Santu De Silva wrote:
>I wonder what I mean by this little thought experiment! Just *suppose*
>that Szell had some rare insight into some particular Brahms tune. Does
>it make more sense to do it his way, or to ignore that insight on the
>basis that if Szell was not around the insight would no longer be
I don't know if it makes more sense or not.
>The best of all would have been to advertize the performance as having
>a special Szellian insight that might pollute it. ("Those who wish an
>insight-free performance should not attend the Thursday concert, but
>wait for the Friday concert; thanks.--Management")
Perhaps it just depends on whose insight one prefers. Consider a
conductor, totally unaware of the significance of that tune, who predicates
a performance based upon bring out some of the subordinate lines in the
piece. Who is right? Or is there a right?
I am reminded of a line Koussevitzky is reported to have said frequently.
In discussing the performance of new music he said, "we must find the
way." I heard that quote in an interview when Roy Harris was talking
about Koussevitzky. Harris said that what it meant was that the first
performance helped to establish a performing tradition. Interestingly,
I think the advent of the recording has done more to stifle creativity
>Arch (S de Silva), possibly missing the bus.
Nope, I think you are right on.