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CLASSICAL  March 2000

CLASSICAL March 2000

Subject:

Re: Repeats

From:

Dave Lampson <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 5 Mar 2000 15:12:42 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (85 lines)

Ian Crisp wrote with respect to audience relativity:

>>Therefore, while we know that differences exist, we can not reasonably
>draw any conclusions as to what performance practice may or may not be
>appropriate for any given situation.
>
>Absolutely. If I have suggested otherwise, I must have developed a case of
>multiple personality and e-mailing during my sleep, or completely lost any
>ability I may once have had to write what I mean, because I have no
>recollection of so doing.

You do so in the very next paragraph of your response:

>>We can't hear music in exactly the same way that someone in 1750 heard
>it, and they couldn't have possibly heard music in the same way we here
>it.  Now what?  Do we take the repeat or not?
>
>The argument so far is the justification for asking that question.
>Answering it is another matter altogether.

In saying that by knowing this difference exists questioning a repeat is
justified, you are drawing specific conclusions from something that
basically you admit know nothing about.  That's fine, if that's that way
you want to approach it, but it doesn't work for me.

>Can anyone point me to an example, or will anyone admit to arguing that
>the agreed fact that "we can't hear music as they once did" is *by itself*
>sufficient justification for making a performance choice such as omitting a
>repeat?

Yes, your post on the subject as well as several others.  But this question
is really just throwing a red herring into the mix.  As I stated before,
invoking the audience relativity question has never, in my experience,
been  trotted out for any other reason than to discredit a specific
interpretive choice.  It provides no insight.

>Those who argue that the simple fact that a repeat sign exists in a score
>over-rides any other consideration as to whether or not it should be
>observed in any performance context. Unless I have completely
>misunderstood, there is at least one such amongst those here assembled.

This is something you and Jocelyn have to work out, and therefore has
nothing to do with the discussion at hand.  I'm trying to discuss ideas,
not proclaim dogmas.

>Not everything in a score is necessarily a clear and unambiguous
>indication, for many good reasons, one of which is to do with the
>conventions of the time. Scores have to be interpreted.

Another red herring that's been brandished at will in the discussion.
We're not talking about what's not in the score, we're talking about what's
in it.  The score is not a complete set of instructions to reproduce the
music - anyone who has ever sat down in front of a piece of music to play
it knows this immediately.  But what about an explicit repeat? What you're
really saying is that you believe the performer should interpret even
explicit score indications, in which case everything: notes, key,
instrumentation, tempos, time signatures, etc.  are all up for grabs.
Sounds like a pop music approach for a cover tune.

>>All possibilities for the performer are open (they always have been,
>>actually).
>
>Not according to the fundamentalist hard-line repeatists on this list.

Like I said, that's between you and Jocelyn.  I stand by what I wrote.

>I hope I have made it clear that I am a complete supporter of the HIP
>movement and its historical researches.

Friends that have your philosophy, HIP is probably better off without the
support.

>Let me say it again: the HIP movement is wonderful. It should have an
>input into questions of modern performance practice, but not dictatorial
>powers over them.

Ooh, I love dictatorial powers.  Where do I sign up.

Seriously though, whatever your intention, your whole tone simply reeks
of anti-HIP politics.  That you don't seem to see it is perhaps the most
troubling aspect of the discussion.

Dave
[log in to unmask]
http://www.classical.net/

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