[Table of Contents]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [ARSCLIST] Dynamic-frequency Range

On 20/10/06, Karl Miller wrote:

> One project we are working on is a disc of Liszt pupils playing
> Liszt...some of the Welte rolls. There are several that are marked
> suggesting the recording is how the pupil remembered Liszt playing the
> work. We plan to feature duplicate performances of the same piece,
> played by former pupils, both claiming to have performed in the way
> the composer played...well, either Liszt never played it the same way
> twice (which is my guess) or, those pupils might not have had accurate
> memories.

Probably both.

(Totally off-topic - this has implications for "sacred books" which
claim to repeat exactly the sayings of some great teacher or prophet.)

> For me, the major problem with historically informed performances is
> that, while they might play on period instruments, keep the size of
> the ensemble historically correct, use the original metronome
> markings, etc...they can't replicate playing techniques that are no
> longer taught...things like the use of rubato within a phrase without
> losing the overall beat, measured portamento, etc. I wonder what
> Beethoven would have thought of the Nikisch recording of the 5th or
> d'Albert's broadcast of the Emperor.

They can't replicate a particular performer's technique exactly - nor
generally could anyone today replicate (for example) Perahia's playing
exactly, even with recordings to listen to.

However, there is a surprisingly large number of contemporary books
giving advice on how to play various instruments, and at any one time
various players would have each had their own styles. So I think a
modern, well informed player might not sound like Handel playing Handel,
but could be accepted as a contemporary of Handel playing his music a
bit differently.

> Then we have Bruno Walter who was probably the best informed to
> perform Mahler, yet we do not generally place his Mahler recordings at
> the top.

Compare the equally well informed Klemperer.
> I have never heard a recording of the Messiaen organ works where a
> performer is a free rhythmically as one can hear in the composer's
> recordings.
> Even when we released the Scriabin rolls...we included two recordings
> of the same piece...one played by Scriabin and the other by
> Goldenweiser. The Goldenweiser was recorded within a few days of
> Scriabin's...using the same studio...they were friends, yet the
> differences in the performances are astounding...plus, Scriabin
> departs from the printed text and provides his own ending...well, he
> was the composer...
> For me, one of the great benefits of older recordings is that one can
> hear how they used to play...or these days, how they used to
> record...like a Glenn Gould. And on the subject of Gould...I spent a
> most fascinating afternoon watching some outtakes from a video session
> where Gould had spent about 30 minutes on three measures of Bach. The
> outtakes were far more fascinating that the final version. Hence, the
> information exists only because of the process.
> I treasure some Horowitz and Sinatra recording session outtakes I
> have. Pity so much of that sort of material is lost.
> Karl
Don Cox

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents]