Satoshi Akima <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>In any case why not take this literalism to even greater extremes? Why not
>insist that elements such as vibrato, or rubato should not be permitted
>unless they are so notated in the score. One might then argue that to do
>otherwise is tantamount to playing Bach on a synthesiser.
No one has made such an argument. The elements to which you refer were
part of the performing practice of the time, and, thus, it was implicit
that the performers would use them, so composers generally considered such
>Clearly then everyone must permit some degree of interpretative
>freedom, the question is how much is too much.
Again, no one has disputed this.
>Now, all one simply has to do is listen to older mono recordings to
>realise that in the past greater musical freedom was the norm unlike
>today, and this undoubtedly held true for many of the composers of the
>past. One commonly hears purists react with horror when someone misses
>out an exposition repeat from a Brahms symphony - never mind that Brahms
>himself did much the same when he conducted his own music!
In which case, while I might (and do) prefer them with the repeats, I
can't and don't claim that a conductor who omits them has mis-represented
Brahms. But that's Brahms. His philosophy regarding repeats in his own
works do not apply to the works of other composers. Also, many of the
historical recordings to which you refer were omitted not because of
"interpretive" grounds, but, rather, due to the fact that there was not
enough time on those old discs to accomodate a full recording. I have
seen Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade spread out over eight or so 78s.
while that's not how I'd want to listen to it today, back then it was the
only way one could hear the work in one's own home, and those who bought
it knew they were going to have to turn the disc over in the middle of
>So even here there can be no mindless formulae such as 'stop interpreting
>and just play the notes of the score'.
Perhaps that is why no one has made it. The objection is over not playing
all of them.
Culver Chamber Music Series
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