Author Topic: The Romantics in Period Performances  (Read 164566 times)

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Offline Gordo

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #640 on: June 05, 2019, 06:42:27 PM »
...its melancholic cantabilita

Thanks for this, Ras. I had wished this word for years, but I didn't know that it existed: cantabilità. The property of being singable, cantabile... Beautiful.  :)
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #641 on: June 06, 2019, 07:00:36 AM »
But if somebody –other than a musician, I mean– said something interesting, you'd be interested, I guess...

:)

I should clarify, being a musician doesn't make what they say interesting. If they should say something interesting, all good.

Offline Ras

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #642 on: June 07, 2019, 04:49:50 AM »
Thanks for this, Ras. I had wished this word for years, but I didn't know that it existed: cantabilità. The property of being singable, cantabile... Beautiful.  :)

Thanks Gordo - But I'm afraid I can't take the honour for  cantabilità it was something Andras Schiff  himself came up with in a short ECM video interview which is on youtube. (I was quoting it from Presto's website.)
Just all of you watch the video go viral and
Quote
cantabilità
becoming part of everyday speech!!!  8)
"Music is life and, like it, inextinguishable." - Carl Nielsen

Offline Ras

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #643 on: June 07, 2019, 05:12:57 AM »
You've discovered that people's opinions can change with experience. In the U.S., refining ones views in response to experience is condemned as "flip-flopping." :)

Yes, well it's good not to stick in the same old groove…

I forgot to explain what I thought was interesting about Andras Schiff's "flip-flopping" in regards to Schubert on fortepiano:

There is a sort of spirit of the times/zeitgeist thing going on with regards to the use  of period instruments and Schiff's changing opinions reflect it: Over the years the "HIPsters" have moved forwards through music history from Baroque to the Classical era and now gradually more and more Romanticism as well.

Speaking of my own tastes I have always felt that the Baroque music is best on period instruments (or at least with a HIP approach) (unless we are speaking of music for solo harpsichord which I prefer to hear on piano.)
Gradually as time has passed I have developed a taste for Haydn and Mozart on period instruments as well or played by HIPsters using modern instruments (I would count among those for example what I have heard so far of conductor Thomas Fey's Haydn symphonies).

But when it comes to the romantics I have always preferred good old fashioned romantic cream sauce - so not Gardiner's Schumann cycle no thanks -- I'd rather go with Wolfgang Sawallisch. But I'm trying to get into it and so far I like Gardiner's SDG recording of Brahms's first symphony.
"Music is life and, like it, inextinguishable." - Carl Nielsen

Offline Gordo

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #644 on: June 07, 2019, 06:40:06 AM »
Thanks Gordo - But I'm afraid I can't take the honour for  cantabilità it was something Andras Schiff  himself came up with in a short ECM video interview which is on youtube. (I was quoting it from Presto's website.)
Just all of you watch the video go viral and  becoming part of everyday speech!!!  8)

 ;D

Of course!!!

BTW, I think you made clear enough that you were quoting Schiff.  My acknowledgement was for sharing those reflections.  :)
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Offline Gordo

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #645 on: June 07, 2019, 06:57:22 AM »
:)

I should clarify, being a musician doesn't make what they say interesting. If they should say something interesting, all good.

Then we are in peace.  ;D :D

Anyway, over the years I have read a lot of booklets written by musicians interested in historically informed practice, and a vey high rate of them have been not just wonderfully informative, but thought-provoking material.  :)
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Online Mandryka

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #646 on: June 07, 2019, 06:57:49 AM »
I ordered this today, it's been around a while but I'd never heard of it. Anyway we shall see, it was very cheap

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Offline Jo498

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #647 on: June 07, 2019, 07:22:35 AM »
It's quite good; unfortunately these are two of the Beethoven quartets I don't much care for. There are two about equally good HIP of op.18 (not only #4) by the Smithsonian and the Turner Q, I think the latter also have an op.59/3. Not sure if there is another HIP op.59/3. There is at least one more HIP op.18 with the Mosaiques but I was not fond of the disc I have heard (it did not include #4 and I got rid of it years ago).
The instruments are more of a gimmick. As far as I understand they are not in very good shape and the ensemble would probably have played better on their own fiddles.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #648 on: June 07, 2019, 07:54:38 AM »
Then we are in peace.  ;D :D

Anyway, over the years I have read a lot of booklets written by musicians interested in historically informed practice, and a vey high rate of them have been not just wonderfully informative, but thought-provoking material.  :)

Certainly I find that true of Harnoncourt.

I like practical talk from musicians. Angela Hewitt usually writes an essay explaining here choices in performances of the various pieces by Bach. It is super interesting to read that when listening to her recording, or other recordings of the works. Philosophical musings from musicians or composers are on par with philosophical musings from the barber, or postal delivery guy.  ;D

Online Mandryka

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #649 on: June 07, 2019, 08:00:12 AM »
It's quite good; unfortunately these are two of the Beethoven quartets I don't much care for. There are two about equally good HIP of op.18 (not only #4) by the Smithsonian and the Turner Q, I think the latter also have an op.59/3. Not sure if there is another HIP op.59/3. There is at least one more HIP op.18 with the Mosaiques but I was not fond of the disc I have heard (it did not include #4 and I got rid of it years ago).
The instruments are more of a gimmick. As far as I understand they are not in very good shape and the ensemble would probably have played better on their own fiddles.

