On Fri, 31 Mar 2006, Lani Spahr wrote:

> 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.

Based upon the musicology papers and articles I read, you are in the

> 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.

What about rubato? From my experience and training as a musician, I was
taught to be a slave to the metronome...however, for whatever the reason,
I fought it. I believe that the older recordings, and the playing styles
they evince, should be part of the musician's training. While this is more
about music than seems to me that the sterility of the
"interpretive aesthetic" of more modern thinking, has brought about some
of the deline of interest in live performance of classical music. If it
sounds the same way as it does on the record...why not stay at home and
listen to the record.

> > musicological
> > musician will dismiss the rubato of those performances as
> Musicological musician?? :-) An oxymoron?? :-)

Well I guess I did mean it as a bit of an oxymoron...but it is a pity that
many, including myself, might see it as such.

I am reminded of Ardoin's first book on Callas. As far as I know it was
the first book to trace a musician's career through recorded performances.
John was not a musicologist...he didn't need the footnotes...he knew the
subject matter...but his book demonstrated the value of the recording as a

While I have seen changes in the last few years, it still seems to me that the
recording is still not given the credit it deserves in musicological
study. Ethnomusicologists find the value...but then I think of all of that
time they take transcribing...a bit like the oral history folks who do
their transcripts.