Steven C. Barr wrote:

> Although there are subtle differences in musical performances
> that are played from "written" scores (i.e. most classical
> performances, as well as dance bands playing from music)
> It is only in more recent decades that the majority of
> musicians "made it up as they went," meaning that any
> recorded performance can be musically specific.
> It's like the difference in identifying alternate takes
> of a dance band playing from a "stock" and, say, Duke
> Ellington...

I'm sorry, but I must disagree - again, from a primary interest in 
classical vocal performance. The music, in the sense of the score, is 
only the beginning of the performance. Apart from improvisation which is 
essential in classical music as well as in popular, the differences in 
performance are substantial even from a single performer.

On the other hand, I agree that there are excesses and commited 
(commitable?) aficianados seek every note from every performance even 
where near equivalents are readily available. There was great excitement 
among the Callas fanatics when I discovered a good recording of an opera 
she had recorded commercially and of which two superior broadcasts (from 
the same year and the year before) were already in distribution.

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