No, well I'm not keen on the op59 but I thought I'd take a punt (I paid £3)
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Offline Jo498

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #650 on: June 07, 2019, 08:20:55 AM »
As I still have the disc I guess I also found it good enough too keep despite not being keen on the C major and already having two similarly good recordings of the c minor. I like the scherzando movement of the latter and the first movement of the former quite a bit, nevertheless I tend to think that the c minor is the weakest Beethoven quartet and the C major, especially the finale, is grotesquely overrated (I am afraid it is the most popular Beethoven quartet of all).

I have not checked if this has been discussed further above, but one great early period recording is with the late Jörg Demus and string players of Collegium Aureum: Trout quintet + Notturno for piano trio. It's in a "romantics" box by German harmonia mundi and maybe on a single disc from Japan. I was never a huge Trout fan and could not muster much enthusiasm for it but the rather serious Strub/Hansen you pointed me towards some time ago and the vigorous Demus/Coll. Aureum I got out as an in memoriam when he had passed away were really impressive and made me fond of the piece again. The Notturno is sublime anyway, not much help needed there.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline JBS

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #651 on: June 07, 2019, 08:30:47 AM »
As I still have the disc I guess I also found it good enough too keep despite not being keen on the C major and already having two similarly good recordings of the c minor. I like the scherzando movement of the latter and the first movement of the former quite a bit, nevertheless I tend to think that the c minor is the weakest Beethoven quartet and the C major, especially the finale, is grotesquely overrated (I am afraid it is the most popular Beethoven quartet of all).

I have not checked if this has been discussed further above, but one great early period recording is with the late Jörg Demus and string players of Collegium Aureum: Trout quintet + Notturno for piano trio. It's in a "romantics" box by German harmonia mundi and maybe on a single disc from Japan. I was never a huge Trout fan and could not muster much enthusiasm for it but the rather serious Strub/Hansen you pointed me towards some time ago and the vigorous Demus/Coll. Aureum I got out as an in memoriam when he had passed away were really impressive and made me fond of the piece again. The Notturno is sublime anyway, not much help needed there.

AmazonUS has this one for about $40US


Offline Jo498

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #652 on: June 07, 2019, 09:32:33 AM »
I wasn't aware of the older single issue
The better deal seems this box I have. All but about half of the Ameling Lieder are on period instruments. The Ameling Lieder are essential, the Pregardien and Schopper good to very good, the solo Schubert with Demus not as good as the trout but nice to have. I have not yet listened to the Freischütz.



Overall the Collegium Aureum recorded a lot from the mid 60s until the early/mid 80s. While quite a bit has been superseded by more recent recordings, they were often pioneering and often have a special charm. Lots are not on CD and many have never been on CD with the more interesting chamber items faring worse than the orchestral stuff. (I keep a few LPs even I cannot play them right now.) I have quite a bit of their Mozart serenades and mixed chamber music. There was a big cheap Mozart series around 1991 used items of which could still be found cheaply much later.
There is no orchestral Schubert, I think but they did the octet, string quintet and several quartets and trios in addition to the Trout. Of Beethoven (if we count him as romantic) there is the triple and the 4th piano concerto (Badura-Skoda, not Demus), the Missa Solemnis and the Eroica (I have only heard the concertos). Lots of Mozart, though, quite a bit of Haydn, several very good Bach sons. While I am not really familiar with them, I think most of their Bach/Handel/standard baroque has been superseded by other period recordings.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline JBS

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #653 on: June 07, 2019, 11:39:45 AM »
I wasn't aware of the older single issue
The better deal seems this box I have. All but about half of the Ameling Lieder are on period instruments. The Ameling Lieder are essential, the Pregardien and Schopper good to very good, the solo Schubert with Demus not as good as the trout but nice to have. I have not yet listened to the Freischütz.



Overall the Collegium Aureum recorded a lot from the mid 60s until the early/mid 80s. While quite a bit has been superseded by more recent recordings, they were often pioneering and often have a special charm. Lots are not on CD and many have never been on CD with the more interesting chamber items faring worse than the orchestral stuff. (I keep a few LPs even I cannot play them right now.) I have quite a bit of their Mozart serenades and mixed chamber music. There was a big cheap Mozart series around 1991 used items of which could still be found cheaply much later.
There is no orchestral Schubert, I think but they did the octet, string quintet and several quartets and trios in addition to the Trout. Of Beethoven (if we count him as romantic) there is the triple and the 4th piano concerto (Badura-Skoda, not Demus), the Missa Solemnis and the Eroica (I have only heard the concertos). Lots of Mozart, though, quite a bit of Haydn, several very good Bach sons. While I am not really familiar with them, I think most of their Bach/Handel/standard baroque has been superseded by other period recordings.

