Author Topic: The Romantics in Period Performances  (Read 157618 times)

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Offline Que

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #80 on: October 30, 2007, 09:54:06 AM »


I have just listened to this and can heartily recommend it to all.  Beautiful, clean sound,
and the near ideal seperation of five instruments makes the composer's magical writing
in harmonies quite palpable.  Mmm... :)

I got this as well - it's amazing!  :-* Marvelous! Superb!  ;D
I already have the exceptionally fine HIP version by the L'Archibudelli (Sony), and this by the Festetics Quartet is quite different in concept. While the L'Archibudelli give Schubert's string quintet a feeling of urgency - anxiety even - the Festetics take a more mellow and lyrical approach: it's fun and exitement with a clear undertone of melancholy, but not "Angst". Like fl.traverso already pointed out: perfect separation and articulation of the instruments. Rhythmically flowing, beautiful lush sound by these Hungarian players, naturally recorded.

Thoroughly recommended, maybe not a replacement for the L'Archibudelli but as an equal alternative approach.

Q
« Last Edit: December 02, 2007, 11:19:13 PM by Que »
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Offline Que

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #81 on: January 15, 2008, 03:28:33 AM »
A good HIP performance of the Brahms clarinet trio would be nice!




A very postive review (10/10/10) on Klassik Heute in (at times hilarious) translation by Babelfish. Click HERE for the original in German.

"This recording of the piano trios Op in. 114 (with clarinet) and A major Op posth. is in many respect more than a high-quality reproduction of remaining treasures from the official and halfofficial heritage of an important composer. First one can congratulate the Abegg Trio with Ulrich Beetz, Birgit Erichson and Gerrit Zitterbard, who have played for 30 years now in unchanged personal setting together. 2006 celebrated the chamber music ensemble this rare anniversary - and one must already at alliances like the Quartetto italiano, the Beaux Arts Trio or the Trio di Trieste, in order to find similarly "durable" collaborations of - as far as one knows - not necessarily easy characters to get along with. Congratulations from this side!
A second feature, this edition interesting realises - beyond the average of the standard occupation in Brahms recordings - is the choice of the instruments. One searched, one researched (similarly as with the recording of the horn trio and the adaptation of the sextet) after suitable, performance-practically authentic instruments from the time of origin of the works. Supported of Gert Hecher, two fortepianos from the Viennese workshop Johann Baptist Streicher could be used from the years 1851 and 1876. Two instruments with Viennese mechanics, with leather on the hammer heads. Brahms possessed a Streicher fortepiano, might thus during composing have been affected by its sound characteristics.
The string instruments come from Lupo (1821) and Castagnieri (1747), the clarinet is the copy of the instrument that Muehlfeld - the resident clarinetist of Brahms - used. As Gerrit Zitterbard in the accompanying text states, it concerns a clarinet copied by Ottensheimer, with "different flap mechanics and has other sound characteristics than later clarinet systems."
Thus the best, outstanding conditions for interpretations with a high content of colour and flavour. Virtuos in the sense of responsible animatingness, watchful in mutual demanding and granting, in the dia.-logical as in temporarily Solisti, as it internal vital stories of the two works in the strong one as in Elegi close put (works, which at the beginning and at the end of Brahms of ' chamber music effort!).
Peter Cossé (15.01.2008


Looks interesting with that Streicher "Hammerflügel".
The inclusion of the op. post. piano trio is an attractive feature as well. This is claimed to be a trio Brahms wrote in his younger years and escaped the fire, only to be discovered after his death (he reworked other trios later in life). The authorship by Brahms cannot be proven beyond any doubt, but just listening to it was enough for me: it's Brahms all right. Trio Fontenay (Teldec) also recorded this "4th" (maybe "1st" would be better) piano trio.

Anyone heard this Tacet disc? It will go on my list.

Q
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 10:33:18 AM by Que »
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BorisG

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #82 on: January 15, 2008, 01:00:20 PM »
A good HIP performance of the Brahms clarinet trio would be nice!




Anyone heard this Tacet disc? It will go on my list.

