I think this concept of tempi suitable to the hall is made clear by 
considering the need for organists, say, to adjust the tempo of the Widor 
Toccata to the acoustical environment so the middle voices don't become 

On the other extreme, I've yet to discover a way to rationalize Toscanini's 
tempo for the Entrance of the Meistersingers in his live recording, which is 
taken at trot tempo.

I'm also convinced that Mahler's reorchestrations were made for specific 
halls.  I betcha those for the Concertgebouw differ from those made for 
other locations.  That would make an interesting study.

Steve Smolian

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The waltz (was Which U.S. orchestra recorded first 
and Arthur Fiedler)

> On Tue, 4 Apr 2006, Don Cox wrote:
>> So would Beethoven's metronome marks work only in Studio 8H?
> While I don't know if you were being serious or not with your question...
> I do wonder about the process of determining tempo markings. I am reminded
> of my old days as a composer. I must admit that I never thought about the
> notion of what the acoustic might be since you could never anticipate the
> acoustic of the hall. One work was performed several
> times and I have tapes of the various performances...all given in
> different halls. While there were slight differences in tempi, for the
> most part, all of the conductors pretty much paid attention to what I
> wrote...and each time, the particular hall changed the sound, sometimes
> blurring the line.
> I guess a Beethoven 5th done with fast tempi, recorded in a reverberant
> hall, just wouldn't work...which raises in my mind, a curious
> question...are some pieces better suited to a particular acoustic
> environment? Certainly there are more obvious considerations like most
> chamber music working best a dry acoustic environment...but I do wonder if
> some large ensemble pieces work better in a dry acoustic...
> Karl
> -- 
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