Thanks, I just ordered it. Decision made easier by the fact my only recording of Frieschutz until now was the Keiberth.

Offline Jo498

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #654 on: June 07, 2019, 10:44:15 PM »
I think the Weil Freischütz is more of a curiosity. They changed the dialogue mostly to a narrator as has been done with the Magic Flute and other pieces. (I fully understand that the dialogues in Singspiel and German opera often seems impossibly quaint or even embarrassing and big cuts are often in order but I still think it is needed for dramatic continuity)
But if you care for the Lieder included, these alone would easily make the box worth it although unlike the "Trout" they tend to be more available separately. I only remember that I got the box a few years ago because it was so cheap although I had already one of the Ameling and all of Pregardien's discs separately.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Que

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #655 on: July 29, 2019, 09:08:20 AM »
Anyone heard this already?  :)


Q

Offline Gordo

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #656 on: July 31, 2019, 06:55:16 AM »
Anyone heard this already?  :)


Q

Yes, well played as expected, but I didn't get too much (any) emotional connection.

The sound quality is exceptional, but  microscopic with every Schayegh breath registered (even listened to through speakers).  :)
Musica lætitiæ comes medicina dolorum
(Music is a companion to joy and a medicine for pains)

Online Mandryka

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #657 on: July 31, 2019, 11:36:29 PM »
I thought the  Schayegh / Schultsz was very interesting and challenging and a great pleasure to hear. But que, there’s a lot of it on YouTube so you can suck it and see for yourself.

Here's what they have to say for themselves

Quote
Our present-day ears have become accustomed to the
fact that in Baroque music everything which is written down vertically does not necessarily sound in a
uniform, superimposed manner. However, at the latest starting from the Classical era, and especially in
Romantic music, a return to order can be welcomed,
one which is in no way “historical”. On the earliest
recordings this means that the performers do not
play together in an exact manner. That was certainly
part of the idea: a free and easy association with
tempo and notation was self-evident – anyone who
was incapable of doing this just wasn’t a proper musician! The fact that Brahms had instinctively incorporated this idea into his own thinking, and the point at
which following him sometimes proved difficult for
other, appear in many written statements. Allowing
one’s chamber music partner to develop without the need for intervention demands a great deal of
courage, practice, independence and tact. Drawing
close to this goal has been one of the great challenges
of this, our, version of the Brahms violin sonatas.
Neat – and thus inaudible –fingering is as unhistorical as a well-ordered interplay between the instruments. We modern violinists attempt to change position as discretely as possible because we feel the
sounds of sliding to be too affected, too Romantic.
And there’s the problem: portamento is Romantic and
forms part of the expressive repertoire of this era. If
one is going to take ownership of the violinist technique of the period, one has no alternative than to
make the change of position discernible. Indeed, the
bow must be held in a position that alters neither the
pressure nor the speed through a slur. At the same
time, one must let the fingers of the left hand rest as
much as possible on the strings being played, even
when changing position. The combination of constant bow contact in the right hand and finger pressure from the left necessarily entails a portamento, no
margin being left for concealing what is thought to be
undesirable. This is why the fingerings are chosen in
order to highlight the musical sense instead of serving
the needs of comfort. Even vibrato has always been
used with economy and in general is so faint that the
ear merely registers it as animating the sonority.
“Finger legato” is to the piano what the bow is to
the violin: the fingers are left in contact with the keys
until the very last moment in order to produce a continuous, uninterrupted sound. This makes the use of the right pedal unnecessary while maintaining a
transparent sound. Another characteristic of historical performance is of breaking chords. For one thing
this renders the sound smoother, for another it
encourages the independence of the different parts
and suggests a more generous sound around pianos
which do not sound so strong by nature.
We have been assisted enormously by having
available for our use a marvellous Streicher piano –
the same model as the one owned by Brahms – as well
as a copy of a Romantic violin, with three plain gut
strings and a single wound gut string. The bow is original, from the end of the nineteenth century, and relatively light for modern hands. The sound possibilities
which all this material has opened up for us have been
most inspiring and often innovative in the questions
of balance and playing technique.
Our meetings with Clive Brown and Neal Peres
da Costa, whose Bärenreiter edition of the Brahms
Sonatas provided an additional working basis for us,
have been stimulating, productive and encouraging.
Kai Köpp also gave us significant support in matters
of interpretation. Last, but not least, we wish to think
the Stiftung Basler Orchester-Gesellschaft for having
generously supported our work

Schayegh  did a recording of the Bach accomanpanied sonatas with a harpsichordist which was inspired by Mattheson, that's why I checked the Brahms. I'm glad I did. If more people played c18 and c19 music like that, I'd find the music of those two centuries more rewarding I'm sure.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 01:05:35 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Brian

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #658 on: August 01, 2019, 06:24:03 AM »
But que, there’s a lot of it on YouTube so you can suck it and see for yourself.
???

Online Mandryka

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #659 on: August 01, 2019, 06:28:07 AM »
They’re the Wolfgang Rübsam of the Brahms violin sonatas.
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