Q

Not just good, Que. It is exceptional. ;) Lucid and energetic interpretations. Especially for the Clarinet Trio, the star work on this occasion.

Tone is pleasing, as warm as HIP can be. The anti-HIP need not worry.

Tacet engineers do their usual crystal clear thing. The slightly close micing is handled well. It adds to the positive energy.

Energy is big for me in the Brahms Clarinet Trio. Another favorite of mine is with Portal, Lodeon, and Dalberto.


Offline FideLeo

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #83 on: January 15, 2008, 01:30:34 PM »
A good HIP performance of the Brahms clarinet trio would be nice!

And there is (at least) one before this: Alan Hacker, Richard Burnett, Jennifer Ward-Clarke on Amon Ra
coupled w/ Clarinet sonatas.

Burnett probably played on an Erard (I can't recall exactly), which was not an unusual choice even for Brahms himself.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 03:21:36 PM by fl.traverso »
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Offline orbital

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #84 on: January 15, 2008, 03:19:32 PM »
I guess this belongs here as well:


The piano used here is fro 1881, so not exactly HIP, but not exactly modern either  ;D Presumably the Erard had gone under some changes since Chopin's time, but this is essentially a period instrument sounding still very different from the grands of recent decades.
I quite like the playing all around, and it is good that we have a selection of nocturnes, preludes and etudes as well as the Barcarole and the 4th Ballade (which is the highlight of the disc IMO, since it sheds new light on the work. Rather than having the grand sound of the concert arena, the ballade is more intimate, still with its wide dynamic range).

I hear that she has a very decent Ravel disc out there too, but I think that is done on a modern piano. It would be intersting to record some Ravel on a late 19th century Erard, just like the one Ravel himself used.

Offline FideLeo

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #85 on: January 15, 2008, 03:24:39 PM »
It would be intersting to record some Ravel on a late 19th century Erard, just like the one Ravel himself used.

Immerseel et al. did a Ravel disc featuring not just a period piano (Erard 1905) but a period orchestra as well.  A beautiful disc overall. 


« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 03:28:30 PM by fl.traverso »
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

Don

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #86 on: January 15, 2008, 03:31:37 PM »
I guess this belongs here as well:


The piano used here is fro 1881, so not exactly HIP, but not exactly modern either  ;D Presumably the Erard had gone under some changes since Chopin's time, but this is essentially a period instrument sounding still very different from the grands of recent decades.
I quite like the playing all around, and it is good that we have a selection of nocturnes, preludes and etudes as well as the Barcarole and the 4th Ballade (which is the highlight of the disc IMO, since it sheds new light on the work. Rather than having the grand sound of the concert arena, the ballade is more intimate, still with its wide dynamic range).

I hear that she has a very decent Ravel disc out there too, but I think that is done on a modern piano. It would be intersting to record some Ravel on a late 19th century Erard, just like the one Ravel himself used.

I also think highly of the Forte/Chopin disc, but I hear an irritating static on headphones.  Do you hear it also?

Offline orbital

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2008, 03:57:46 PM »
I also think highly of the Forte/Chopin disc, but I hear an irritating static on headphones.  Do you hear it also?
Yes I do. The higher the note, the higher the static as a matter of fact.

(I have the amazon download of the album, not the actual CD, I just checked the clips on amazon and they have the static too)

Offline Bonehelm

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #88 on: January 16, 2008, 05:08:52 PM »
I would like to hear HIP Mahler or Stravinsky  ;D

Online PerfectWagnerite

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #89 on: January 16, 2008, 05:27:09 PM »
I would like to hear HIP Mahler or Stravinsky  ;D
Well it is only a matter of time before Norrington or Gardiner get to Mahler, maybe even Stravinsky. Norrington actually got as far as Tchaikovsky and Bruckner (I think there is a Bruckner 3rd out there somewhere). Not sure about Stravinsky, he left a boarload of his own conducting his music so I suppose that is the performance standard.

