Steve has addressed this question better than I have:
>I don't like HIP because it's authentic. I like it because some of it
>is done by great musicians. I agree with Roger to the extent that HIP
>is now so established, that other approaches are crowded out. I'd love
>to hear a subset of, say, the Cleveland Orchestra or the Czech Phil do
>the Brandenburgs or Handel's op. 6. I miss Raymond Leppard's superb
>Handel and Bach, a-historical though it may be, because Leppard's a
>great musician with an affinity for the music. I loved Landowska
>Goldbergs because she's got an imagination far beyond the ordinary.
It took me years to find Leppard's Handel, op 6. It was worth the search.
Much better than Marriner, another modern recording.
Steve responding to Don:
>>I'm surprised Roger said the above. I don't see how the "HIPers" could
>>possibly push anyone out of the way; record companies make recording
>>decisions, not the performers.
>Record companies, as we know, don't necessarily make decisions on the
>basis of art. Indeed, they more likely make decisions based on what
>they sense as the expectations of their potential customers. The
>"hard-core" classical music lover expects right now -- and I would
>say for spurious reasons -- HIP in Baroque music.
Agreed on all points.
>>Also, I wonder how many of these Handel operas would have seen
>>the light of day on record if it wasn't for the interest in HIP
>Well, I doubt Handel operas, excepting Giulio Cesare, are all that
>popular, or at least significantly more popular than they were during
>the Sills-Rudel era. And I doubt that HIP as such had much to do with
>their increased popularity. I will agree that they are recorded because
>certain HIP-sters with record-company clout wanted to record them.
Thinking about it now, I don't really know why Handel operas are being
recorded in such numbers. I hardly regret the phenomenon but cannot
entirely explain it either. I'll say simply that greatness will out
and leave it at that.
>I'm neither for nor against HIP. I simply want the music to knock my
>socks off. That can be done many ways, with or without string vibrato.
What bothers me more than anything else about HIP is that performing
something HIP too often serves as a license to get a lot of musical
things wrong (assuming the history is right to begin with). No. I'm
not saying that HIP recordings all have these problems or even most or
for that matter half--whatever--but rather that being HIP gives a
performance a huge leg up on a "modern" performance that may be superior
on musical grounds but is dismissed on "correctness" grounds. It's like
a requirement for admission.
Viewed in this light, the fact that all Handel is issued HIP is disturbing
in itself for it implies a lockstep way of thinking among those who wish
to perform Baroque music: do it "correctly" or risk not being acceptable
or taken seriously. I have no idea if listeners things this way, but
it does seem that record companies (and many reviewers) do.
Now I have no dispute with anyone who insists on HIP. I just want a
shot at other approaches.
By the way, I'm really enjoying that Riccardo, HIP though it is. I'm
not *that* rigid.
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