albert performances of Beethoven.
>Actually most of the people that I work with are fascinated with ALL
>performances from earlier times. I would say that the truly open-minded
>amongst us don't think that we have the "grail" at our personal
>disposal. In fact, last evening a colleague and I spent an hours
>listening to oboists from 1903-1953 (a 2 CD set that I engineered) and
>marvelled and lamented at the playing styles that have been lost in the
>last 50 years. We also were discussing recordings of the 20s by the
>Rosť Quartet and how wonderful they were.
>It could be that the attitudes Karl noted existed early on in the HIP
>movement but I think by-and-large they don't now. I'm not saying that
>everyone I work with thinks this way, but most of the ones I know are
>fascinated by all historic performances. I think the days of the
>militant HIPsters and essentially gone but you can still find a few out
>Well, you might say, why don't you play like that? Well that's another
>can of worms to be opened at a later time but it basically has to do
>with the instruments we play - essentially, you CAN'T play like that.
>The instruments won't let you. Oh, sure you can impose a different
>style on your instrument, but then what's the point of using the old
>instruments then? We need to let the instrument find its voice and then
>play it that way. When that happens you find yourself playing in a very
>different manner. Not "better" (or "worse"), just different.
> > musicological
> > musician will dismiss the rubato of those performances as
>Musicological musician?? :-) An oxymoron?? :-)
>Lani Spahr (who still loves a good portamento)
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