Offline FideLeo

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2008, 10:45:39 PM »
Well it is only a matter of time before Norrington or Gardiner get to Mahler, maybe even Stravinsky. Norrington actually got as far as Tchaikovsky and Bruckner (I think there is a Bruckner 3rd out there somewhere). Not sure about Stravinsky, he left a boarload of his own conducting his music so I suppose that is the performance standard.

Herreweghe recorded Mahler's Wunderhorn lieder for HM already.  Symphonies will follow I believe.  Immerseel has also recorded the Rachmaninoff suites on period pianos, so yes there is room for HIP recording of at least early Stravinsky.  In addition, two albums recorded by Kenneth Slowik with Smithsonian Chamber Players (gut strings), titled respectively "Metamorphosis" and "Transfiguration," present Mahler (5/iv) R Strauss (Metamorphosen) Schoenberg (Verklarete Nacht) in some sort of HIP style appropriate to pre-WWII works.
HIP for all and all for HIP! Harpsichord for Bach, fortepiano for Beethoven and pianoforte for Brahms!

M forever

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #91 on: January 16, 2008, 11:49:34 PM »
Well it is only a matter of time before Norrington or Gardiner get to Mahler, maybe even Stravinsky. Norrington actually got as far as Tchaikovsky and Bruckner (I think there is a Bruckner 3rd out there somewhere).

As always, you are a little behind. There is already half a Mahler cycle with Norrington on disc with his Stuttgart orchestra. How "HIP" that actually is I don't know. But what I have heard so far is quite Sir Roger.

When it comes to later 19th century repertoire and later, it really doesn't make such a big difference anymore anyway. As we know from recordings made throughout the 20th century and even from the still existing (if today far less diverse) differences in sound and playing styles, these can still vary quite drastically between orchestral schools, depending on playing techniques and esthetics, and the exact types of instruments used.

I enjoyed listening to Sir Simon's "period instrument" version of Das Rheingold which he gave with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment a few years ago at the Proms. The sonorities heard there are very interesting, but one can also hear that the modern orchestras which cultivate more "traditional" playing styles still sound rather close to that. Especially the WP, even though their playing style has also somewhat changed over the course of the 20th century. But the brass sound, for instance, comes very close. This is illustrated by this brief excerpt from that performance. The horn calls at 1'14 sound awesome, like real horns, much better than a lot of modern horns, but you can get that kind of sound with a Viennese F horn, too, or at least closely approximate it with a modern double horn:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2t9wcv

The strings have a very articulated silvery quality, but that can also be achieved with modern instruments (meaning with steel strings) and the right playing culture.

Online PerfectWagnerite

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #92 on: January 17, 2008, 08:24:02 AM »
As always, you are a little behind. There is already half a Mahler cycle with Norrington on disc with his Stuttgart orchestra. How "HIP" that actually is I don't know. But what I have heard so far is quite Sir Roger.

When it comes to later 19th century repertoire and later, it really doesn't make such a big difference anymore anyway. As we know from recordings made throughout the 20th century and even from the still existing (if today far less diverse) differences in sound and playing styles, these can still vary quite drastically between orchestral schools, depending on playing techniques and esthetics, and the exact types of instruments used.

I enjoyed listening to Sir Simon's "period instrument" version of Das Rheingold which he gave with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment a few years ago at the Proms. The sonorities heard there are very interesting, but one can also hear that the modern orchestras which cultivate more "traditional" playing styles still sound rather close to that. Especially the WP, even though their playing style has also somewhat changed over the course of the 20th century. But the brass sound, for instance, comes very close. This is illustrated by this brief excerpt from that performance. The horn calls at 1'14 sound awesome, like real horns, much better than a lot of modern horns, but you can get that kind of sound with a Viennese F horn, too, or at least closely approximate it with a modern double horn:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2t9wcv

The strings have a very articulated silvery quality, but that can also be achieved with modern instruments (meaning with steel strings) and the right playing culture.
That was with gut strings ??? It sounds like modern instruments with some vibrato suppressed. If you don't tell me I would never know that it's the OAE, because I have some of their Haydn recordings and the sound is totally different. The horns sound almost identical to the Solti recording (I had to play that recording just to be sure) but definitely sounds more robust and penetrating than the sometimes wooly sound of the modern French horn. But maybe that is also due to the recording as they can probably put a couple of mikes where they want to highly certain sections of the orchestra. Although in this case the balance suggests this was likely not done. I like the sound of the Wagner tubas also. A true piano but still heard clearly.

