Don Satz wrote:
>For me, baroque music with string vibrato is pure evil. And let's not
>forget that God doesn't use vibrato when he's playing stringed instruments
>or singing a tune. Yes, that's a fact, but don't expect any evidence
>to be forthcoming.
>I do agree with Steve that liking the HIP appraoch mainly due to historical
>accuracy has little to recommend it. Before I heard any period instrument
>performances of baroque music, I was not satisfied. With the advent of
>HIP, the music took on a new life for me and was illuminating. Accuracy
>had nothing to do with my conclusions.
>Having said the above, there are some old-fashioned baroque recordings
>I do own and play regularly such as Klemperer's St. Matthew Passion.
>As for Raymond Leppard, he's always been one of my favorite conductors,
>his Mozart Great Mass in C minor and Violin Concertos (w/Lin) being at
>the top of my list.
My only issue here is choice. I would never decree that you should
listen to recordings you don't like. The problem is that present practices
force me to hear performances I don't particularly like. Okay, that's
an exaggeration. I listen to and enjoy HIP recordings all the time.
But there are so many moments when listening to a Handel opera I yearn
to be free of that string sound, if just for an aria or two.
I have no idea whether God uses vibrato, but I'd have thought so in my
youth when I attended Temple services, to name one example.
For what it's worth, there are reasons that performance practices evolve.
Some are good. Some aren't. Same with the results. But as I listened
to those Norrington recordings of Brahms and Bruckner, I said to myself,
Self, this can't be the sound Bruckner and Brahms had in mind. It just
doesn't seem to be in the music. Others may disagree, and I don't think
in the long run that we'll ever really know. Still, to me it seems that
there was an inherent progression in performance practices that seemed
to be behind the curve vis a vis the composers. Put another way, I can
imagine changes coming because musicians would play a Brahms symphony,
say to themselves, this isn't right, and try to adapt and create a sound
that seemed to them to be in the music.
Of course, not all these performers were "right" all the time, and I do
think the trend to big and dark went way too far in the case of Baroque
music. For that I certainly thank the HIP movement for taking us away
from Messiah Humungous.
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