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On 05/04/2015, L. Hunter Kevil wrote:

> Not to start a fight, I never got very far into Schuller's rather
> dogmatic book years ago, given my doubts about the 'precision' of a
> score, no matter how detailed. He seems to have taken as gospel
> Toscanini's quip about not needing a performance tradition for
> Beethoven since he had the score.
> 
> I am now reading the book, Off the Record, by Neal Peres da Costa
> (recommended.) He is very convincing that the piano scores of 19th
> century composers do not give the full story on how to play their
> pieces. Unannotated expressive devices such as playing one hand before
> the other, arpeggiation, rubato, dotting, speeding u[p& slowing down,
> were all assumed by many composers and their performers. Testimony
> from a recording of Brahms playing his music and from his students
> shows that Brahms played in a manner that would disqualify him from
> entering Julliard today. Listen to the rather fascinating Arbiter CD,
> Behind the Notes: Brahms performed by colleagues and pupils. There is
> also evidence of Brahms's 'Wagnerian' tendencies as a conductor.
> 
Brahms also praised two very different performances of one of his string
quartets. He was happy for the performers to come up with their own
interpretations.

But I would not place any reliance on the famous Brahms cylinder
recording: the sound quality is just too bad. Perhaps if the original
cylinder had survived, we could extract more from it with modern
methods.

Regards
-- 
Don Cox
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