Jocelyn Wang replies to me replying to her:
>(I'm not the only one who noted an implied irreverance for Bach in Ian's
Bach's lawyers will call on Ian in the morning.
>...and yes, it's an unreasonable assumption. Regardless of what their
>answers would be if you asked them if they had carte blanche to mess up
>the composer's work, the fact is that if they want to alter the composer's
>intent by omitting the repeat, then why would they not alter something
>else? Why not the dynamics, tempi, or the notes themselves?
In fact, all of these things *are* altered, routinely, and sometimes in
very effective performances. Tempi are altered, dynamics are altered,
rhythms are altered. Many conductors (not just Koussevitzky) rebarred
Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, which led to Stravinsky himself doing the same
thing in his 1940s revision. Verdi, for example, is rarely performed as
written. In fact, it was probably not performed as written while Verdi was
alive and supervising productions. Singers, among others, changed notes.
I happen to prefer the performing tradition as it has evolved to, say,
Muti's manuscript Verdi. To anticipate one objection, this doesn't mean I
know more about music than Verdi did. It means only that I prefer one
thing to another thing.
You might bring up the "slippery slope" argument: once we start altering
this, how do we know when to stop? The answer is the result tells you, and
so you have to judge the result. The judgment might differ from person to
person, which is something I, at any rate, can live with. What you can't
legitimately do is judge an alteration you haven't heard, usw.