Thanks for the clip.

M forever

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #93 on: January 17, 2008, 01:18:44 PM »
That was with gut strings ??? It sounds like modern instruments with some vibrato suppressed. If you don't tell me I would never know that it's the OAE, because I have some of their Haydn recordings and the sound is totally different. The horns sound almost identical to the Solti recording (I had to play that recording just to be sure) but definitely sounds more robust and penetrating than the sometimes wooly sound of the modern French horn. But maybe that is also due to the recording as they can probably put a couple of mikes where they want to highly certain sections of the orchestra.

No, the reason for that is that the horns in the Solti recording are Viennese F horns which basically are late 19th century types of horns. I wouldn't be surprised if the OAE actually used Viennese horns there. It would certainly be appropriate and "period" enough.
The string vibrato doesn't have to be "suppressed". It is not something that automatically happens on a string instrument, it is something which is usually *added*. Apart from that, the sound of the gut strings is a little different. But not *that* much. That kind of sound can also be achieved on modern instruments with steel strings.
All that should show you that a lot of preconceptions about what is "HIP" you and some others here entertain are simply wrong. That's not to put you or anyone down. But there is certainly room there for things that you have yet to explore about these things.

Online PerfectWagnerite

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #94 on: January 17, 2008, 01:41:18 PM »
All that should show you that a lot of preconceptions about what is "HIP" you and some others here entertain are simply wrong. That's not to put you or anyone down. But there is certainly room there for things that you have yet to explore about these things.
That's certainly true.

So the OAE uses different instruments based on which music they are performing? When they do Haydn they would have instruments made similar to Haydn's period and then when they do Wagner they have different instruments? Wouldn't it be pretty difficult to play the Viennese F-horn if you are not used to playing one? It's not something you can pick up on the fly (I wouldn't think).

By "vibrato suppressed" I meant suppressed by the conductor.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2008, 01:43:06 PM by PerfectWagnerite »

M forever

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #95 on: January 17, 2008, 01:59:55 PM »
So the OAE uses different instruments based on which music they are performing? When they do Haydn they would have instruments made similar to Haydn's period and then when they do Wagner they have different instruments? Wouldn't it be pretty difficult to play the Viennese F-horn if you are not used to playing one?

Sure it is. That's why most horn players make it easier for themselves, at the expense of sound quality (more or less, of course, since there are many horn players who have great sound on the double horn, too, and then there are of course different esthetics - not every horn has to sound like the Viennese one - although it is no doubt the most "authentic" sound for the late romantic "central European" repertoire).
I don't know too much of the OAE's other work, but from what i have heard so far, they do play different types of instruments depending on the actual period. That's th whole point. Otherwise, it can get rificulous and pointless pretty quickly. Which is unfortunately what was happening a lot in the "HIP" scene when period performance became really popular in the 80s or so. There were - and still are a lot of ensembles which play music on instruments and with playing techniques and esthetics which do not belong to the same period as the music performed. Or which simply just play on period instruments, somehow, without a clear concept of the performance practice, not much beyond "no vibrato" and "hard timpani sticks".

Online PerfectWagnerite

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #96 on: January 17, 2008, 02:05:54 PM »
Or which simply just play on period instruments, somehow, without a clear concept of the performance practice, not much beyond "no vibrato" and "hard timpani sticks".

Are you referring to Savall and Goodman? I find Savall pretty extreme, almost like Beethoven on instruments from the late Renaissance or something like that. Funny you mentioned "no vibrato" and "hard timpani sticks" because Savall made a big point about that in his notes.

M forever

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #97 on: January 17, 2008, 03:28:17 PM »
Are you referring to Savall and Goodman? I find Savall pretty extreme, almost like Beethoven on instruments from the late Renaissance or something like that. Funny you mentioned "no vibrato" and "hard timpani sticks" because Savall made a big point about that in his notes.

