Ian Crisp wrote:
>>So, the EARS thing with respect to different centuries just doesn't mean
>>much when the curious thing is that so many of us living in this century
>>are more comfortable with and are more drawn to the sound of the earlier
>>instruments in music of their time. I'm more interested in why that is.
>Another is that our ears / minds are intrigued by and drawn towards new and
>fresh-sounding ways of performing a familiar type of music. This approach
>does not require any presumptions about "right" and "wrong", as it is based
>only on the novelty-seeking nature of our perceptual systems. It would of
>course predict that as the HIP style becomes more familiar it will also
>become less attractive, and that in due course there will be a return to
>the now unfashionable methods, or perhaps a new movement in some as yet
Such as may already be occurring, in that an either/or approach isn't
evolving, but perhaps a hybrid of the two? I would cite Harnoncourt's work
with modern orchestras (tinkering slightly with some of the instruments),
or the way in which other conductors may be using more HIP approaches with
their modern orchestras. These would include lighter, more transparent
textures, divided violins, and use of more reliable scores.
As long as it isn't the same group that does the Pachelbel Canon with
On the other side, more HIP groups are less "reticent" in the way
they produce their sounds. This weekend on the radio I heard a taped
transcription of last year's Boston Early Music Festival performance of
"Ercole Amante", with an augmented ensemble of The King's Noyse, a large
number of vocal soloists, chorus etc. All to perform a resurrected opera
written mostly by Cavalli in the early 17th century, but with music added
for a French 1662 performance by a young rake by the name of Lully. The
extra percussion, brass and the large vocal ensemble made sure this was no
scholarship exercise. At least I was intrigued by the novelty of it enough
to want to seek out a recording for myself, even if it isn't a "familiar
type of music", as Ian says, to most people.
>It wouldn't surprise me one bit.
Well, I await with bated breath to hear how La Scala or the Wiener
Staatsoper will handle the Cavalli:-)