A lot of the Goodman/Hanover Band stuff I have heard is definitely the bottom residue of the time when "HIP" really took off, especially in London, and "period performers" were very much in demand. There were a lot of gigs available for anyone who could somehow operate a somehow "period" instrument. I remember a friend of mine who studied the cello in London at that time told me that he got a number of gigs as a "period cellist" even though according to himself, he had really no solid clue about historical performance practices. He was told that all that he needed to do was put gut strings on his cello and play without vibrato. So they had all these people on the loose, and a lot of demand for HIP" recordings, and they just threw together lots of "HIP" ensembles. Part of the bad reputation that whole movement has in some circles is actually - infortunately - deserved. But all that doesn't have much to do with the validity and necessity of "HIP" studies in general.

Dunno about Savall's Eroica. I listened to it and found it very unconvincing. They just bang and blast through the piece at high speeds without much of the eloquent phrasing, rhythmical flexibility and dramatic coherence that the music demands and that it gets from a lot of good interpreters - "HIP" or not. I hear very little of that in any form in this performance. Sure, it is "exciting", but that's not enough and that alone is certainly not "HIP". Strange. Savall is such a great player of gamba repertoire, I don't really understand why he took that detour. Based on his very fine work in that area, I would really have expected much more from him here. I don't really know what, but certainly much more than the thin concept he offers here.

Offline Que

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #98 on: February 03, 2008, 05:14:37 AM »
Somebody already got this and wants to comment?  :)


                 (click picure)

First performance on period instruments I've encountered.
I sampled it the shop, and the "HIP effect" in terms of sound and balance was much bigger than I expected. The fortepiano used is a 1850 Streicher btw - which sounds very nice indeed. On first impression I was not entirely sure about the performance however - fine but on the slow and somewhat deliberate and unimaginative side.

Q
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 10:23:08 PM by Que »
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Offline Bunny

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Re: The Romantics in Period Performances
« Reply #99 on: February 03, 2008, 08:25:31 AM »
A lot of the Goodman/Hanover Band stuff I have heard is definitely the bottom residue of the time when "HIP" really took off, especially in London, and "period performers" were very much in demand. There were a lot of gigs available for anyone who could somehow operate a somehow "period" instrument. I remember a friend of mine who studied the cello in London at that time told me that he got a number of gigs as a "period cellist" even though according to himself, he had really no solid clue about historical performance practices. He was told that all that he needed to do was put gut strings on his cello and play without vibrato. So they had all these people on the loose, and a lot of demand for HIP" recordings, and they just threw together lots of "HIP" ensembles. Part of the bad reputation that whole movement has in some circles is actually - infortunately - deserved. But all that doesn't have much to do with the validity and necessity of "HIP" studies in general.

Dunno about Savall's Eroica. I listened to it and found it very unconvincing. They just bang and blast through the piece at high speeds without much of the eloquent phrasing, rhythmical flexibility and dramatic coherence that the music demands and that it gets from a lot of good interpreters - "HIP" or not. I hear very little of that in any form in this performance. Sure, it is "exciting", but that's not enough and that alone is certainly not "HIP". Strange. Savall is such a great player of gamba repertoire, I don't really understand why he took that detour. Based on his very fine work in that area, I would really have expected much more from him here. I don't really know what, but certainly much more than the thin concept he offers here.

I have the Savall Eroica and I really love it.  I didn't listen to it as a stand alone recording.  Before I listened to it, I had been listening to some Mozart and Haydn recordings (also hip).  I then put the Savall into the player and went into shock.  All at once I understood everything I had read of the contemporary accounts of the symphony. 

It's sometimes hard for us to understand just how revolutionary Beethoven was in his time.  We look at him through the prism of more than 100 years of romantic performance of his works.  We don't see the revolutionary aspects of the symphony as much as the "proto-romantic" aspects of his classicism.  It's old news to us, not the clarion call of a new style that it was in the salon of Prince Lobkowitz.  It may not be the greatest Eroica on disc, but it will always be one of my favorites because of the insight it gave me into the transforming nature of Beethoven's works.